Lesson #1: Even though your mom tells you to be honest with her…DON’T! – the one time I was today finally and she took it the wrong way and was mad at me all throughout dinner
Lesson #2: When you have even a slight runny nose DON’T go and try to work out. – I had to end my workout 13 minutes early since I started feeling sick and dizzy right off the bat. I tried to keep going but it proved harder and harder to do as I continued to feel worse and worse.
Lesson #3: If you live in the North (Minnesota for me) Do Not try and get your car washed on the day it is 40 degrees out right before the temperatures are going to start dropping drastically. Instead look at the weather and maybe do it a day earlier otherwise you will wait in a line of 15+ cars for 35 minutes just to get through a simple 5 minute car wash.
Lesson #4: Do not sit by your phone waiting for people to text you when you don’t even text that many people on a regular basis.
and lastly Lesson #5: Enjoy the short and small conversations you can have with some people because they may be few and far between…an ongoing lesson I am learning with my friend who is down in Ecuador. Yesterday I didn’t feel like talking much so didn’t engage fully in the conversation but now I know I may have to go more than a month before we converse again…
So the question arises: Does Ashley even have social anxiety? And I wish I knew the answer. My therapist in the spring told me that it was very likely based on the little amount of information that I told her, but I don’t have an “official” diagnosis. But in my opinion I haven’t even been officially diagnosed with depression either, but it’s kind of a no-brainer now that yes, am depressed. I do get anxious in social situations so it would make sense if I did have social anxiety. But I am also socially awkward and there is a fine line between when I am awkward vs. extremely anxious and therefore becoming awkward. So I don’t really know for sure. Nonetheless I hung out with friends last night and it was slightly uncomfortable. Was it nice to see my friends? Yes! Was it nice to hear about their college experiences? Yes! Was it a nice reminder of how I am not in college? Sadly…yes. Was it a nice reminder that I haven’t met anyone new this year? Yes again…it just added up to a whole big pile of awkwardness causing me to question my goals and plans and past decisions for the millionth time this year. And that sucks.
I know that good things have come of me staying home this year, such as having a better relationship with my dance teachers and getting to know people better through dance. But also bad things: My eating habits are out of whack. I’m even more of a hermit. My ankle is currently getting worse instead of getting better had I chosen to go to college but not for dance. There are just so many negatives that it’s hard to focus on the positives. I am currently sitting in my room with 2 lap tops, an iphone, 5 cookies and some blankets on my bed. Plus there is chocolate near by. But whyy? Why do I feel the need to eat and punish myself later for it? Why am I connected to technology? Why don’t I communicate with people? I just don’t get it and I hate it.
It’s been a year since I threw my life out the window.
It’s been a year since I let my emotions take control of me for the first time.
It’s been a year since I realized how messed up I truly was.
It’s been a year since I ruined the friendship that meant so much to me.
It’s been a year since I drove myself insane in a matter of a few hours trying to hold onto what I already messed up.
It’s been a year since I let one incident lead me to a life of confusion and chaos.
It’s been a year since I lost one of my closest friends.
It’s been a year since I was the stupidest person I can ever imagine myself to become.
It’s been a year and I still regret every last thing I did, said and felt.
I was flat out being an idiot to throw away something that was so beneficial in my life. I let depression take control of me that night and released it to the one person who was there to listen. I let my emotions out in the open and let them drive me to a state of denial, confusion and overwhelming control. There was no way that I could spend today purely rejoicing in the birth of Jesus Christ or the time surrounded by family. The events of a year ago were in the back of my brain the entire time. And then for my dad to have the nerve to “diagnose” me with Seasonal Affective Disorder at the dinner table threw me over the edge once again. My parents may not know what a depressed individual they have for a daughter but they surely have raised one who is good at faking, sneaking and lying to pretend that she’s happy around them…
I don’t have the nerve that I did last spring but today I found other means to punish myself. I know that tomorrow I will awake feeling absolutely awful about my body and feel sore from the foods I ate today but that was my way of punishing myself for my actions from a year ago. I wish it were a merrier Christmas this year but things happen and life must go on.
