Glandular fever.

Glandular fever.
CRUEL IRONY.
Ain’t no one been kissin’ this girl!
Day 1 – Feel like death, killer muscle aches & sore throat like I’ve *never* had before. Throwing up & fevers of 39+

Day 2 – Continues…well where is the rest of the flu then, bring it on, never had a flu before. But still no sneezing coughing or runny nose, it’s like a half flu! Must be a 48 hour virus.

Day 3 – Ok it’s a 72 hour virus. How much weight can I lose. Norovirus lost me 4 kilos. Wonder if I can get out of bed yet…hm I CAN. I mustn’t be sick then! Everyone says when they have the flu they CAN’T get out of bed. Look at me go! I don’t have the flu! I’M NOT SICK!
I srsly believed this.
Lots of stuff to do around home before I go back to work tomorrow. Better go to rehearsal tonight.

Day 4 – What?! I thought there was nothing wrong with me?! This is a really long 24 hour bug! Back in bed, 48 hours of fever, cue my mum googling extensively is it better to let a fever run to ‘burn’ out the virus or to take Panadol… Mum the old-school nurse wins, no Panadol. Dad makes & delivers chicken soup to me!  (Along with 1kg of tinned peaches!? It’s now week 7 and I have 3kg of tinned peaches in my cupboard..)

Day 7 – I can get up! Yaaay I’M NOT SICK! Better go to the supermarket! Gee I feel TIRED. But I’m still standing, not sick like yesterday so…carry on.

Day 8 – As a very allergic person I have sneezed a lot in my life. But this was insane, *never* like this! Back to bed, pretty sure I’m going to die. Ok…I accept this IS the flu, the whole flu, not a halfie.
My body is screaming at me YOU ARE SICK but I scream right back at it: THE PLANTS ARE DYING! The house is a mess! Someone has to cook! I’ll just do it really quickly. Am I shaking? Is the world moving or am I woozy? Better lie down.

Day 9 – Move in to mum n dads, just for a night or two…famous last words.
Midnight: *coughcough* *coughCOUGH*…*coughoughcoughcoughcoughcough* repeat ad infinitum
Rest of the household: silently thinking STOP…..COUGHING….>.<!!!!!! They deny thinking this of course, but this is because they are kind.
Coughing is exhausting and you discover muscles you didn’t know you had, and to give those ones a break you find different ones until your entire torso is in crazy workout pain. But uncontrollable spasm continues.
Prayer from mum and probably many others, the spasm slows and soon leaves me for good.

Doctor thinks it could be glandular fever.
How silly of her, my glands are fine! lol. Must be an overly cautious & thorough doctor.
But I nod and smile. She is aghast at my throat. I think: Oh how sweet to find a doctor that is caring and still able to be shocked. Even when there’s obviously nothing wrong with me.
Srsly that’s what I believed!
Off to get bloods taken, I’m going to quiz the nurse on GF. The second I meet her I like her! Older, reassuring. Kindness emanates from her even though we both know after 5 minutes we’ll never see the other again. Difficulty finding a vein, “Luckily we’re not in a rush”, she says firmly. (wohooo for nurses who don’t rush!) I promptly state it’s very unlikely to be glandular fever.
Nurse: Why is that?
Me: I’m simply not sick enough.
Nurse: How sick do you want to be?
Me: *stunned* Touché.
Hm. In hindsight I have been really sick even tho I didn’t let myself think so at the time. What more *did* I expect?
You don’t seem surprised, she said when she couldn’t get the blood. Uhh..I never seem anything, that’s just my usual ninja face. lol
Back to the car, burst into tears. I didn’t even think I was sick, I only just accepted it is the flu and now it might be GF, what the heck even is it?!

GF means I wouldn’t be able to dance & might have to miss the next salsa workshops and that is horrifying as it’s one of my only joys (joy here meaning bittersweet joy followed by deep deep turmoil making you question if it was ever worth it in the first place…lol, see multiple posts below). So I take that thought and all the feelings surrounding it and I put it in a little box and put that box away and choose to feel nothing instead. This is a dysfunctional ability that has taken years to perfect, I don’t recommend it lol.

