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Ballet-Physio Update

A few supine leg stretches. Feels great to be moving again.

Hope everyone is treating themselves fairly, cause you know, unfair treatment of yourself will likely lead you to a place you don’t want to visit.

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A Happy Ambulance Ending

Usually an ambulance call doesn’t qualify as making my day particularly surprising. But today was different.

Today included an ambulance call. And FIVE bags of IV fluid.

I must’ve really looked like shit too, because the paramedics rushed the first two bags of fluid through by squeezing the bags manually — I suppose my repeatedly passing out three times in front of them, helped inspire said manual squeezing of IV bags.

Anyway, the really exciting thing was that they said they watched the video on POTS that I sent them, and it really helped them understand it more. They also said they had sent it through to several other ambulance stations and the head of Ambulance NSW, and they had said they would probably send the video out to most of the NSW stations.

They asked more questions and said they wanted to learn more.

I felt awesome about this.

Watched my negative become a positive.

Going to email the POTS video to my GP next.

Anyway, I’m posting it again, in case it helps anyone recognise the condition in themselves or in someone else.

POTS Video

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When the Repressed Rise

‘Why do gay people need to display their sexuality? Why can’t they just keep it quiet? Why do they need to make a big deal about it?’

I keep hearing this, and other versions of this, regarding other sections of society that have been repressed and are attempting to step forward and be accepted as equals.

I’ve heard it about the Black Lives Matter campaign, that some feel should be ‘all lives matter.’

I’ve heard it in relation to feminism as well.

‘Why do women have to rave on and on about how they were treated in the past? Or ‘pull the woman card?’

So, here’s my attempt at an explanation.

There’s a genie in a bottle story — I’m fuzzy on the details but my version goes like this…

If you take a genie and you put it in a bottle and leave it there for 2 weeks, then let it out, it’s going to be relieved to be out of the bottle, it’s going to be relieved to be able to move around and to feel free again. It may even thank you for letting it out.

If you leave the genie in the bottle for 6 months, then you let it out, it’s gonna be relieved to be out and to have its freedom, but it’s also gonna be a little pissed at you for squeezing it into the bottle in the first place and leaving it there for so long.

If you leave the genie in the bottle for 2 years, it’s gonna come out and primarily be pissed at you for leaving it in there so long. It’s gonna be angry, upset and hurt. Maybe even confused as to why you did this to it.

If you leave the genie in the bottle for 10 years, it’s gonna come out mad as hell. It just lost 10 years of its life. A decade of feeling like no one gives a shit about it. A decade of feeling like it isn’t important and of not being heard.

At this 10 year mark, before the genie decks you, it’s probably gonna scream every obscenity at you, and attempt to get you to understand how you’ve made it feel.

It will probably want you to acknowledge what you’ve done and maybe even want to get some kind of redemption or compensation for it.

Then it will never talk to you again. And it will only ever remember you as the arsehole who locked it in a bottle for ten years.

——–

Imagine, then, what the genie might feel and want to do if you left it in the bottle for thousands of years.

Thousands, of years.

The genie is not going to be mad as hell, it’s going to be explosive.

It’s going to be outraged.

It isn’t going to feel like the fight is over just because it’s out of the bottle. It’s going to want justice. It’s going to want you, the bottler, to be held accountable.

I can see, then, why some people might think it’d be easier not to let the genie out of the bottle now, after those thousands of years.

If you’ve left it in there for so long, and you know how outraged they may be if you let them out, then you know they may be so disruptive once let out.

Much less mess if we just keep the lid on it, right?

Well, for some, sure.

But when we shift our minds from the genie analogy to our very real social minorities, then it’s no longer just a story about a genie.

Now we are talking about humanity. And we should see it as a humanity — because we ARE talking about humans.

You cannot repress people for just being who they were born as — for just not being born, a man, or a heterosexual, or white. You can’t repress people for that, and then expect them to not fight back, get angry, want justice, make noise, and seek redemption and acknowledgement at some point.

At some point they’re going to rise. Come out of their metaphorical bottles.

And you can’t expect them to not dance in the streets and rejoice publicly when they make progress in their quest to be seen as equals.

So, the very act of wanting a once repressed person to repress their joy when they are no longer repressed, is ironic and nonsensical.

I hope, in moving forward, that I am witness to many more public displays of love and joy when the repressed rise, become seen, heard and accepted.

I look forward to seeing dancing, singing, hugging, kissing, confetti, and loads of loud and disruptive displays of celebration as each step of equality is taken.

With understanding and compassion to others, no matter how different they look from us, then we can change.

If we all do this, maybe anything is possible?

Zoe xxx

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Love Your Life

I find this quote both natural and confusing.

Having had pain as part of my life, for my whole life thus far, I adjusted to my pain. Adjusting to my pain doesn’t mean I got use to it and it no longer bothers me. 

Sometimes I am a moaning mess because of my pain.

Sometimes I go to sleep at night, tears rolling, because of the impossible amount of pain I’m in.

So when I say adjusted, that doesn’t mean my pain is gone gone, it means I have have managed to train myself to look passed it so that I can still see whatever I need to see/do to get my day done.

