For as long as I can remember I've dealt with mental illness. Long before I knew how to define it, I was staying up until 4am painting or sweating through my clothes in public for no discernible reason or spending entirely too much time alone because I couldn't bear to be around other people. I had my first true panic attack at 22 (or at least the first that I knew how to define) and as a result, I stayed in bed for days because I felt physically and mentally broken. Since then, I've been able to define my personal issues as insomnia, anxiety and depression (caused by anxiety).
Mentally, I am doing everything I can to be in the best place for my horse. I think it's easy to rely on horses as the place to sort of place all our baggage and to use it as a safe haven (and that's not wrong), but I think it's also important to address what is going on inside our brains and be introspective about what we are bringing to the table too. At times horses have been the only thing that's kept me going and for that I am truly grateful. I owe it to my horse to be the best partner I can be... stay tuned for Part 2 where we talk about physical fitness!