Tag Archives: support

How terrible

12 Aug

I think everyone is still a little sad and shocked from yesterday. The death of Robin Williams is so tragic. There really are no words.

But people still try to say things. And the things that are pissing me off are the people who talk about his suicide as selfish and the people who talk about him not keeping a bit of the laughter he gave to others.

Clearly, these people are lucky to not have anyone in their lives that suffer from severe anxiety and/or depression. Because if they did, they would understand a little bit better and be a bit more sympathetic.

Depression lies. I’ve said it before, the Bloggess has said it before (and in a far better way than almost anyone can), Wil Wheaton has said it before, Allie has said it before. When you’re in a depths of an episode, you believe what your brain is telling you. And it’s not telling you the truth. And asking for help in that moment is the hardest thing to do. Even doing the one thing that could turn the downslide around seems impossible to do.

Selfish? No, what Robin Williams was not selfish. It was sad and tragic. My heart goes out to him that he felt nothing else could be done, that he felt so much pain that killing himself was the only way to end it.

Keep a piece of the laughter? Yes, he gave a lot of joy and laughter to others. But it’s not like he choose to not keep himself happy. This is an ILLNESS, people. When will our society start accepting mental illness as a real medical issue and start treating it as such?

I pray for his family and friends, all the people whose lives he touched. I pray that he now finds the peace that eluded him in life. I pray for anyone who has lost someone to this because this is probably bringing back all those feelings again. And I pray for anyone who is suffering from any sort of mental illness.

If you are one of them, like me and a lot of people I know, please get help. Call a professional if you can. Call the National Suicide Hotline. Call a friend. Even when nothing else seems possible, when all you can do is lie in bed and cry, please please please try to reach out to one person and say “I need you.”

And always remember, depression lies.

Here we go…

2 Aug

In October 2010, I moved back with my parents. Partially to help them out as they got their house ready to sell, and partially to save money. You see, I had a plan of how to reach some financial goals in terms of debt and retirement. So I had to spend as little as possible. But I needed to keep dancing. Yes, needed. I can’t imagine my life without it. So for four years, I lived on a cash-only basis, I didn’t go out much, I didn’t buy a lot of clothes, I ate out less, I put my stuff in storage and stayed with friends paying cheap rent. My target date, if all went according to plan, was July 1, 2014.

And you know what? I MADE IT. I’m now debt-free, I’ve looked at my retirement and savings and am track, and I have a habit of operating with cash only, no credit.

When I moved four years ago, I knew where I wanted to live when I was out on my own again. And I found an apartment in that complex. The rent is a little higher than I was planning on. But I readjusted my budget and just know that things will be a bit tighter for a short while. It’s worth, though, to live in a grown-up place in a neighborhood I love.

July was crazy. I moved. And after moving so many times (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and now 2014 – yikes), I know that moving is the most stressful thing I can do to myself. Luckily, I’ve had a lot of practice over the last few years in how to cope with it. Rule number one: Have professionals do the actual moving. Rule number two: Unpack as quickly as possible. I moved on a Wednesday morning and had the last things done on Saturday. BOOM.

And while money is tighter, it’s not horribly tight. I can still go out with friends, I can buy some clothes, and most importantly, I can still afford all my dancing. And I’m excited to live my life again! I’m in my own apartment, which hasn’t happened since 2010. I just feel like it’s all starting over, I get to be a grown-up again and not crash with friends. I really can’t describe how excited I am. I’ve been inspired to cook and bake again, and I’ve started going to the gym every day before work. (OK, it’s literally a two-minute walk door-to-door, so how can I not? But still…I’m there every morning!)

And I love my apartment! It’s got enough space but not so much that cleaning’s a pain. All my stuff fits in nicely, and there’s great storage too. The kitchen is fantastic, although I haven’t cooked with an electric stove and oven in years. But I’m adjusting to that.

I owe my parents and my friends a lot for letting me live with them and pay cheap rent. I can never describe to any of them what that support and help means to me. Without them, I would have had to stop dancing. And can you imagine me without dancing? That’d be one sad Cathy. Let’s not go back there, shall we?

