Health & Dreams

5-23-10                 4:28pm

I feel so overwhelmed today. The tension is so high I have to breathe through my mouth or my face just might explode. My cheek bones hurt.

I caught the early bus, the one that takes twice as long to the trolley. I can’t stand it in my house or around my mom. She drives me nuts. I don’t know when she forgot how to have fun or started believing fun is bad. But no matter what I do it’s wrong to her, makes her mad. (Our bus driver doesn’t know where she’s going.)

I knew today would be difficult because the last two were wonderful. I had two healthy days. And in those days I did a ton of stuff. I went to a ROCO meeting, toured Edgemoor, saw my neuro, ate Chinese food twice, sang at the gospel festival, went out to dinner, attended a suicide conference, got my hair cut, went to Body Rock and enjoyed The Shout House. I walked farther than I usually can. My body didn’t hurt. I lifted things, felt happy, had energy. I even took the stairs at the Civic several times. I felt normal. I felt happy.

Going to Body Rock last night was an exposure. I’ll admit I cried through the first number and wanted to leave but I’m glad that I stayed. I had a great time. I’m proud of myself. I did something new, out of my comfort zone, sat through the anxiety and enjoyed it. And I went to The Shout House and sang. It was great. I hadn’t been there since my 21st birthday. On the way home I was gifted a horrible headache that made it hard to breathe, but the night was worth it. So were the days.

I woke up today feeling calm and happy. Warm sun feels good now on my back. I feel trapped. A good friend posted on FB last night about giving up her dream. I want to help her, to listen, but I can’t if she won’t let me. I need that magic dress. Not being able to do anything hurts. My body feels heavy. I tingle. I just can’t get it out of me. If I could tell her anything it would be not to give up her dream. She might not get it back.

As I watched Body Rock I needed to dance, and having two mostly symptom-free days I let my mind wander, hope. I thought about dancing again, taking classes, performing, watching shows. All the stuff that I love. It seemed possible. Just maybe I could have that again. It didn’t escape me that 2 days is 2 days, but it felt good just to dream.

When I gave up performing I didn’t think it would be forever. I don’t mean singing in a choir. I mean being a star. I didn’t think that I couldn’t have it back. That I would see myself someday singing at the bar of The Shout House just to sing. I didn’t see that. It’s kind of like giving your child voluntarily to the foster care system and just hoping they treat it well. It will never be the same. They say going back to school is harder the longer you’re out. It’s nothing compared to losing or hiding or pausing a dream. Because the dream never goes away. It haunts me. I’m different now, but it’s still the same dream.

I keep thinking of the Rainer Maria Rilke wisdom from “Letters to a Young Poet” that if when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing then you’re a writer. Or of dancing you’re a dancer, etc. When I don’t do what I am I’m not happy. And when I’m not happy, I’m not me.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

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