Hi, Guideposts, my name is Lex, and this is my cat, Tuna. I rescued her when she was five months old, about two years ago, from a kill shelter, and she is now my emotional support animal. We've been to three countries together, 16 national parks, and we've hiked over 100 miles together.
I have pretty severe anxiety, and I've been living with panic disorder for close to 10 years now. And she helps with my anxiety more than any meds really ever have. And I don't have to have the nasty side effects of medications.
Naturally, [when I'm] hiking, I don't have a lot of anxiety, but it was really important to me to have an animal that I can do those kinds of things with because it is such a big part of my life. I can't imagine leaving her inside in my room while I'm out doing those kinds of things.
So being able to share that together has facilitated a really close bond. And I think that that has really helped her identify when I'm not doing my best. And so I think that that's played into how attuned she is to my anxiety and how much she's able to help me.
I think she knows when I have anxiety sometimes before I do. She'll come and sit next to me, sit in my lap, and just kind of purr, and be with me. And that helps more than anything else really does.