Having a holiday show in December is routine and expected of dancers, but having performances 3 days before Christmas Day just seems crazy! The past couple weeks have pretty much been all in the studio trying to bring the show together. Last week was in the theater and Friday-Sunday were the performances. And what do you know? Christmas Eve is tonight already. Luckily I was ready this year in terms of being on top of gift buying so that I haven’t had to scramble to look for gifts. But I still don’t feel ready for it to be Christmas. I’m just not in the Christmas spirit. At all. Thinking about last Christmas brings a lot of memories, mostly bad, that just make me not as excited for this year. I’m just not feeling it…
It’s sad really…thinking about that this is my last Christmas where I definitely will be home yet I’m not really excited to spend it with family. If anything I’m more dreading it. I’m really not looking forward to ‘having’ to spend time with my family. I would much rather be on a break (FINALLY!!) from everything where I could be alone, cuddled around a fireplace with a cup of coffee in my hand and headphones in my ears. I feel bad saying it but it’s more than true. I wish I could be with people who understood me if anyone at all instead of people I have to have this facade on for that I’m doing well and am truly happy. Not many people understand me and those who do I need to give space to not overwhelm. It’s a strange situation and this is a strange time of year. Lots of changes and lots of distractions. Plenty of things to take up your time yet plenty of time to think as well…
So I went into the doctor today for what feels like the millionth time this year…ugh! I haven’t been inside the Mayo Clinic since early summer and I was really liking it that way. Downtown and the clinic stresses me out. There are too many people and places and things everywhere that I can’t seem to keep straight. Yet I found myself back once again to have a specialist take a look at my ankle and see if they could use an ultrasound to figure out if there was anything structurally wrong that they had missed in the past tests and scans. And what do you know?? Nothing. THEY FOUND NOTHING!!!!! You don’t understand how upset this makes me. It makes it seem as though I am just creating my pain for the pity from others. I’M NOT! I swear I’m not. My ankle does hurt. My ankle is better than last year, yes, but there is no doubt in my mind that it still hurts! I know that I have tight calves and a tight achilles tendon, but that shouldn’t cause this much pain! I’ve taken time off. I’ve used home remedies like creams and gels. I’ve had a million tests done. I’ve done physical therapy a multitude of times. I’ve been in a boot. I’ve had a cast. I’ve hobbled around on crutches. What more is it going to take to make me better? I am so sick and tired of not knowing. I’m so tired of just doing something to “see if this will work.” Even if I could never dance again after this year at least I would know. Going into my appointment today I was actually thinking about the fact that even if they told me I had to have surgery which would take me out of dance for a career possibility I would still be relieved because at least the question would no longer be up in the air. I would know that I wouldn’t have to travel to various states and audition for schools when I may just be out of dance by June anyway. It is frustrating but frustrating doesn’t even fill the extremity of my emotions.
It’s been a really crappy week. But take the crappy layer off and there is a beam of hope sprouting at the bottom. Some good things came out of this week as well :)
On Monday I truly worked out for the first time in a while. I rode a stationary bike, doing hills, for 35 min and afterwards I felt great! I love the feeling one gets post workout and I had missed that feeling for quite some time.
On Tuesday instead of our normal dance routine we got the opportunity to have an extra stretch class since we have a performance week this coming week and were really looking for a break!
On Wednesday I had my second private ballet lesson. May not seem like much but it is always nice to hear how good you truly are doing in class and seeing what needs to be improved. Positive feedback and constructive criticism are both good for the soul. Also this teacher is really helping me feel that someone is there to help me through my dark times and struggles. She is trying to help me be at peace and happy and I couldn’t be more grateful. Also on Wednesday our pre professional classes were switched up just a wee bit and instead of taking class and doing pointe work we got to sit in the hot tub and then have a deep stretch once again.
On Thursday I got to watch the cutest baby ever who brought smiles to my face.
On Friday I officially took my first entire ballet class since last November (2012)!!! It was a fantastic feeling of perseverance and accomplishment to partake in all of the jumps and all of the turns and just truly let myself be free and able! Then to get the hugs and proud smiles of my peers and my teachers was the icing on top of the cake! I also got to go Christmas shopping with a friend as well as make “plans” to hang out with the guy who I’ve missed the most while away at college when I didn’t even know if he would want to see me.
On Saturday I got to watch one of my little ballet students and her brother for the night and then relax in one very nice house.
Today, I had a lot of proud moments in terms of my size and body image. This morning I weighed in less than I have for a few months. This afternoon I was told that I barely have any meat on my back therefore it was hard to give me a back massage while we were in a massage train during rehearsals. This evening the male guest artist who is doing the partnering sections for our upcoming show said quite sarcastically how “It is going to be a huge struggle to do a shoulder sit with you since you’re sooo tiny! I don’t know if I’m going to be able to handle it!!” So yes today was a good day for me to feel good about myself:)
So even when things don’t go as planned…things can still turn into great memories:)