It is a remarkable thing when your life has been flipped upside down. But it was then when it all started.
The best part of a long road to recovery is the new idea of what normal looks like. From being labeled obsessive, depressed and agoraphobic, to finding solace and hope in new friends, to being able to go camping in an old horse trailer with my favorite female veterinarian to 1) having open access to the comfort of a functioning peripheral artery, and 2) truly forming a new family, all that and more came true. All as a result of my fear.
It was while my condition, along with severe media scrutiny, began to take a toll on my health, finances and family life that my father’s integrity became more important than the amount of lives I was putting at risk. As much as he wanted to try to be a godparent to his grandchild, he realized it would be better for me if he simply became a friend. And so it is I find myself on the road to recovery—not where I thought it would be in the beginning, but a place where I can pursue my dream of working as a professional horse trainer and which I wish to make stronger than ever. I no longer feel like I need to drown in excuses because life just seems so much better in the saddle.
There are still a few obstacles left on the road to recovery. At this point, the truth is I still might not be completely recovered from my traumatic injury, but I am at least in the “closed gate” phase where I no longer need to avoid certain areas because I might trip and fall—or have an accident that involves my heart. But the openness of my brain has returned and I’m just waking up every morning wanting to train and to live life. Even through a severe transition in my life, no injury can rob me of hope.
Rehabilitation is all about controlling the worst parts of the process. On the way back to a new “normal,” I realized that I needed to take it slower than I had. I decided I would hit many small but important milestones instead of trying to go back to the way it was. And I did so by filling in the emptiness in my life by filling in the holes in my daily life, and by living my life in my own (hopefully) perfect way. And my life is better because of it.