I wish I was a better writer so I could convey just how energized I am now to do THINGS. I’m knitting again, I’m baking, I’m reading, I’m RUNNING again (right? yeah it’s been a while)…I am HAPPY. So very happy.


I’m lucky to have the friends I have

27 May

I have good friends. As in these-people-really-know-how-to-be-a-friend kind of good.

I feel especially that right because I’m having another stupid episode. The details don’t matter, but it’s a convergence of things happening that is making me feel insignificant. AGAIN. I’m so tired of fighting this stupid wiring in my brain on this shit. I hate that it’s a constant struggle. And while I know it’s just faulty wiring and I have many more tools to fight it than I used to, I still hate it. I would love to be carryfree and not an overanalyzer. (That’s a word.)

I’m lucky to have a therapist who is really good and who can help. I’m lucky to have friends who will put up with me when I hit these episodes. I never show how bad the episodes are – I rarely even talk about them here in any great detail – because I’m afraid that the next time will be the time no one wants to deal with it and I won’t have any friends anymore. Totally irrational fear. Based on some real past experiences.

So thanks, friends, for hanging in there with me. I feel so grateful that you haven’t left me yet. And don’t worry – I’ll pull myself out of this soon. Then we can have fun again.

Daily prompt: The first person

21 Jan

Daily prompt from January 18: Who was the first person you encountered today? Write about him or her.

This was the daily prompt on last Saturday. Saturday, my roommates were out of town, so I woke up to an empty house. I got up, got ready, had breakfast, drank coffee…all in complete solitude. If that sounds like a nightmare to you, you must be an extrovert. To an introvert, it’s ideal. (Read this article for a bit more insight.) Then I went to the dance studio for my lesson. And the first person I saw there? My teacher.

So…my dance teacher. I’ve said before that I’m extremely lucky. He is an excellent dancer and an even better teacher. His teaching style fits my learning style very well. He knows when and how to drag me outside my comfort zone and when to just leave it be for a bit. He has learned how to deal with my thinky place and whether (in his words) I need a kick in the pants or a hug to get out of it. (Sometimes he guesses the wrong solution. No one’s perfect.) He has seen me at my darkest, craziest place, and I still feel supported. It’s really the first time, outside of a romantic relationship, that someone has seen so much of that side of me and has not walked away. (It’s also the first time, outside of a romantic relationship, that I’ve shown someone so much of that side of me.) That means a lot to me.

He’s not perfect. He is extremely private, which can make conversation awkward at times if he feels it’s going to a place he doesn’t want it to be. He rarely missteps in dealing with people – when he does screw up, he feels very bad about it. We’ve had our arguments and our run-ins, and we’ve always been able to talk it out and move past it.

We do tend to debate on lessons. Not about dancing, but about stupid things. (The latest was the use of “you” vs “one”. I lost.) In the battle of words and wit, I lose. Always. I keep trying though.

He listens and is willing to sit down and talk about goals or issues or problems about dance. I’ve let him dictate what we work on when because he knows my goal (to be the best dancer I can be) and therefore he knows how best to get there. (One of our debates was about that goal. He says that my actions and manner tell him that my goal is to the best dancer. Period. Read about that here.)

I trust him 100%. Except when he compliments me. I’ve gotten much better at believing him. It was hard for a long time because I felt like it was his job to say those things. Then I realized that while part of his job is to keep me happy, he does NOT have to use those particular words.

He’s got a goofy sense of humor that I laugh at, sometimes because it’s just weird not because it’s funny. Other students sometimes say he’s too serious. I have not experienced that. He’s serious about dancing, but he tries to be a little goofy with me to help keep me from being too serious and thinky.

He changed my life as dancing has changed my life. Which is a topic for another day. For now, I’ll leave you with a picture (actually it’s a picture of a picture because I don’t have the electronic file) from our Lindy hop dance at showcase. It’s one of my favorite pictures.


I still thank the stars that I started dancing and that I got him as my teacher.

It didn’t get better

27 Nov

But then it did.

So when I last left you, I was starting to come out of my funk. But then, for whatever reason, I couldn’t sustain it. I fell back in the funk, and it got worse. On Tuesday, I took some medicine to help. It took the edge off a bit, but the anxiety kept creeping back up.

