Rylie and K9 Annie
I grew up near Blaine, MN. I joined the Army Reserves my Sophomore year of College and to this day I currently serve. I have never deployed which has made it extremely difficult to find resources to get the help I need.
In 2020 I started going to therapy and I was diagnosed with CPTSD. Complex PTSD is a huge challenge because I don’t always know what my triggers are. It develops over time with multiple traumatic events. These events have taken course from times in my childhood, military service, and my civilian life. Before I got my service dog, my day to day life with CPTSD symptoms was completely debilitating. I would struggle to get out of bed sometimes. Tasks as simple as going to the grocery store to run a quick errand seemed nothing less then impossible due to my anxiety and panic attacks. I was developing severe insomnia and memory loss. There were points I would lose space in time almost like a “black out” from being exposed to a trigger. When I could muster myself up to do something like run an errand I would put headphones in to try to avoid people at all costs. When I would get triggered there are times I would get physically sick. It was affecting my job, my relationships, and what most people would consider normal day to day tasks. I would always have to have people with me in order to be able to function after doing just about anything. If I didn’t my anxiety and panic attacks would get significantly worse as soon as I felt safe.
I'm thankful to Soldier 6 for being understanding and willing to help. No other service dog organizations around me could help me given I had not deployed or had active duty time outside of training. My dog has helped me in so many ways. I’m now able to have a successful career. I can be independent and go places without needing to rely on other people in order to do day to day tasks. My dog can perform interruption tasks, and she’s able to aid me when I get panic attacks. She helps me stay grounded so I don’t “lose” time anymore. Overall, my anxiety has become much more manageable with her around. I'm forever grateful for my Annie girl. I get out of bed each morning knowing that Annie brings a whole new meaning to my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better battle buddy.