And one thing she credits this to? Therapy.
“I believe in that and talking about where you are,” the 24-year-old told the publication.
“It was the best thing I could have done. Everything I cared about, I stopped caring about. I came out, and it felt like, ‘OK, I can only go forward.’”
During her three-month stint at the Tennessee Centre, she also took part in equine therapy – an alternative treatment that uses interactions with horses to help promote emotional growth and communication skills in patients.
“I remember feeling like Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted that day,” she recalled. “I was dressed in black – like full-on emo – and I was being dramatic.”
“There were three horses to choose from, and naturally I went for the emotionally unavailable one…”
“I felt very angry and had a lot of stress in my body and the horse took off, completely left,” she continued. “And I just kept getting more angry and frustrated. The horses can really sense your energy.”
Yup, it might sound crazy but it's actually a thing. According to Equestriantherapy.com, horses have the ability to respond to unspoken cues and actions and “give feedback” and “mirror” the rider’s behaviour, attitude and emotion.
“After trying multiple times, the therapist looked at me and said, ‘You know what? I need you to take the nice, sweet, kind, available horse. I want you to accept what you have in front of you,’” she added. “I took a lot of deep breaths, walked around the stable, and by the time I came back, I felt completely settled in a ‘that’s enough’ sort of way.”
Today, Selena looks back on the unique experience as totally life-changing.
“I’m the kind of person who goes home and thinks, ‘Maybe I didn’t do enough,’ or I feel like I wasn’t enough, and those are the things you can’t focus on. It comes back to the idea of being present.”
“That was four years ago. A lot has changed. I feel a lot more centred, more accepting,” she said.