But when this quote popped up this morning on Instagram, it got me thinking.

Yes, I was well versed in adjusting to my pain. And yes, I excelled in not letting my pain stop my day from continuing. But there had been something missing, and this morning I was remembering how a couple of months ago I began to recognise that something was missing. I began to turn inward to my body to try and feel where the missing part might lie. I began to think about the theory behind this quote: 

Love your life more than you hate your pain.”

I knew I had been half doing it all my life, by default, but I wanted to feel better about myself, so I kept thinking. And then I realised…

The difference between sort of living the theory of this quote, and fully living the theory of this quote is overly simple: when you’re sort of living this quote, you’re managing your pain so that you get all your to-dos crossed off each day’s list. 

When you’re fully living what this quote is suggesting, you’re not just managing pain to feel as little of it as you can. You have a list of things you WANT to do and who you want to do them with. You give thought to how you want to feel emotionally, while/or after, you’ve done those things. You make a note of what memories you want to make for your family.

And you’re managing your pain … to actively seek those things. Those feelings, memories, thoughts you’ll have forever, and more importantly, if you have children — the feelings, memories and thoughts that they will have forever — rather than just managing your pain for the relief you might get.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down playing what effective pain relief can do for a person. 

I’m just saying I think you can do both. Not all the time, sometimes pain sends you round the bend and it takes a lot of management — and that’s your day or night.

But a lot of times, you can think about your life, that day/week/year and what you want to get out of it. And then think about managing your pain levels so that you get those things done!

Before, I was thinking about my pain, how much of it I was in (how it was even possible to endure that much pain for such an extended period of time, and how I could manage my pain that day/week, whatever.

But these days, for instance, I might wake up in the morning, and instead of just allowing thoughts about my pain to begin my day, I will think to myself that I want to go to the beach with my family that day, and then I will think about what pain strategies I might need to employ, in order to make that day at the beach as successful as possible.

These days, I’ll start my day’s thoughts off with whatever it is that I’m wanting to get done, or experience, or whatever — and THEN I’m thinking about my pain and pain strategies from that angle.

My point is that before I was thinking more about my pain, than my life.

Now, I think more about what I want to do in life, than my pain.

These days things are much different for me. Allow me to be super clear. I do not feel less pain because of this. But I do think more about how much life I want to live, in spite of my pain.

And this shift in thinking has been life changing for me. I can’t achieve it all the time, but I will continue to try.

Hope this helps someone out there not feel so alone.

P.S: apologies in advance for the brain fogged moments that are bound to have snuck into this post. 😉 

P.P.S: the reason I also find this quote confusing is because I’m not sure you can’t love your life AND hate your pain at the same time?

Zoe xxx

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Your Beautiful Glorious Self

You may think you need to be better.

But you don’t.

You may think you need to be more like someone else. 

But you don’t.

You might feel inadequate in so many areas of your being that you feel you will never be enough for anyone.

But you aren’t. And you are.

You may feel like you’ll never measure up.

But you already do.

You might look around you and only see others doing it better.

But that’s not the truth.

You may feel like you’re falling short. Losing face. 

But you’re not.

You may feel like everyone around you, everywhere you look, are on incredible trajectories towards imminent success while you’re still trying to figure out whether you’re an over or under person when it comes to your toilet paper.

But they’re probably not. And it’s okay if you’re either or both! 😉

Those who have seen my health issues know that things have been really tough for me. 

I could easily think of myself as having a harder time than others. I could easily choose to feel that others have been dealt fantastic hands while I’ve not even been  dealt one full hand. But firstly, thinking that way serves me no purpose. It doesn’t help me at all. And secondly, it’s all relative: there are others who are facing much harder challenges than I am.

You see, I have learnt that comparison is poison. It only creates anger, contempt, jealousy and a whole lot of other negative emotions. And it’s completely unnecessary. So we can opt out.

We can opt out.

I want to hug the world right now. I want to tell you all, whatever your battles, whatever your goals, to please stop believing that other people have it miraculously easier than others.

I want to especially tell the world that your self-worth does not lie in where you measure up against the people around you. 

Your self-worth is measured purely on the value you give yourself. 

The only person who gets to decide what you’re worth is you.

Do you hear me?

YOU GET TO CHOOSE!

You! No one else. Just you.

And the true beauty of it all is that no assessment is needed.

You’re worth the fucking world, because you were born. You deserve love, because you were born. You deserve respect, because you were born.

Don’t start assessing yourself. That’s being an arsehole to yourself. Don’t do that. 

Seriously, no assessment needed. You’re awesome. Just as you are. You’re doing what you do, aiming for goals, attempting this thing called life, in your way, how you see fit. 

You can do life, the way it feels right for you. 

Because living life by someone else’s rule book sucks a bag, and is completely unnecessary.

If you start doubting your ability to just be you, remember…

Your beauty lies in your flaws. 

Your true self can only shine in your vulnerability.

You are accessible through your mistakes.

Absolutely. Every. Single. Person. On. The. Fucking. Planet. Fucks. Up. All. The. Fucking. Time.

