Washington D.C.

This blog post is a part of a series called Letters to Hartley, the idea that started this blog. See more letters here!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Dear Hartley,

I got back from a fantastic week in Washington DC on August 3rd after being at a peer mental health conference for 6 days. I had a wonderful time, met lots of new people, and got to go lobby on Capitol Hill with others from Texas.

However, the experience would have been much better if I’d had you while I was there.

While I was in DC, there were several instances in which the command “find exit” would have been helpful. I was anxious or overwhelmed or simply needed to get away from the group a few times. Deep pressure therapy would have been extremely helpful during times in which I was anxious too.

I also had an allergic reaction to a Starbucks drink during one of the breakout sessions.

I can only assume it was because of cross-contamination of the ingredients in the drink. I’m severely allergic to coconut, so I guess my drink was cross-contaminated with coconut milk while it was being made.

Hartley, if you had been with me, you could have alerted me immediately.

In fact, you could have likely alerted me to the presence of coconut milk in the drink before I even took a sip, therefore preventing the allergic reaction altogether. Regardless, you could have helped me remain calm and find my medicine quicker. You could have responded to the command “find an exit” and especially to your command for Deep Pressure Therapy to help me better cope with the allergic reaction.

You could also have helped me on Lobby Day.

While walking around downtown DC, you could have alerted me if my heart rate ever got too high. You could have reminded me to drink water so I didn’t get dehydrated. If I were ever walking too fast or too much and endangering myself, you could have forced me to slow down or to take breaks. You could have comforted me and performed Deep Pressure Therapy whilst I was talking to Congress’ staff members, as my heart began to race and pound in my chest from anxiety.

Hartley, you could have helped me immensely at the airport.

You could have helped me remain calm whilst going through the TSA lines in DFW and in DC. After getting through security, you could have calmed me down even more and reminded me to take my medicine to help further relax me after the horrible TSA experience at Regan National Airport.


Hartley, I wish I would have had you with me for this experience in Washington D.C.

I can’t wait for you to finally be here with me, so we can go on many new adventures together!

All my love,


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