Something I haven’t wanted to write about is some of the personal things I’ve been going through. I’ve alluded to it, but I’m a very private person, so writing for everyone to read goes against the grain. However, I feel like it’s impacting my view of this trip so far, and it’s something I can’t control or change.
This year has been an amazing year in many ways, but also a very stressful one. I was able to participate in an amazing dance project that lasted for 8 months, but was fairly intensive in energy and physicality. It was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed. I was sad to see it come to an end, but at the same time I knew I couldn’t have kept up that pace indefinitely.
Literally the day after the show ended, I was thrown into a maelstrom of packing and sorting. I didn’t have time to decompress or even mourn the loss of that experience. A lot of energy goes into preparing and performing, so usually after a show you get a couple of days or weeks to just relax and regain your equilibrium. Most performers experience at least a little slump after a “wrap”, sometimes it’s more than a slump. There is a huge “high’ that comes from performing. It’s exciting and exhausting. You use a lot of adrenaline. It’s different if you’re in a long running show that builds up your endurance. You get into a rhythm and it becomes normal. It’s still a loss once the show is over, though.
Anyways, I knew I was going to have to take care of myself after eight exhaustive months. Physically I was already tired, and emotionally I couldn’t even begin to describe what I was going to feel. Most people don’t know that I struggle with depression anyways. It started when my father got ill and died, and I have dealt with it since. I have learned throughout the years how to manage it. I know that after any huge exertion of emotion, I have to be more aware of myself in that regard, and take some time to regroup. I didn’t get that opportunity with the time crunch we were in to get moved.
Additionally, starting in January of 2019, I had begun to struggle with was an increasing level of pain in my left hip. I had helped with an audition early in January that lasted about 5 hours and on the way home was side-swiped by another car. It pushed us into the curb, but didn’t seem like a huge accident. However, starting the next week I noticed my hip being uncomfortable. As the weeks went on, it got progressively worse, to where I couldn’t do normal things that I am used to doing. It even started to disrupt my sleep. On a scale of one to ten, I was operating at a pretty consistent level eight. I knew something was wrong but wasn’t quite sure what.
So, already in August I was exhausted and emotionally drained. Moving carries it’s own stress, and on top of that I was processing letting go of our lifestyle and personal property. That would have been enough on it’s own. By late August, I think the stress started to take a toll. I had what might have been a miscarriage, and the following six weeks my body was in turmoil. Definitely not normal… On top of that, the hormonal issues wreaked havoc on my skin. I have always had decent skin, with very few breakouts, so dealing with this was not my idea of a good time. It was embarrassing, and if I was a vain person I probably would have become a recluse.
So here I was, tired, emotionally drained, in pain, and stressed, uprooting my entire life. It was hard to be excited and mentally ready for our adventure when all I wanted to do was curl up in a dark room and cry…. And I was now taking on the education of my children. All I know is that I feel like I have been failing in every aspect of my life. I was depressed and struggling. It has affected how I feel about our trip so far, and everything really. I couldn’t get involved with many of things I had originally wanted to. Even taking long walks with my family would have me in pain for several days.
I finally flew down to Phoenix to finally get the MRI I had scheduled. The doctor confirmed that I have a labral tear in my hip, but he also said I have signs of arthritis and thinning cartilage, all of which does not make me a good candidate for surgery. Translation to me is that this issue is now something that is going to affect the rest of my life. It’s like suddenly everything is being torn away from me. It’s devastating. I’m trying to deal with a purposeful uprooting of our life and now unexpected, completely uncontrollable physical limitations that will necessitate major changes. I am not ready for that.
I think that as a dancer particularly, you always know in the back of your mind that someday you won’t be able to do what you love to the degree that you would want. But that always seems super far off, and it isn’t something I anticipated now. All I do know is that I feel like this is now looming over me and I can’t escape the shadow of it. I can’t ignore it and unfortunately it is coloring everything right now. I am now in Physical Therapy, and it seems like it's helping.....that and the cortisone injection I got in my hip. With the pain lessening, I'm hopeful about the future. Life is often about compromising, and through it all life always seems to find a way. I need to find my way as well.