My 15-year-old, and I had an amazing experience with Equine Therapy at Courageous Connections. Six weeks after my surgery to remove bilateral breast cancer and one week after my teenager's release from Psychiatric Inpatient Care following a suicide attempt, we were fortunate to spend a Saturday morning together doing Equine Therapy. My kiddo connected with Mason, and I could see that he was deeply at ease, more so than he had been in years, since weathering the perfect storm of going puberty during the isolation of Covid.
I too, felt more worthy as a human being during and since those moments of communing with such magnificent beasts. Breathing with Izzy was a powerful exercise for me. One that reminded me how anxious I am, and how I sometimes don't allow myself the luxury of slowing down and being present, when in fact, it's a necessity. And for the horses, it's just a way of life. I have thought of Izzy and those moments of peace a lot this last week as I've begun radiation treatment and am already exhausted. They are a fabulous reminder that it is OK to just BE sometimes, that it is part of taking care of myself, which isn't easy when I have other people to take care of. Before our horse experience, I felt like I had to close myself off to my teenager's struggles in order to take care of myself, but there's been a shift. And we are able to just BE in each other's presence again, like we used to.
Hours after the experience, my troubled teen and I sat on our back porch talking about his future, the idea of him studying Farrier school and/or equine massage therapy, and short-term plans to build the bridge to where he sees himself going. He said I feel like I'm having a Transcendent experience. We have been doing so much to try and support this kiddo, changing schools, finally finding a new mental health therapist, switching medication, and fun things too, but the experience with your horses brought Evan out of their heads in a way that nothing else really has so far. My sunny kid is happy again for the first time in so long.
Reconnecting with my child this way, made me realize how hard my breast cancer diagnosis must have been for him, on top of all his own struggles. I am so grateful to you all.
Contributing Author: Lenore Sharp