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Why Missing the Little Things Can Feel Like a Big Deal During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Editor's Note

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Social distancing and COVID-19 is hard on just about everyone. Whether you’re temporarily out of work, going to school, or just missing friends and family, we’re struggling. On top of that, many people with disabilities and/or illnesses are missing therapy, getting medicine from the pharmacy, doctor appointments, etc. If we’re being real, this virus has affected our independence.

For me, it has also taken my special place: horses. I grew up riding horses on my grandparents’ farm where there was no indoor arena and riding was seasonal. Depending on how muddy it was, I could still see them, though. As a child, I was doing equine therapy without realizing it. It wasn’t until middle school that I recognized how much riding was helping me. I began to be bullied and left out of just about everything my friends did. At that point, I owned a horse named Kaleena and she was my best friend for seven years. In the midst of my preteen and teenage years when the bullying occurred, she showed me a place where I felt like I wasn’t disabled — riding on her back.

I was 16 when I lost Kaleena. It took me three years to get back on a horse, but when I did, I felt like I fit in again. I’ll be honest, I haven’t ridden a horse in over a year. But I volunteer at a local equine-assisted learning center, so I’m still around them, which is just as good.

I have a feeling I’d be doing at least a bit better with social distancing if I had a horse around, but I currently don’t have that ability. I believe I’m not the only one who’d be more all right if they just had that one thing. It’s OK to not be OK and it’s OK to procrastinate on stuff as long as it gets done sometimes. Whatever you’re struggling with right now because of coronavirus, just remember you are not alone.

For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community:

Getty image by Anna Elizabeth Photography.

Originally published: May 3, 2020
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