For the past few weeks things have been really, really difficult. A couple of days ago, I hit rock bottom. I had really turned that corner where everything was bad, negative, all I wanted to do was cry, scream, and hide under the covers.
I hadn’t had a ballet dream in ages. This past week, I had one. And it was awful. Everything about me was wrong. My feet were in pointes, but they were horrible, my legs were wrong, my hands looked like claws, I could not do what the other girls were doing. It was awful, so dreadful. I woke up shaking and crying. Writing about it now almost makes the tears come back.
I was not ok.
That day, I wrote a horribly negative email to a dear, wonderful friend. As I was writing that email, I saw that I had really gone around the bend and lost it. I had actually internalised and absorbed all the negativity around me, and it was clouding, poisoning my mind. That ugly, broken down ballerina in my dream was not me. It could not be. That bad dream personified my current state of mind, and as awful as it was, I am glad I had it. It made me realise that I had hit rock-bottom.
And that helped. Admitting to myself that I had lost it was the first step in starting to get things together again. I know it is a cliche, but after confronting the ugly ballerina, the only thing left for me to do was to find a way to leave it behind and climb my way out of the hole.
Yes, a lot of what is happening is due to external factors that cannot be changed at the moment. But I can’t, I absolutely CANNOT internalise it. I cannot bring it home with me. I cannot let it bring me down. I have to find a way to be strong enough shield myself against it.
Lorry at Bead 109 has written a very moving post that has really helped me in my quest to find my way out of the hole. She also tells about an inspiring Japanese custom:
“In Japan, there is place just outside of most of the temples to find your fortune but fear not if you get a bad one because there will be a place like this to tie the bad fortune and leave it behind…”
I have also tied a ribbon where my sadness is. I see it everyday. I acknowledge it. But I don’t take it with me. I acknowledge the ugly ballerina, the ball of negativity that I had absorbed, and I move on. I try to anyway.
Amidst all this, there are so many wonderful things. I am lucky enough to have the hubby, who is my best friend and my rock. My family are getting better, and I have made fantastic friends through twitter. The bad times are almost over, and it is up to me not to let it get to me again.
That dear friend on the receiving end of my emails told me to be kinder to myself… And yesterday, I did just that by taking some time and watching my Giselle DVD. It was wonderful. I find so much of myself in this ballet… I’ve never danced it, I never will. But there is something so me in that ballet. Watching it made me see a vague outline of myself again.
So this is it. A pledge for this week: I will be kinder to myself. I will surround myself with things that I love, and I will pull through.
This week, I will start to pull myself together again, and working towards finding my way back to the ballerina in my head, back to me.