Two people, one disability
I am in a fight with myself. I want to be the person I was before my disability. I used to be a professional dancer. I loved to dance and perform in front of people. Dancing was part of my identity. But my disability stopped me from being a dancer. I have fibromyalgia. I haven't danced in a long time. Who am I now? Can I learn to be happy even when I have a disability? Can I change the way I think? I don't know but I am now ready to try.
Posted by: Melissa Pym, on 02/07/12
I could be at peace with the new me.
I want to end the war, this war inside of me. It's between the healthy, athletic person I was in the past and the disabled person I am now. It's been raging for about seven years and I feel like I am two different people in one body. On a daily basis, it tears me in half and I feel confused, angry and emotional having to deal with so many different needs.
The old me is fighting for my life. The old me wants to be a professional dancer again and to feel the joy of moving my body to music, and the thrill of performing onstage in front of hundreds of people. The reason I was put on this earth was to dance. I knew it since I was five years old and it's the reason I eat, sleep and breathe. Needless to say, the old me isn't giving up without a fight.
Who am I?
There have been times in the past when I've been well enough to dance for small amounts of time in a very limited capacity. But it's been over 16 months since I last hit the stage. It's a long time. It has made me realise my identity has gradually and grudgingly slipped away from me.
If I'm not a dancer, then who am I or who do I want to be? What would happen if I let go and surrendered and accepted my fibromyalgia? If I actually embraced, rather than rejected and reviled the new me with my disability. If the old me didn't have to strive for the impossible of dancing at 100 per cent I might feel less stressed, pushed and unhappy. I might even feel peaceful.
A new me?
Can I become a whole new person that is okay with my disability? You hear and read stories about people moving forward with disabilities, but could I actually be one of them?
I don't know how, but for some reason I feel like the timing is right. In the past I have struggled with limited success trying to make my life normal again.
Please understand I am not actually giving up. I will continue physical activities as much as my pain levels allow and will always hope to dance again sometime in the future. I've just decided not to base my whole life and self-worth on dancing and now want to be open to other opportunities. Is dancing the one and only thing in the whole world that can make me happy? No of course not. I just need to focus on things that do.
Could putting all my focus and support on the new me change my life? It would definitely end this war inside of me and I'm starting to see a new path stretching forward. There's a good chance I could be happier, healthier and in love with life again. And at peace with the new me and my disability.
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