Strange to think that the world has been Emoji-less for almost a year. Then again, the whole concept of time is a strange one. I can’t remember what I ate for dinner 2 days ago or 2 months ago, but I vividly remember the moment when I held Emoji and he told me it was his time to go. I don’t want to talk about that moment right now, but it relates to what I do want to focus on: mental health. When Emoji passed I knew I wanted to create the Emoji Endowment, an organization sharing the realities, triumphs and fears associated with adopting a senior pet in the hopes of encouraging more senior adoption. I had this grandiose concept about what I wanted the Emoji Endowment to be, but I struggled.
I struggled with depression and grief. I struggled with my crippling perfectionism and the belief that everything had to be perfect in order for people to embrace what I had to say. I struggled with my inner critic telling me that no one cared what I had to say. Months flew by as I struggled. It took me 3 months before I could even verbalize “Emoji passed away.” Up until then, I focused on Emoji heading over the rainbow bridge or abandoning me for the land of snackies. In that time, I thought I was handling my grief like a pro.
Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.
Instead I was pushing my emotions into a lock box and my grief was showing it’s through my obsessive tendencies and depressive episodes. I couldn’t get out of bed and couldn’t leave my apartment unless the entire apartment was spotless — fuck I still struggle with this stuff today. I refused to accept that I was struggling, and at the same time I spent most of my nights beating myself up because Emoji Endowment was just a concept in my head and not a reality. I couldn’t get past the initial concepts because I couldn’t get past my fear of not having the perfect font, the perfect website, the perfect business plan with all the the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
– I can hear Emoji’s judgmental bark telling me to hurry the fuck up and get to the point –
So let me get to the point. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for taking so long to share the Emoji Endowment with you and staying silent about what’s going on. Most importantly, I’m sorry to myself for giving my inner critic a strong platform to silence my creativity and goals. I want to share this journey with you and share my mental health story because there needs to be more of an open conversation about mental health. They always say that you have to be the change you want to see in the world.
So here I am. Sharing my hopes for turning Emoji’s story into a legacy while also sharing what’s been going on with me. I hope you’ll stick around and join me on this second phase of Emoji’s story and you’ll join me in having an open and frank conversation about mental health and senior adoption. I hope my journey will show you’re not alone in your struggles.
Until next time, Lady