So you guys, do I have a tale for you…
Ah, mental health, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, unhappiness. As you already know. But, I decided I would do something strong and something bigger then myself and volunteer somewhere. Sounds like a good idea right?
I browsed a few volunteer opportunities, specifically working with dogs because they make my mood so much better and I just really like animals.
So I found a place called Furever Homes Doberman Rescue. They needed volunteers to help out with a somewhat local pet fair. It was where I used to live at my Mom’s so about a 45 minute drive away. Not horrible.
I let them know I was interested and the person told me they desperately needed someone for a 1-3pm shift. I agreed and gave them my number to contact me so as she put it I wouldn’t wander around looking for them. I was incredibly nervous just from social anxiety and because I was doing something out of my comfort zone but the fact that I was helping dogs comforted me and made me strong.
So the day finally came. I had been excited knowing I was doing something good and doing something brave, also hoping for a confidence boost. I planned around this day. There were plans and events that I didn’t go to because I wanted to do this.
(I would also like to mention that I get incredibly tense and nervous before anything I have to do like family functions or any events and usually end up fighting with my boyfriend just out of the pressure.)
So I fight with boyfriend, I stress over the right clothes to wear, I barely eat out of anxiety and I get in my car and drive the 45 minutes. I get there about 12:50 and start walking around the fair. I don’t see the tent labeled Furever Homes Doberman Rescue. I circle the area twice and even email her remembering that I was supposed to get a text so this exact situation wouldn’t happen. I let her know that I’m looking for them but I never got her number as who would have thought I would have really needed it. I decide to ask an official where their location was and he pointed me in the direction of their supposed to be tent location, number 39 he says to me as he looks at the tent arrangement chart.
I began walking over and see numbers spray painted on the ground. I count in my head 42, 41, 40…..39.
No tent. No dogs. No nothing. Just an empty plot.
I ask the next tent organization over if the people here had left. They told me no one ever was here, they never showed up.
I felt invisible. Like something had reached into my heart and threw it on the floor. I even did a third lap reading each of the tents again to just absolutely make sure I didn’t miss it. I didn’t. They just never showed and never contacted me to let me know they wouldn’t be there. I called the organization five times yesterday when I got home and each time I got a voicemail.
I just felt so broken that I just wanted to do something nice, something to help someone else. They said they desperately needed someone for 1-3pm. I was there. I looked at that empty plot and felt like it was almost a metaphor for my life with anxiety. You just want so bad to reach out and find something that can help and nothing’s there. And it shatters you.
This realization that sometimes you can do everything possible to stand up and be strong but there’s nothing to hold on to. I felt so embarrassed, and like such a loser. A volunteer opportunity came through and the entire organization never showed. I was stood up. Ouch. It even crosses my mind that what kind of condition are the dogs in that these…these people…the ones that don’t even bring them to an adoption opportunity are the ones taking care of them?
I never got an email back. No text. No call. Just, I didn’t matter that much. Everything about this makes me feel angry, hurt, invisible, and stupid at the same time. I just drove to my Mom’s and pet Cooper the little dog you may have seen in previous posts. I picked up a few things and drove home. I called the organization five times. It still hurts to think that there were so many dogs getting adopted and people just walking around with their own dogs. Being loved and getting cookies and treats and attention, and the dogs at this place would never know how that felt.
Yesterday, I felt sorry for myself. I did. I could only see my failure as a human being. But, today it breaks my heart knowing some of these dogs could have been adopted and no one brought them. I think that’s what hurts more in the clear light of day. Where are these people? No one answered my email, the phone? Where are the dogs? If they would treat a human volunteer like this…how hard are they really trying to get these dogs adopted and how are the dogs being treated in their care?