My friends, my lifestyle, my interests and my sanity are just a few things in a very long line of things mental illness stole from me but in the process I found out something about myself, a new skill I didn’t know I had and ultimately my passion – I can dance!
I always believed my dancing replicated that of an epileptic spider 🕷 so when my father suggested and then took me to my first dance class in February 2016 I wanted to hide. “I can’t dance dad” I cried in horror as we walked into the class. I was speechless.. all these people could dance as I turned around I saw him leaving the room. I was horrified as I stepped on to the dance floor with the instructor that was looking after me.
He asked me if I was alright. My knees felt like they’dcollapse under me as they began to shake. Wondering if I was making a mistake and whether or not to run straight back through the doors I came in. “I I can’t dance!” I exclaimed. He stared at me “I bet you can” and that was it .. the dancing began.
After learning the sequence for the night the instructor looked at me. A puzzled look spread across his face “I thought you said you couldn’t dance” I looked at him “I can’t” I muttered.
That was all it took for me to be hooked. I danced every Thursday doing the beginner class, the review and the freestyle class (3-4 hour sessions) for four months. I was training to compete in the beginner comps at the end of July (2016) unfortunately due to a string of tragic events – a broken arm, appendicitis, surgery, stomach problems and chronic undiagnosable stomach problems followed by a bout of chronic depression and my mental health hitting an all time low I stopped dancing.
Today on Thursday January 12 2017 surrounded by some old and even new dancing buddies, I laced my ballet slippers and stepped out onto the dance floor for he first time in 6 months and danced my heart out all night long. It felt amazing to be able to dance again and it’s such a therapeutic thing to do. I’m re training to compete in the beginners comps in March for 2017. Nothing will stand in the way of that. My father spent months asking me whether I’d abandoned my dancing to which I spent months promising him that I would eventually. Today I looked at him, saw the look of pride on his face (for the first time since my OD in December 2016) as I stood up, looked him in the eye and with a smile as I laced my ballet shoes “Today’s the day” I thought as I said “Daddy I will dance again”