Archive for » November, 2012 «

Animal Planet-Beyond Human Help-Me!

Yesterday, Friday, I was part of a “preview episode” of a show called Beyond Human Help that aired on Animal Planet.  Until Wednesday, the fact that I was going to be on this show was a huge secret that was really hard to keep.

In July 2011 and October 2011, some producers came and spent a weekend each time filming and interviewing me, my therapist, my mom, my best friend, my ex, Sheriff’s trainer, and I think that is it?  Even before that, I had to do interviews with them on Skype and just the phone when Skype really wouldn’t work on my computer.  But it all led up to the filming then seeing the show last night.

What aired last night included three people (including me) that are disabled by a mental illness.  One man has Bipolar with Psychotic features, a woman with Trichotillomania, and me.  The woman has a service dog, obviously I have a service dog, and the man had a service parrot (I know I know…not covered by the ADA).  Next year, 2013, there will be hour long shows that just feature one person and their service dog.  That is why this was a preview episode.

It was an emotional roller coaster seeing myself on television.  In my little 15 minute slot, they included some of the most intense parts of some of the interviews…including a scene in which I was explaining how Equinox likes to tell me to kill myself.  Back when they filmed, she would tell me this especially when I handled my bottle of Xanax because in my suicide attempts, that is what I have overdosed on.  There was a point in which filming while holding the bottle really started to overwhelm me…and watching that made me start to really tear up.  Of course there were the happier moments with Sheriff and he looked great on television. Seeing my mom, best friend, and trainer’s interviews (not everyone made it into this segment) was really cool and also made me cry a bit…but all good tears.

Since the show aired, I have found two qualities of the people who watched it.  Some have been really supportive.  People I haven’t talked to seen in years have contacted me to say they saw me on television, had no idea what I have gone through, and want me to know that they care about me and are here for me.  I swear, my support system has ballooned since the show last night!  Other people have been very critical and in some cases mean.  There was an error in my segment in which it said that Sheriff was only trained for 2 months.  Ick.  No.  He was trained for 16 months in total.  A year of obedience and proofing of obedience…at that point simply because I was a dog trainer and he was a shelter dog with a traumatic history.  Training him then was not in preparation for being a service dog because I didn’t know that I would get sick and need one.  Once I did need a service dog, it was about 4 months of task training and public access proofing/training.  So I got quite a bashing about that error.  Then there were a few people that I guess the producers talked with but didn’t follow through with filming their stories.  These are the people that have been quite mean…I assume because they are jealous.  But I have been respectful with such people because I do not know their situations and I have no reason to return their ill, misguided feelings with words that are as mean as their own.

I also had an article in the local paper, The Jonesboro Sun.  I did a telephone interview with them, and they used some of the information from a front page article about be from fall 2009.  There were several mistakes in the article…they said that Sheriff’s name is “Personal Sheriff.”  Lol, that is kind of silly.  They also said I was diagnosed at the age of 17.  No, at that age I was trying to keep all my symptoms a secret because I was scared and ashamed.  The other mistakes were really minor…those are the two that stand out.

So that is just a summary of the show and how things are going that are related to the show.  I’m sorry I didn’t announce on here that it would air.  I did on the Facebook Fan Page (same name as the blog).  I’ll try to do better next time!