Lost business that kept me alive


I just need a place to let this out before I bring it up in therapy. I ran a business (started as a hobby when I was 5 years old, made it into a 46 client business by the time I was 19/20) for most of my life and lost it due to COVID. I moved from where this business is two months ago, and no longer can run it. I keep getting emails from people now that the US is opening back up for my services, which was mainly pet care.

This job kept me alive. When I was at my lowest I had to get out of bed because the animals depended on me. Many times having those visits and having that job kept me alive. I know it's time to move on, but it's so hard when I'm still having suicidal ideation, because I know the "professional post graduate" jobs I'm going to get are not the same as "an animal literally depends on me for life." It just makes me so depressed. I want to be able to get out of bed every day for something. But these jobs pay more and I'm supposed to prioritize money, and I wanted to move on but it's so hard. I even looked up a local pet sitting business to see if they are hiring because I just am struggling so hard with this job search.

I can't get my own pet right now because my apartment has a two pet limit and my roommate has two cats. I think I'm going to set a goal to one day get a dog. I wonder if I could get a dog for an ESA (I've trained my family pet service dog tasks before but she was in-home, but she can't live with me). I just don't want to upset the cats and they love me, they cuddle with me and play with me and follow me around, it's just not the same as walking a dog.

I miss my business and my clients and people and animals needing me. I know I have to care about me the way I care about those animals, keeping ME alive, keeping ME happy, but it's so much easier to care about something that is not me.


@Strangelongtrip Have you considered volunteering? At least here in Phoenix, there are multiple rescues and shelters that will let you sign up to regularly visit to walk, groom, and play with the dogs - including on weekends (or whatever days you have off). Perhaps donating your time there would allow you enough interaction to feel a little better, plus the satisfaction of knowing you are helping animals in need. Or maybe you can have a professional job (if you have to make that kind of money), and pet-sit in other people’s homes as a side gig?

Good luck in your search! Wishing you the best!