Before I got sober, I was completely wrapped up in my own world, not concerned with others. Really, I only cared about fulfilling my own needs. Today, I have an immense love for animals, and this has been a shining spot in my recovery
I have a couple of dogs, a cat, and a flock of chickens. I would have never considered myself an animal person, but I love them all. Our beautiful Polish Hens lay eggs for us, our dogs are our best friends, and the cats are always around to just hang out. You can learn more about the Polish Chicken on The Hen’s Egg, a blog about chicken keeping.
I never thought I would feel love or affection toward chickens. I guess I never had much interaction with them. It turns out, chickens can make pretty good pets. There are some friendly breeds, they’re relatively docile, and ours even like being pet. A few of them come when they’re called.
One of the most fun part about having chickens is that we get eggs regularly! With a dozen chickens, we usually get 10+ eggs in a normal day. This is more than we can eat between the two of us, so we share them with friends, give them away, and use them to bake! Having chickens has been a fun project and turned into an act of love that I would have never been able to be present for when using.
Caring for Animals
With all of our animals, the act of caring has been huge for me. Having responsibility for another being’s life gives some purpose to my days. When I clean the chicken coop, feed the cat, or brush the dogs, it’s really a true act of love. It helps me get in touch with the care in my heart, and gives me a reason to suit up and show up.
Now that I am sober, I am able to be present for others. The animals remind me of this, and remind me that I work on myself for the benefit of others as well. When I’m able to stay healthy and show up, I interact with the world differently. I cause less harm and am able to care for others. If I’m using, I can’t show up or care the way I want to.
Having Fun with Pets
Another great thing about having so many animals is the fun we have. We take our dogs for hikes, play with the cats with the laser pointer, and let our friends’ kids play with our chickens. Perhaps surprisingly, there are many kid-friendly chicken breeds.
Having animals in my life has given me a new way to enjoy myself and have fun. It’s encouraged me to get outside with the dogs and hike, as they need to get their energy out. I get to go to the dog park with them and interact with tons of interesting people.