Today I am celebrating my 100th post. When I reflect on my earlier posts I realise how far I have come in my journey towards healing.
Writing has given me a place in which to commit my thoughts and feelings to paper. This has helped put a stop to thinking and rethinking things, thoughts, events and people. I have it on paper and if I ever feel the need to refer back or remind myself of lessons learned, well it’s there.
This has freed up my mind as well as my heart. It has created a space for discovery;- discovering myself and the world around me. Although this is scary and challenging, it is most definitely rewarding. Some days it takes so much effort and willpower to continue along this path, but I do it, because I know how desperate, despondent and hopeless I feel when I am in my ‘dark space’.
A month ago I made the decision to take up ballroom and latin dancing. I had done ballet and jazz dancing in my school days and so I knew that dancing was one of my passions. However, I have felt in recent years that my body has let me down and so in some kind of illogical reciprocation, I let my body down too.
I’ve wanted to dancing again for so long, but the fear of embarrassing myself as well as being ridiculed for thinking that I could dance, were always overriding factors.
What if I looked like an idiot?
What if I froze up and didn’t know what to do?
What if people thought I was stupid?
What if my family and friends thought I had lost my mind?
What if I looked disgusting?
What if no one wanted to dance with me?
What if? What if? What if?
I just couldn’t shake these negative thoughts. Then a month ago it dawned on my; this is my life, so what if I really wanted to dance but never did? What would that feel like? What would it feel like to have given up on myself? What would it feel like to never use one of my talents ever again? What would it feel like to have wasted my years of dance training?
What if I succeeded and began to enjoy movement again? What if I my body responded well and I began to appreciate my body again? What if I picked up the steps and technique really quickly and fellow dancers wanted to dance with me? What if I really, really enjoyed myself?
It was the concept of enjoying myself that scared me the most. Did I deserve to enjoy myself? Had I earned the right to enjoy myself? I had gone for so long without valuing myself that I questioned anything I felt to be self-indulgent.
For those who don’t have mental health issues, these may seem straightforward questions with simple answers. However for those of us with mental health challenges these are monumental questions with terrifying challenges and life changing implications.
Putting on a daily mask and pretending to be happy had become my super talent. I suppose this was good way in which to be highly functioning with bipolar personality disorder, however it did not change the turmoil I constantly found within myself. In fact it often exacerbated my inner chaos.
Thankfully with the continued help and support of my therapist and my family, I have begun to accept who I am, acknowledge my weaknesses and also my strengths. I have also found the determination to face my challenges head on.
Last night I learned a piece of samba choreography and danced the foxtrot with two strangers. At first I felt intimidated, then nervous, then OK, then confident and finally just happy!
I am dancing again!
I love the symbolism of the hummingbird; –
Always actively seeking the sweetest nectar, they remind us to forever seek out the good in life and the beauty in each day. The prime message of the hummingbird is: “The sweetest nectar is within!”