Bloods test negative for GF. White cells nasty, CRP 30 which everyone was shocked by but I see them in the 100’s at work so thought nothing of it. I move back to my home. But having to get out of bed to DO so much (read: shower & eat) is making me weak, shaky and dizzy. Awake at 5AM with muscle aches. WHAT?! I thought I wasn’t sick anymore! Thought I was getting better! Cue sobbing. Wish I had my canine friend Collie to cuddle. <24 hrs since going home I’m back staying at mum n dads 😛 lol
Sleeping 14 hours a night and waking up only to think Gah! Why did I wake up?! NOOOO go back to sleep I’m so tired! And then sleeping during the day.

Doctor, I thought I was getting better but why do I still have symptoms after 3 weeks, I’m so tired and every time I start to feel better I do a little more ie 10 minute walk, pace of a caterpillar, feeling like a dead weight, and then I get tired and if I don’t stop then I get sick.
“Post viral fatigue” is caused by a number of different viruses & happens when you don’t rest enough during the initial phase. Another blood test for GF as sometimes the first one is a false result. This nurse is efficient. I become a task, not a person. Wow, the power of a 5 minute interaction. That’s the power I hold too as a nurse and as a person.

Ballroom classes – in a studio with mirrors. Now I can see myself. Strange. Why am I different. I do what I feel is movement – leg action, hip movement, arm lifting. Yet I look up and see barely anything, the barest trace of movement. So used to this silent squashing am I that I’ve forgotten what it’s like, that the tiniest of pushing outward feels so loud yet is so small. These closed lines are written deep. Why do I look and feel locked in a strange body that is so uncomfortable. What is this massive disconnect between my mind and my body. The distance. This body feels like a stranger to me. I’m not at home and it shows. I feel locked.
Years of hatred, believing myself to be ugly, telling myself to disappear, to squash down, to be invisible, have settled deep right down into my bones. Carved out these stilted lines. This person who doesn’t know how to BE.
I leave class feeling I am this awkward and heavy thing. This thing, this body I carry with me attached to me is so devoid of any life. It is dull and dead. The others have this lightness, a bounce and energy to their being, their dancing. I try and mimic it but I feel a dead weight.
As I slowly sift through this new journey of forgiveness that keeps cycling back on itself, I realise I’m the only one left, the one left waiting.

Tenacious: seeking something valued or desired.
Persevere: Maintain an action, purpose or idea in the face of difficulty.
Grace: A virtue or power granted by God.

In these dry, empty waiting times
I need to find the same perseverance, tenacity and grace
that drove me
through the times of longing.
The times when I was facing a steep climb of the mountain before me. It’s easier to take the dread and the pleading to God in that phase. Now the mountain has been passed. Well I guess it’s bound to be one of many.
But here…the plateau. We’re left in a wake, picking up pieces, finding our way through a new territory. Here, the longing is not so present, it’s quiet, it doesn’t loom. Yet it hasn’t been fully met.
And how easy it is to forget it.
Now this is where true perseverance is found. Where real tenacity is born.
In the quiet, empty times where God seems distant.

Dear dance teacher

Ugh. Sadness. Where’d it spring from?
Wanting more. From my teacher, my salsa dancing, my city.
Cue the: Why am I bothering to do this, monologue again. Now my social dancing is solid so why not stop here as some social dancing is all Launceston has to offer.
More more MORE!
How do I stop wanting more?
Why do I hate wanting more?

Dear dance teacher,

I hate the inequality with us. Student-teacher. I’m the one going through hella-emotional rollercoaster on my dance journey which you have probably seen a hundred times before. I’m the one vulnerable while you could be detached for all I know.

When you hold out your hand to ask for a dance, it says so much. Others do it hesitantly or flippantly or insecurely. You put your whole being into it, it’s open, it says, I want to dance with you. Your hand waits there for me until I reach out and it’s like an embrace, like you’re bringing your whole presence right into your hands. That’s how I feel and I know you do this to everyone you ask, even when you must be exhausted after days of teaching or when you don’t really like the person you’re going to dance with. You’re a good actor and I don’t know how much I can trust you – my dancing is taking me deeper. And I feel like I’m out there in the deep water alone, not really sure if you’re there with me, involved, invested.
What does all this really boil down to? What is this uncomfortable feeling I have?
I can’t handle the one sided. Being the one who is doing all the vulnerable stuff.
I hate feeling like this.

Ohhh, bingo. There it is.

