Sorry it has been a while. Things have been a little busy and I have been working hard trying to get into a sleep schedule. The latest update is that I was able to go to a school, with the help of some very special dogs, and be around kids and high school students. I am also getting used to being in restaurants. This works well because I hate cooking.
During the school visit I was able to see how the dogs are helping kids learn to read. There were some very cute elementary school students that read to the dog. It seems that the dog became absolutely fascinated by the story at times. The facial expressions and nose movements were hilarious. Being around the kids was stressful and did raise some memories of Iraq. However, the dog helped ground me and keep me focused on my location. It was a great experience. I also was given a doggie kiss. If that does not ground you nothing else will.
After this experience I went to a high school and met their club. The students there were great and very welcoming. However, there were times that my stress level went extremely high in the process. Fortunately, another service dog was at the high school. At one moment I began to forget where I was and began to return to Iraq. However, the dog came and was a source of comfort. It was also a great reminder of where I was located. I appreciated the help and I was able to leave the experience fairly hopeful. I know the anxiety switch in my head can be decreased or turned off. I equate PTSD to having to think clearly with a mac truck coming at you at 100mph. The dog helps turn the truck into a toy and decrease the speed. I am looking forward to future school visits.