When Danny first got sick, it was one in a series of disasters for me. I had a string of personal and professional challenges, all in a row, and unrelenting. I normally err on the side of optimism, to a sometimes annoying degree, but it got harder and harder to do so. I’m not an amazing sleeper, but I found myself having more and more restless nights, more than ever, more than other tough periods of my life. I’m a pretty high-energy person, but there started to be days where getting out of bed was a chore.

It got cyclical. I wanted to stay in bed and feel sad, so I exercised less. Fewer endorphins, less energy burned off. More sleepless nights, so more fatigue, so I wanted to get out and move even less. In that particular period of time, I was riding very little, because all of my horses decided to hurt themselves simultaneously, and I just didn’t have a ton to ride outside of my own string. I’d watch my peers ride at shows when I couldn’t, and in my dark state of mind, I saw their successes as my failure. Then I’d listen to the news, to stories of actual war and hardship, and I’d feel so pathetic and weak for not being able to endure the fact that, in my life of privilege as a healthy and educated person living in a stable democracy, I was having a hard time facing each day because my ponies were hurt.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!