This situation is familiar to me.
That cold shock of realisation like a slap in the face or getting drenched by an unexpected wave – they don’t care about me as much as I care about them.
Having to walk away after you’ve invested so much emotionally to someone who you didn’t realise remained detached all those years. Eventually you realise the desire of wanting more from them will never be met. It is unequal, imbalanced. Ensue the walking away, pain, letting go.
It’s not you dance teacher, it’s me. Still carrying my wounds. How do I let go of the fear surrounding them?

So that’s why I’ll keep dancing…discovery.

Teacher student relationship

It’s a difficult spot to be in as a student. It’s a place of vulnerability, your weaknesses on display, them coaching you through to overcome. It creates a unique bond and I find myself wanting more, wanting to know more about them, their story, are they a friend. Then a tiny voice creeps in: It’s a one way bond, they’re not emotionally engaged. And you couldn’t expect that, with so many students! For me it is a new experience of personal growth. For them – they’ve seen the kind of thing I’m going through, many times before. It’s their job. I pay them. How do I distance myself.

C.D.W.M.E. Come Dance With ME!

So when I say I have a big salsa weekend coming up…now you can see why. Emotionally exhausting.

Change my internal tune
Dance!
Wear what I want to wear
Make up a routine
Engage in foolish dancing with others XD
C.D.W.M.E !
(Come Dance With ME?!) lol a cute reminder for myself every time I salsa, which nicely captures the heart of all my goals. To help me be mindful to not fall back into old patterns.

Having these goals has slowly helped drag me out of post salsa slump.
I see now that each goal is tied to issues that come from rejection and devaluation of the self.
In other words, self acceptance and valuing who I am would increase my confidence and ability to embrace others; would create a positive internal tune that radiates out; would help me to be free in who I am and in my body; would create a safe place within for me to try and take risks from; would allow me to wear what i like instead of hide myself.
Of course that’s all theory, the actual living it out is the tricky part…

#3 Convoluted journey of a dancer: My dance goals

Wear what I want to wear
So after the workshops I’m on the couch, I ring my mum sobbing on the phone.
“I wish i could wear a dress for the social….I can’t wear a dress I’m too fat…..I JUST WANT TO WEAR A DRESS! I’m so sick of wearing those bloody black trousers! Why don’t i ever wear what i want to wear why don’t i ever *just do* anything that i *want to do*?!”
Mum: “You’re not fat! That’s a lie of the devil! Just a moment while i get something out of the oven.”
For reals.
XD
I am the heaviest I have ever been atm. When I was 9k lighter, I was not any happier. And i still felt I wasn’t thin enough.

I took this myself after the social as somehow I manage to evade every photograph ever. Milestone: first time not in trousers. I wear them to cover my legs. I cannot be the engaged sensual dancer that i feel while I am wearing dowdy black pants. And it helped, I was really dancing and enjoying myself!

DSC00806Of course I still had to cover up with layer upon layer of scarf cardi singlet skirt leggins. lol one step at a time.

“Now, lets talk about those arms”
Every lesson. He wants to talk about my arms. He tries to fix them but by the time I see him again in 3 months they’re all tucked in and closed off again. I don’t want to hold my arms out and up. I’ve always hated them.
Me age 12.
Mum: Why are you so crabby?
Me: I overheard you talking to dad saying how big my arms are.
Mum: I wasn’t talking about YOU! I was talking about my friend! Quit eavesdropping!
Oh…-.-;

I always cover them up, squash them in. Make them smaller. Make me smaller. I’m so BIG. I want to squash myself down. I’ve spent my life squashing myself in to the background, wanting to disappear, making myself small.
And now my dancing is halted from progressing because of these same issues I’ve carried with me for as long as I can remember.

God wants me to be at home in my own body. He wants me to not just live inside my head. Disconnected from my body, hating it and constantly attacking it with crash diets, binge eating and negative thinking. This is why I love dancing, it helps me to feel okay about taking up space and to believe that my body can be beautiful.

My body can be beautiful.

The problem is in being free enough to dance with people the way I do alone in my lounge room.
In the beginning it was exciting and easy to grow as a dancer, finally I had found someone who saw potential in me, and he was excited to find a newbie with promise, pleased with my progress.
Now… a new phase,
my stumbling blocks are changing, becoming more challenging.

“Action plan”: Get used to dancin like a fool around other people. Go to No lights, no lycra.