where is freedom | almost a year with my puppy

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During my struggle with self-love, I’ve given up a lot of the confidence I used to have which effectively warped my sense of freedom.

I’ve been stuck at home most days because I struggle to leave my room. My reclusive nature has gotten worse over time. Meeting friends feels like a feat each time. Even walking my puppy gives me anxiety. When I look at Maya, I can tell that she understands this. Often, I am troubled by our dynamic as a duo.

When I adopted Maya, I lost my sense of freedom again.

When my psychiatrist and therapist suggested I get a dog, I was resolute not to do so. I knew from early on that I would not be capable of taking care of another being as I could not even do so for myself. As my sessions carried on and my stresses increased, a yearning to be with someone grew. I wanted comfort somewhere. However, I knew I would be incapable of love and care. Still, when my brother-in-law talked about puppies, I felt rejuvenated by the idea of having a puppy with me. I wasn’t completely convinced, but I thought maybe this was it. What if this was the sign to get a dog?

Admittedly, I jumped on this chance too quickly. I usually mull my decisions for months on end. I usually struggled to commit. Despite this personality of mine, I said yes.

Most days, I don’t regret this choice. I find myself needing a reason to wake up, to be alive, and to breathe, so I look to my puppy. On other days, I want to kill myself despite her existence. In the end, nothing changed in my mindset. Only now, I had one more responsibility that actually is tenfold. As days turned to weeks into months and now closing into a year, I’ve realized how much of the little freedom I’ve regained I’ve lost.

I don’t feel embittered by my dwindling freedom from Maya. However, the same cannot be said of her brother.

Maya and Noma

I adopted one dog but am taking care of two.

It’s not a responsibility I was ready for. Frankly, even my mental capacity could barely manage Maya and now I have two.

I work from home. There’s no other space for me to run or to get away. Worse is, things at home are as chaotic and busy due to misfortunes over the holidays. It’s been months, and I feel drained of any ‘normality’ in my life. The schedule in my life I desperately clung to has shattered into nothing.

I find myself frustrated most days and guilty of this frustration.

Am I a good person?

When my frustration blows into anger, I am left wondering how good a person I am. I am not equipped to handle this, I always think during these moments. Instantly, I regret everything. I regret getting angry, getting Maya, being compliant, and mostly, I regret ever realizing I was depressed.

I wonder what would’ve been had I never admitted to it. Where would I be now?

But I was 18 then. Life and time have steadily moved. Where I am, I can still see her.

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