Getting Out There

I just finished my first shift as a volunteer at the Animal Rescue League.  I’m exhausted—and triumphant.  I actually put myself in a pseudo-work environment and didn’t suffer off-the-charts anxiety.  I did leave early, but that was because my back was killing me after washing all the windows (inside and out) and doing poop patrol in the exercise yard, picking up 15 gallons of dog do.  My backache feels more like a badge of honor than overworked musculature.  I did it!  And I signed up to do it again next week.

This is a huge step for me.  Every time I’ve tried to work an “easy” job in the past few years, volunteer my time, or commit to anything requiring a set schedule or responsibility, my illness has galloped off into the sunset.  I’ve always said that the hardest part of being bipolar is the inconsistency (okay, there are a lot of hard parts, but this is my number one gripe).

I told myself going into this volunteer position that it was just one afternoon with dogs and cats.  If I didn’t want to do it again, I didn’t have to.  The staff at the Shelter are extremely laid back—they gave me a task then let me alone to do it.  I liked that.  While I went through the building washing windows, I could stop in the cat room for a while and see who all was in residence.  Whatever work I did was appreciated, whenever I wanted to schedule myself was okay.  The only pressure I felt I put on myself to do a good job while I was there.  Even then, a few streaks in the windows and a few missed dog muffins were just fine.

I think I can actually do this.  At least, I’m going to try.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mizroket
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 18:47:04

    I imagine it is a really rewarding job doing something for the lovely animals….

    Reply

  2. Deb
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 21:48:01

    Congratulations, my dear! Savor that triumph; you deserve it!

    Reply

  3. Kitty
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 21:52:13

    Bravo!!!

    XO

    Reply

  4. docrob50
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 22:25:04

    yes!

    Reply

  5. Jinjer Stanton
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 22:39:27

    Congratulations!

    Reply

  6. Sheryl Mae
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 23:51:45

    Way to go! I’m happy to hear that you made it through. Small steps Sissy.

    Reply

  7. carlarenee45
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 05:14:27

    I think this is a great thing that you are doing I’m sure it will be great therapy. I wish there was something around here, an opportunity like you have. I can’t handle real paying employment anymore but it would be nice to add taking care of animals to my daily routine alone with my own responsibity of taking care of my pets lol.

    Reply

  8. pegoleg
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 11:40:06

    Whoo hoo! You went through with it! Good for you, Sandy.

    Reply

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