Recovery Pet, or not?

Hello everyone,

As you all probably know, I recently adopted a cat from The Animal Humane Society about one month ago. She is absolutely wonderful in every way, she is house-trained, playful, affectionate, lovable, and honestly the perfect combination between a dog and a cat that I have ever seen. Her name is Emily. I named her after The Emily Program because I wanted her to be my recovery cat; to me, this meant that she would be a symbolic representation of all of the hard work that I have done in my recovery to get to this point in my life, a point where I am able to love beyond myself. Therefore, I would love it if you would all give me your opinions on this dilemma that I have.

So, as I said before, Emily is a great pet who deserves an owner that can give her the love and attention that she deserves and, unfortunately, I do not think that I can provide that. See, I live in a small studio apartment alone, I am a full time college student, I have a part time job, and I volunteer at a number of pro-recover organizations, so I am rarely ever home to take care of her and, when I am home, I am usually way too tired to play or I have homework to do so I just don't have the time. Emily deserves better than this, she gives so much love that I want her to be able to have someone that can give her that love back. Also, I feel like, instead of being an asset to my recovery, like I thought, having a pet has become more of a burden. I know that sounds horrible, but I feel like it is really hard for me to juggle everything that I have going on in my life right now and be responsible for taking care of another living being.

I know that I am thinking a lot about Emily in this situation, but, as my Therapist says, I also have to think about myself, which is not selfish. So, I have thought a lot about this, and I have realized that having a pet really does not feel "right" to me. It is interesting really, I thought that being a hero and adopting and animal would somehow make me feel better about myself and help everyone else around me see that I really am not this cold and dark person that the eating disorder has masked me as. But, something just did not feel right. Deep down, I have always been an introvert, and I need my alone time in order to honestly feel okay. Now, I know that this may sound eating disordered, but it is not, it is just who I am and have always been. Honestly, I feel like I am running away from who I truly am when I do not have a healthy amount of my alone time which, ironically, has caused me to slip backwards in my recovery. But, what I have also discovered about myself in recovery is that I am free-spirited person who loves exploration, getting out into the world and living life, but also having my alone time to tell the story and reflect, and I just cannot do that if I am responsible for another life.

So, there you have it, my rant about my situation. I would love to know what you all think about this; is giving Emily up for adoption a good decision? I feel that it is, mostly because I want her to have a good home, but also because I feel like a "pet person" is not who I truly am.

Thank you all for listening.

sboggs33's picture

You need to do what feels best for you right now, especially as you are beginning and facing recover. You are not selfish at all for taking care of yourself!
Kristine3's picture

Thank you sboggs33! I know that I kind of answered my own question in that post, but I feel like that is what I need to do in order to make the right decision; to think it through by doing what I do best, writing. :)

This is why journaling is so helpful!

sboggs33's picture

If writing is what helps you understand what you need, then keep it coming! 

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