By Thursday, I was in horrible shape. My stomach was upset, I was incredibly nauseous, everything I ate made me want to throw up. That night, I talked to a friend of mine who is a GI doctor. He told me something I didn’t know: anxiety produces acid in the stomach. Even if you don’t feel heartburn, you can still have excess acid in your stomach. He suggested I try a Pepcid Complete to see if that helped. And it did. I took another anti-anxiety pill Thursday night.

I stayed home from work Friday. And I realized that morning that some of this anxiety was due to Showcase. I missed the last Showcase because of my broken foot. And apparently I had some doubts about whether I was good enough, about whether I could prove I was still a good dancer, about showing improvement since the last one I did a year ago. (To which my friend SP said “I don’t understand this ‘good enough’ you speak of”. And she’s right. Everyone is good enough. It’s just my stupid standards for myself.)

So I talked to my therapist Friday night and saw her Saturday morning. We talked about Showcase. And I just kept reminding myself about medal ball a few months ago. I was checking out of Bronze III, and at medal ball, I felt like every dance (all 4 of them) was going as perfectly as they could. There were mistakes of course, but I felt like I OWNED the floor. I really felt like I was a great dancer. So in thinking about Showcase, every time I got nervous or started thinking about being good enough, I just thought about medal ball.

I also realized that some of my anxiety was just from the fact that my ex-boyfriend has looked up my LinkedIn profile about 6 times in the last two months. It makes me miss him, and it makes me sad that we’re not together, even though it’s right we’re not together. So you know, once I had a good cry about that, I could move on.

Sunday morning I woke up for Showcase. And I was EXCITED. So excited! I felt I always feel on Showcase morning – like it’s Christmas morning.

And how did Showcase go? Like medal ball. I felt like I was a great dancer, I was happy with how I danced, it felt so amazing to be back dancing on that floor again. My teacher and I could not stop making jokes while we were dancing, just because I was so happy to be dancing and in such a good place that I couldn’t stop teasing him and being a smart-ass. And my parents came out to see me, which was nice. And a couple of my friends came out too, and their support means so much to me. I was so grateful for it.

So I’m doing much better now. SO MUCH BETTER. And I’m in that place again where I just want to LEARN ALL THE THINGS with dance now.

learn all the things

I just want to improve it all and fix everything. My teacher, of course, loves it when I’m at that place. I’m a lot easier to teach when I’m there versus the thinky place.

There were a few people who really got my through that week: MS, SP, SH, CS, DP, LS, and others. I’m lucky to have friends like that in my life.

And I’m so lucky that I’m happy with dancing again!!

Pissy rant ahead

17 Nov

Pissy rant ahead. But hang on til the end.

I’ve been in a horrible funk the last two weeks. I read blogs like “Hyperbole and a Half“, “The Bloggess” and Wil Wheaton’s, and I admire how open they can be about their struggles with mental illnesses. And I think we should all be that open about it. But I still want to hide that part of myself. I hate that part. I hate that my brain is wired for that. I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be cured of it. All I can do is try to manage it when it flares up.

Mine shows up as anxiety. I’ve learned A LOT over the last seven years or so how to cope with it and how to have less of it. Those of you who knew me 10 years ago can attest to that. But I still have it. Usually, I can tell what has triggered the latest episode. Then if I deal with the trigger, the anxiety goes away.

Sometimes, it takes a while for me to be able to figure out and deal with the trigger. Until then, the anxiety shows up as a lack of confidence in myself and in my value and worth to the world. Then it starts showing up as losing my sense of humor, making poor eating choices, and not being active.

A few weeks ago, I noticed an episode was starting. And I (still) have no idea what triggered it. And it slid down the slope so quickly, I never had a chance to catch it.

And it’s been awful. I had a long talk with a friend of mine about a week ago, and he was trying to help me figure it out and pull me out of it. God bless him. But nothing worked. But while talking to him, I heard myself saying things about how I hated being this person, I hate being around this person so how can I ask anyone else to be around me, nothing I do matters, I don’t know how I can contribute anything, blah blah blah. SIGH.

