Saturday, June 16, 2012

Never Surrender

Here to celebrate Elena Johnson's book release, Surrender, is the Never Surrender Blog Hop.

 So, when was a time I didn't give up on something? Well, honestly, every day of my life. I've come to the conclusion recently that I've died several times. Sadly, I've also tried to kill myself more times than I've died and have scars all over my body from self injury. But my body, my mind, and my soul are still inhabiting this earth, so every day I breathe, I'm not giving up, I'm not surrendering.

Always up for what comes next :)
I owe my last year and half of survival to Baxter, and in reality, probably more than that. Life with him has been a roller coaster of trying to find apartments that allow 110-125lb dogs, or just pets in general. Usually when we find these places, they're run down, infested with something (cockroaches, bedbugs, ants, horrible people), and the standard of living is sub par (when I first got him, we stayed in a place with cockroaches and the roommate let her dog crap and pee all over the floor. Baxter got an infection, I got sick for two months).

We've also been in situations where we were financially struggling to make ends meet, so I had to give up beer, and cut back on food, and Baxter had to give up expensive food and new toys. But somehow, we've pushed through, and we've made it work.

When I went crazy in North Carolina, it was Baxter, laying next to me on the couch, in my bed, while I cried for days on end, who put me back in motion. He relied on me to be able to go to the bathroom, to eat, and I had an obligation to him to take care of him.

At one point, when I'd stopped answering my phone for about a week, my sister called and said (in a somewhat panicky voice), "Did something happen to Baxter?" It was then I knew that things really could get worse, and with that question, she offered me a ray of hope that I latched on to.

Rather than finding Baxter a home and diving into the ocean and letting the waves take me out (which had been my plan), Baxter and I packed up the car and went north. When we arrived in Maine, we didn't have anywhere to live because all of the ads on Craigslist didn't allow pets. Sneaking into UNE dorms and spending a night, we found a place in Woodstock, ME, that at the time seemed like a sanctuary (and ended up being another sketchy place with a funny/awkward/scarring story).

Our new place :)
Since then we've continued to have adventures (living in my friend's basement for a month and a half, etc), and I know we'll have plenty more. We're currently in our own apartment with awesome neighbors who run with me, feed me, and sit on the porch and chat all hours of the night.

I know things can get bad, and still push me to the point of throwing the towel in. But with Baxter around, I've found that I have to not only take care of him, but take care of me, too. And so no matter how hard life gets, chances are I've been through worse. So I won't surrender, I won't give up, and I'll find solutions to keep pushing on.


  1. Excellent post on never surrendering :) Baxter sounds like an amazing source of comfort and strength. I need a dog again (haven't had one since childhood).

    1. Thank you. Pets are amazing, and I'm truly blessed to have Baxter. He really is the best dog in the entire world...if only he liked water...A few nights ago I had a nightmare that he had to be put down, and I woke up and started sobbing. I dread the day he leaves :(

  2. Powerful story. I have a dog I adore too and I know just how powerful a dog's friendship is. May Baxter bring you many more years of joy, love, and friendship.


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