New photo – Puzzle has two new beds!

My Schnoodle, Puzzle, has two new beds!  At first, she turned up her nose at them, and she still won’t use one of them, but the other, the firmer one, she now loves!  Here is a photo of Puzzle in her new bed:

Puzzle, new bed

When I am having trouble coping, one of my ways to deal with my difficulties is to pet Puzzle.  Then, everything seems okay again.  This is on the top of my list of coping skills.  The second include calling my friends (or e-mailing them and asking them to call me) or writing.  Sometimes, this writing involves writing in here!

This list of coping methods differs sharply from the list I used in years past.  On the top of my old list was to take a “PRN” (extra medication).  The second on the list was to take a shower.  Now, PRN is on the bottom of the list, or not on the list at all.  The last thing I want to do is to dope myself up.

It is good to have a coping list if you have a mental illness.  I think it’s good for anyone to have a coping list!  Here’s the old list:

WAYS TO COPE

PRN
Take a shower
Exercise
Write
Read
Clean the apartment

Make a list of what I’m going to do and do it
Structure my time
Stick to my routine

Focus on something real
Don’t listen to anything in my head that’s negative or intrusive
Do head tricks to get rid of bad thoughts

Try to figure out what’s bothering me, write about it or talk it over with someone
Ask for feedback
Do something nice for someone

Eat right and get enough sleep
Drink only caffeine-free beverages

I pretty much disregarded the last instruction on the list, after a while, but the other instructions are pretty good, don’t you think?  It was only recently that I decided to revise the list.

There is something magical that happens when I pet Puzzle.  Maybe it’s her fur, maybe it’s that she’s a dog, maybe it’s that I love her so much, maybe it’s that she loves me.  All I know is that it works.  When I sit on the couch, she comes to me, and puts her two front paws on the couch next to me, presenting herself for petting.  Then I have no choice: Pet Puzzle, pet Puzzle, pet Puzzle.  It works.

Feedback and comments welcome!