So here I was yesterday, still in a funk, still feeling anxious. I slept about 3 hours Friday night (I love it when my old friend insomnia comes back). I’ve had a ball of knots in my stomach for about a week. I’ve been unable to stop eating crappy food – way too much sugar consumed lately. And all I could think about was what was wrong in my life.

I kept mentally going over the list…

I’m overweight
My foot still bothers me sometimes where I broke it
I don’t have enough money
I’m tired
My cardio stamina has not come back fully from my foot and my bronchitis
Who would want to hang out with me really?
I have nothing to offer anyone

And it spirals from there.

Now, the rational part of my brain knows this is not true. It knows that there are lots of things I can offer. But as the Bloggess says, depression (or anxiety) lies. Your brain tries to tell you differently, and it’s wired to believe it.

So yesterday, I had a dance lesson first thing. I went to it exhausted and drained and anxious. (Thankfully not anxious about my dancing.) It was an OK lesson. My teacher and I got a bit short with each other, mainly because I was pissy. Which made my responses to what he was saying be short. And he was trying to pull me out of it by giving me a kick in the pants. Which sadly this time did not help me. So I was getting more and more frustrated with myself. Not thinky. Just frustrated about being THIS PERSON on my lesson and in my life. And wanting to get over it but not knowing how because all the tricks I have weren’t working.

I left the studio and was going to go to the gym. I got into my car and immediately burst into tears because I was so frustrated with myself. But also, I clearly needed to process something. I’m still not sure what. So I cried in my car for about 10 minutes. Once I stopped crying, I decided that I was too tired and emotional to go workout. Probably not the right decision but this is what anxiety does to me. Instead, I decided to be a productive member of society and run a crap ton of errands.

Then I had about an hour to kill before group class. The only reason I went to group class was because I knew my friend CS was going to go, and we usually have lunch afterwards. I knew it’d be good to hang out with her, so I knew I would go to group class. To kill time beforehand, I went to my favorite coffee shop. I finished reading the book for book club next week. Then I had about 20 minutes to kill.

Then I thought about this blog I follow. I think the author writes to remember the good times in life, not the bad. Maybe I’ve been doing the opposite and have been focusing on the bad and the negative. I am Irish after all. So what if I deliberately tried to focus on the good things?

So I decided to start a list. Brainstorm what is good in my life…physical, emotional, talents, gifts, anything positive. No censoring except for censoring out the bad and the negative. Just write.

So I did. And you know what? I had two things on it: I have great hair (yes, I’m vain about it, it’s the only thing I’m vain about) and I can dance.

Again, I know there are a lot more things. That’s just how deep the anxiety hole is right now – I can’t even see the rest.

So I went to group, which was fine. Then me and CS went to lunch with her husband MS and our friends SH and SH. And it was actually a fun lunch. I started to enjoy myself a bit, which I haven’t been able to do much recently. Then we split off for the day. I had an appointment to have my hair colored. So I went to the awesome Jennifer, and she colored it. I love seeing her for my hair. She pushes me to try new things but in a very gentle way because she knows me. I enjoy chatting with her. And she makes me feel beautiful. This time, she added slightly more red to the color. And when she dried it, she curled my hair. So I had fancy hair, which made me feel so good.

Then I met SP for dinner. She really wanted a doughnut, but we couldn’t find parking near Glam Doll. So we ended up at Butter, and I could feel myself relaxing more and more the more we talked. I got to hear all about her most recent trip, we talked a little about my issue the last few weeks, and then we just caught up. I always have a good time with her! Afterwards I needed groceries and she did too, so we went grocery shopping together. And we ended up making fun of so much stuff in the store. Like the Barbies. And the Twister Skip game. And trying to find window insulating kits. Which we walked by about 3 times before we asked someone for help. And the how to speak Wookie toy. And the sandwich post-it notes. And the Christmas music samplers. Oh good, we laughed for about 30 minutes straight, I think.

