Friday, July 26, 2013

Crawl. Walk. Dance.

The other day I dreamed I was on the television show Dancing With the Stars. I found this to be completely hilarious because I am a terrible dancer and I most certainly am not famous......Dreams are weird sometimes aren't they? I have no idea what that dream was supposed to be showing me except maybe a comedic folly.

But life is like a dance is it not? Some of us are amazing dancers and seem to glide gracefully through appearing to almost never touching the ground. Not me. I am the person that puts on head phones and dances in my kitchen with my mop. The only people to be graced by my dancing ability is my four cats that ignore me and my kids that stand there quietly with a look of horror and confusion on their face. I always wanted the sophistication of Grace Kelly. Instead I have all of the grace of a bow legged newborn foal. All legs, knees, and fumbles.
I am so clumsy I can barley walk properly without tripping over something. Wires, my own feet, a minuscule speck of dust it really doesn't matter.

What this has taught me is that when you fall often a few things happen. You get a higher pain tolerance. You learn to try to fall in a position to lessen the damage to your body. Most importantly you learn how to get back up dust yourself off and try again. Is it embarrassing? Yes. Is it frustrating? Absolutely. It is necessary? Of course it is.

Having mental illness is like living with your clumsy uncoordinated cousin controlling your mind. You are going to fall. You are going to struggle. You are going to come across situations and obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. You are going to, at one time or another, ask yourself the question if it is worth it. It is, trust me. Sometimes you are going to be too exhausted to care. Sometimes you are going to be too angry not to. Sometimes you are going to want to give up. It happens.

I can't lie and say it is an easy road. It is not. I can say that it is worth it to come out on the other side. When you look at babies that are just learning to walk you can see that learning comes with failure. They take two steps, wobble, and fall over. Some of them cry. Some of them seem to plot a better strategy. All of them get back up to their feet and try it again. Why? Because you can only crawl so far in your life. At some point you have to be able to stand on your own two feet and walk.

It doesn't have to be graceful. It doesn't have to flow like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. It just has to be one wobbly foot in front of the other. Tiny steps which lead to bigger ones. Wobbly footing leads to stable footing. Being unsure and scared leads to being more self assured and confident. Mental illness is like learning to walk again. We fall, we get back up, we take baby steps. It takes time and effort. It hard and painful. It is very worth the try.  The more we work on it the more we realize that not only will be able to relearn to walk we can also learn to finally dance. And dancing is freeing. Dancing is laughter. Dancing is fun, no matter how bad you are at it. We all deserve the right to be happy. We all have the right to regain control back in our lives. We all have the right to learn to dance again.

Baby steps........
Neurotic Nelly

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