In 2010, I was diagnosed with severe panic disorder and agoraphobia.
Right in the middle of my life, when everything on the surface and to most people around me seemed to be great, I began noticing signs of avoidance. If I had to attend a political event for a client, for example, or simply go to a meeting being held in Manhattan, I found myself feeling very overwhelmed at the thought of getting there. Up to that point, my life and career had been pretty steeped in extroversion, and I was constantly surrounded by and socializing with very prominent, high-profile people, celebrities, major business entrepreneurs, great writers, and producers. I was always getting an ego stroke. However….
Then I found myself not wanting to go to those places anymore. Inside, I was riddled with anxiety.
From my earliest memories and childhood, I can recall be called “shy.” (Only later would I find out in therapy that it was in fact the onset of anxiety.)
As my life became more challenging as a single mother and as career goals were met, any setbacks I had became more severe, and my anxiety was no longer something I could mask in a nice suit with a pretty smile at a coveted event.
At my best, I traveled the world, spoke on panels, mentored other women in business, built media events for national politicians. At my worst, I could no longer ride on the subway or a bus. I could not cross over a bridge, go through a tunnel, or get into an elevator. I was no longer able to drive on the highway or be a passenger in the backseat of a car. I couldn’t walk farther than six blocks from my house or enter a crowded room without having a panic attack. The safest place I found was behind the doors and walls of my house. My only company was my computer.
During all this time, talking to my friends became too exhausting. There was too much expected of me. I didn’t want to think in terms of solutions or opportunities or building businesses. I literally gravitated to people who shared a common interest—animals.
I wanted to hear about every story or experience people had day to day with their furry friends. I found myself deeply engaged while watching the movements and activities of every cat, then dogs, then big cats on the Nat Geo Wild channel.
I often reminisced about my experience as a young girl growing up with animals, going to the library to look for books on every breed of dog, sleeping in the dog house with our pets, and bringing home strays. They were the delight of my life back then, so I set out to save them again now. In a very short amount of time, I became TNR certified. I attended pet events, shows, and fundraisers instead of red carpet events and community political meetings. I began caring for and feeding three colonies of feral cats. I rescued any dog I saw wandering the streets. Of course, that led to me bringing them home and making them my pets or finding them forever homes. Each day, any time spent watching an animal brought more happiness and contentment to me. I spent hours each day watching Nat Geo Wild or YouTube, observing the antics and movements of little cats, big cats, dogs, etc. I became fascinated with their stories, their behaviours, their temperaments. Then I realized I was feeling better.
I want to share with you (viewers) a way to feel better through watching furLifeLiving. This is the first-ever “furReality” show.
I am going to open my home and share my experiences with my fur loves with the world so people can experience the euphoria, love, joy, and peace that I experience when I sit and revel in life’s moments with them… just watching them.
If you’re having problems concentrating, if you’re feeling pressure, if life is getting too heavy at times, just tune in to furLifeLiving. There is something universally spiritual that you receive from watching the behaviours and antics of animals and their unconditional natures and energy. It takes us back to a place of feeling hopeful and happy on the inside, and once we find that place in simple moments in our day, we will begin to experience joy from the inside again, and our lives start to awaken. I’m opening my home to you so you can be free.