And by the end of the day, after crying a little and seeing Jennifer who made me feel pretty and laughing with SP, I felt so much better. I slept all night and have had a productive day so far today. Laundry’s done (almost), food is made for next week, bills are paid. I still have a little knot in my stomach. But I’m hoping I can cling to how I felt last night and this morning, and just keep building on that.

Because I hate being the anxious insecure person. And I want to be who I normally am now. And I will fight to get back there.

Because Showcase is next weekend!!! And I’m ready for it. And I will ROCK IT.

I saw this on Facebook on Friday and need to have a giant version of this framed:

Don't stand in your way

Because really, I am and I do. And I need to get out of my own way.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done

1 Sep

On Wednesday, I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My friend LS and I took our friend to her chemo treatment.

And that was so hard to sit through.

I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I knew it’d be tough. I just had no idea HOW tough. To see all these people getting the infusions, knowing that each one was fighting cancer. And to watch my friend sit through that and be able to see her energy get zapped from the drugs. I almost broke down about 3 times. But that day wasn’t about me, so I kept it in.

I can’t imagine the strength it takes to fight that. And to deal with the aftermath of it in terms of the physical and emotional reactions to the drugs. I don’t know if I would have that kind of strength. I’m sure a person finds it if they have to, but it would be so hard to fight for so long.

(This is where you see my petty side.) I don’t know if I would have the outpouring of support and encouragement that my friend has had. I’m so thankful she’s had that! But because I don’t reach out and connect with people like she does, I don’t know that I would have that. And on Wednesday, as she was sitting there and her phone was lighting up time and time again, I felt a bit envious. And then bad for feeling envious. I luckily avoided the thinky place about it. But it’s just a difference in personalities – I have a few friends because I’m shy and quiet, she has lots of friends because she’s so confidant and outgoing. I know the friends I do have would be supportive. I just sometimes get envious of people who have lots of friends. Or a core group of friends. But I’m thankful for the friends I do have!

End pettiness section.

So I pray often for my friend and her battle with cancer. Her prognosis is good. And we’ve become closer as a result of this, I think. Which is awesome because she means a lot to me. And I will go to any other chemo treatment or any procedure or doctor’s appointment she needs me to be at without any problem. I hope she knows that. And that she can ask for anything from me. Because I want to help her fight this and beat it!

What I did on my summer vacation

12 Jun

Or at least what I did the last six weeks that I haven’t been able to do anything like run. Or bike. Or dance. Or wash dishes. Or knit. Well, OK, it was just the last two weeks I couldn’t wash dishes or knit, but still. Annoying. But really, what else can you do when you look like this?


So what DID I do?

I went on a boat ride on Lake Minnetonka with people from the dance studio. It was fun, but it was the day after my surgery so it was a bit exhausting. I got a bit crabby, but I think it was that I was annoyed with the surgery. I was back to feeling that my life was on hold AGAIN, like I did after I broke my foot.

I started going to church again on a regular basis. I had kinda fallen out of that practice, but I really felt the need to go back. So I did, and it was great. And I started doing some bible study with two friends of mine. Which has been really interesting.

I saw a bunch of friends. I tried to stay busy and keep an active social life, since I wasn’t at the studio much and that’s a big part of my social life. I had dinner with friends, watched Sunday night PBS with MH. I saw “The Great Gatsby” with my book club. I went to Showcase. I had coffee with friends.

I worked some overtime at my day job. It’s our busy time of year, and it was completely my choice to do it. But it helped me stay ahead at work and not get so stressed. Plus I get time-and-a-half, so why not?

I dogsat for my friend WH again. She got a new cat (that makes two cats and two dogs), and the new cat THINKS he’s a dog. But look at that face!


So stinkin’ cute. I’m not much of a cat person AT ALL, but he was hard to resist. Especially when he demanded to sit on my lap and then fell asleep.

I watched TV. I caught up on Foyle’s War, rewatched Arrested Development and watched the new season, I caught up on Psych, I watched more of the West Wing, I watched all of House of Cards, I watched some past Project Runway, and I started a new series (well, not new, it aired on BBC around 10 years ago) called Monarch of the Glen. Thank you, Netflix and Hulu. You really helped me get through the last 6 weeks.

I knew I was starting to feel better because I felt like reading this past weekend. I read “The Devil in the White City”. If you haven’t read it, and you like mysteries, read it. It was really good. A little creepy because, you know, serial killers and all. But it’s well-written and a very interesting story. That’s not a story, really, as it’s describing about stuff that really happened. Non-fiction! That’s the phrase I was looking for.

And I thought. A lot. A LOT. Me with nothing to do and no physical activity leads to thoughts. Thankfully, not the thinky place. But thoughts. I realized I like working out. And I actually like running. *Shudder* Well, I like the way I feel after working out. So I know it’s important. And I know it really helps with my mental attitude. I also realized that when I go back to dance, I want to have more fun. I don’t want to get frustrated with me or my progress or my teacher. But a lot of that starts with me and my attitude. I want to just enjoy it. I want to enjoy that I’m there, enjoy that I can do it (now that I know what not doing it feels like), enjoy that I can do it well, and enjoy just the whole process. I still want to be good; I’m still driven in that regard. But I don’t want to forget to have fun. So I need to remind myself of that each and every time I go to the studio until it doesn’t need to be a conscious thought anymore.

Oh, and I also drank. And gained a few pounds. Because, you know…not doing the normal amount of physical activity coupled with sitting and doing nothing except watch TV can lead to that.

But…starting Monday, I can ease back into running. THANK GOD. Tomorrow I’m going to try biking. And then one week from today, I get to DANCE again.

Showcase without dancing

21 May

Sunday was Showcase.

As we all know, Showcase is my two favorite days of the year. I love that day. I absolutely love performing, and Showcase is when I let it all go and just enjoy it. At Showcase, I KNOW and BELIEVE that I’m an excellent dancer. The other 363 days of the year, I kinda know and believe.

But I broke my foot. So I couldn’t dance at Showcase. I thought long and hard about it. Should I still go and cheer on my friends? Or would it be just too difficult to go and not dance at all? I decided that it’d be worse to not go and be completely left out. So I went.

This Showcase, there were so many people participating that they had to start 2 hours earlier than normal. Which meant for a super long day. So I had to develop some strategies. What if I got tired? What if I got completely overwhelmed? Showcase is held at a hotel, so I decided that if I totally needed a break, I could go to the hotel bar and just chill, maybe watch the NHL hockey game. I brought my knitting in case I got tired just sitting there. I brought snacks. And I decided that I would be there for others and not for myself. I also deliberately had very low expectations of the staff. I knew that they would be very busy and focused on their students that were dancing, so I didn’t think any of them would realize how tough of a day that was for me.

When I got there, I let my friends know that if they needed help getting in and out of their dresses to just let me know. I would be everyone’s personal assistant. I told some of the staff that too. I videotaped some performances for a friend of mine. I got a Diet Coke for my friend MK when she needed it.

And I was so surprised by my friends. I guess I assumed they’d be like the staff and worried about themselves. But so many of them came up to me and checked in with me throughout the day. LS, SH, MK, CS, KB, CK…they all took time to make sure I was OK. They knew how hard it was for me.

And the staff….oh, our wonderful staff. Some of them checked in with me once or twice. My teacher, who I think usually has the most students participating, started the day by giving me a huge hug and letting me know that he was sad I wasn’t dancing. And he did little things to acknowledge me and the difficulty I was facing a few times throughout the day. Once again proving how awesome he is and how lucky I am to have him as my teacher.

So the day actually went quicker than I had thought, and I had a lot more fun than I was anticipating. I only had one breakdown where I started crying, and that was during the Bronze III and Bronze IV open freestyles. Luckily, my awesome friends were there for me during that. On the plus side too, it’s a hell of a lot easier to go to the bathroom in regular jeans than in a ballgown!

But then the dinner came. And the dinner is followed by social dancing. I was nervous for that…how would it be to sit there while my whole table was out on the floor? Plus, my teacher gives cards to every student of his who participated that day. The card is usually waiting at your spot at the dinner table. I didn’t participate, so how would it feel to not get a card?

Again, my teacher surprised me by having a card for me that had very nice things in it. I was touched by that. And MK, SP and CS were at my table, and none of them were out on the floor all at once. So I actually had probably the funnest Showcase dinner I’ve ever had.

And I danced! Shhhhhh, don’t tell my doctor. I just felt that I couldn’t go all the way through Showcase without one dance. So I told my teacher that if a slow rumba came on and he’d be OK dancing basics with me, I’d give it a whirl. So a bolero came on, to which you can do a very slow rumba. So we did! And it went OK. My teacher was laughing because I had really good Cuban motion on one side of my body. I think our studio owner got a picture of me dancing with my cast on, but I don’t have a copy yet. Oh well. It felt so good to be dancing, even if it was only one slow rumba. And I kinda proved to myself that I haven’t forgotten and won’t forget everything about dancing. I’ll just need to get strength back in my ankle.

So overall, it was a great day. I’m still sad I didn’t get to dance, but I know I’ll be back for November’s Showcase. And I’m determined to rock that day.

Here are some pictures of my some of my awesome friends in their sparkly dresses…

photo 3
KB, SH, LS, JT…a bit blurry

photo 1

SH, LS, and KB

photo 4

MS and CS

These are just a few of the amazing friends I have that helped me get through that day. They are the best. And they made Showcase a heck of a lot better than it easily could have been.

Healing is depressing

14 May

So we all know I broke my foot. And as far as breaks go, it’s not a bad break to have. It’ll heal in about six weeks total, it should heal without complications, I have a walking air cast and not a hard plaster cast, I can still walk, I can drive. All in all, it’s not too bad.


The activity restriction is killing me. No working out except upper body strength training. No running or cardio of any sort. No dancing. I didn’t realize how active of a person I had become. I like to move.

But more than that…it helps my mental health, I now realize. Without the cardio, I don’t sleep as well, I’m more cranky, I’m more depressed.

And what will my foot and ankle be like when the cast comes off? How much will they have atrophied, and how long will it take to get back to 100%?

Friday night, I was watching an episode of Call the Midwife. (Which is a great show, by the way.) And sometimes, my eyes tear up when watching. But Friday, I just started crying…almost sobbing. At which point I realized that this was not all about the show. So I talked to my therapist about it.

Turns out, I’m depressed. And frustrated. And angry. Everything is harder with my foot. Grocery shopping takes longer and more effort. Walking is harder and more fatiguing because I’m using muscles differently. Healing takes a lot of energy, so I’m more tired. I don’t have the energy in the evenings.

And then I get worried…am I reverting to being a fat sloth again? Am I healing or am I simply going back to old ways of sitting on my ass and not doing anything?

My therapist tried to get me to give myself permission to rest. And also to try talking to myself that this behavior is just for the six weeks of healing. Once the cast is gone and I start to get use of my foot back, the behaviors will start to fade too. And I’ll get back to being the active person I once was.

But the other thing is I feel lonely. One, because I don’t have energy so I’m not going out much. But two, I’m not dancing. And being at the studio as much as I normally am makes for a big part of my social life. And I feel left out. I’ve stopped in a few times and will continue to do so. But it’s not the same. I went to the party last Thursday night. And it was great to see people and talk to people and people seemed glad to see me. But it was also really really hard to be there and not dance. And I know that it’s better for me not to dance at all to make for a faster recovery. It’s so hard though. And then when the party’s done, I go home and know I won’t be able to participate for a while.

Plus Showcase is Sunday. And you all know that Showcase for me is like Christmas. I’ve thought long and hard about whether I should still go and support everyone else. It will be so hard. But I think I’d feel worse if I skipped it entirely. So I’ll go. I’ll go knowing that it’ll be a really hard day. But I’ll try to focus on my friends and supporting them.

This is all so hard. I’m trying to tell myself that it’s all short-term and that in another month I’ll have my cast off. I’m trying to tell myself that thank God it’s temporary and not for life. I’m trying to tell myself that others have it far worse than I do. I’m trying to tell myself that once I get back to healthy, I’ll be the same active person I was before this happened. I’m trying to tell myself that I’ll dance again (and soon), and when I do, I’ll be at the level I was at. I’m trying to tell myself this will pass and will pass soon.

But right now, it just sucks.

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