Most people are just scrambling hard to hide their mistakes.

But they’re making them. Oh, boy, are they making them!

It’s impossible to not make mistakes, to not have flaws, to not be imperfect.

So, world, take a breath. 

Give yourself permission to be you. 

No comparisons needed.

No comparisons wanted. 

Just be your beautiful, glorious, unique self. 

xxx

P.S: photo of me, being me…

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Positive Changes

Hello my dearest friends, followers and fans,

I haven’t written anything in such a long time. It’s been an interesting year for me to say the least.

My ballet journey has shifted to become a combination of ballet and physio for my physical rehabilitation after my health disorders POTS and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome flared severely 18 months ago.

I became bedbound and have been crawling my way back to functionality ever since — and ballet has played a major role in that recovery.

I’m not recovered yet and we don’t know if I’ll ever be as functional as I was before. We have to remember that it was only this year that I was finally diagnosed with the disorders. So we’ve only truly just begun to understand the cause and effect of my body’s impairments.

I’m actually classified as disabled right now. But I’m hoping, through dedication, the right team, hard work and passion, that I will end up being not only as functional as before, but MORE functional than before.

And all of this means there are changes. My goals and hopes are shifting and what I want to do, write about and talk about is also shifting.

I love everything about ballet. But my interest in the therapeutic benefits of ballet is growing quickly. It’s interesting to remember that I started ballet as therapy for depression, and it worked. Then when I came back to it after my break, I did so as therapy for my body, and it is working again.

Over the past year I have spoken to many doctors and physiotherapists about ballet as a physical therapy and there has been an overwhelming view that it can be a great therapy when done right — and certainly that it is a great therapy for me and my body’s particular issues.

So physical rehab ballet is becoming the core that my whole life revolves around.

And this has lead me to a shift in the focus of my online platforms. 

For a long time my online presence was Bush Ballerina, because when I started ballet, my focus was on trying to learn ballet from the bush with little to no instruction.

But with all the intense changes in my health and subsequently my focus, my path is no longer resonating with ‘Bush Ballerina’. 

I’m more than ballet in the bush now.

So I’ve decided to make some shifts to my online presence so that what I’m doing and what I’m writing about is all synched up. 🙂

The centre of my focus will still be ballet, in both a fun way and in a therapeutic way as well as some of my just me stuff. I also just want to share my personal journey as I recover from an onslaught of two disorders, to a stronger, more functional and healthy person (via ballet). Because I think a lot of people can resonate with having to fight to get yourself to a better place.

But it will all mainly be focused on ballet. Because I believe that is what is at my core recovery. And because ballet is beautiful to me.

I realise few people will even be interested in the reasons I’m making these changes, but I felt the desire to explain for those who are interested.

And to explain the change from ‘Bush Ballerina’.

I’m not sure what the name shift will be yet. I feel like using my middle name, so Zoe Inez. It might just be something plain like ‘Zoe Inez – Adult Ballerina’ or something a little more specific like ‘Zoe Inez – Ballet Therapy’. I’ll work that out soon and let you know. 

I’m open to suggestions! Haha.

I can’t wait to get going with the new focus. I have so much enthusiasm for where I’m coming from now and I feel like this is going to allow me to be more authentic about my journey, will which allow for a lot more interesting, fun and beautiful content.

I hope you all continue to twirl along this journey with me because I cherish you all so much.

Love and light,

Zoe

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Falling Into Coppelia

I’m going to be seeing The Australian Ballet’s Coppelia in December! 

This is me spinning positive out of a negative.

Yesterday I was getting ready to head into town with the family.

I was standing at our dining table, packing my bag, when I felt my body start falling toward the table. I new I had to get myself safely to the floor, because that’s where my body was headed anyway, and luckily I did.

My daughters saw it happening and made sure I didn’t crack my head into the floor and placed a pillow under my head while they waited for my hubby to come back into the house. They know not to move me on their own unless it’s absolutely necessary, as it’s a bit of a risk that I might fall again.

So I lay on the floor for about 10 minutes and then hubby arrived and helped me to the lounge.

I had hoped that it was going to be a one off for that day and the rest of the day would show improvement but unfortunately it did not.

We went into town, and I had to basically stay reclined in the car for the entire 7 hrs. Every time I tried to stand up or walk I would lose balance and start to fall again.

… so back to the car.

I find these sorts of days beyond frustrating. It always feels like a set back and you never know if this is a new thing that is here to stay or is just temporary. That kind of uncertainty is more emotionally draining than I can describe.

When I got home, having not done ballet all day, my neck was killing me, so I did some port de bras, with my hubby standing by in case I dropped.

Afterwards, I thought about my frustration at my unreliable body and how that plays out with my ballet progress, and how I always feel like I’m losing ballet when I have these set backs or days when standing is just such hard work, and makes ballet even harder work.

And whilst reflecting, I decided to find another way to indulge in ballet, that doesn’t matter so much whether I can stand up or not.

So I looked at all the shows coming up in Australia and bought some cheap seats for Coppelia.

It immediately relieved the disconnected-from-ballet feeling I was having and gave me something to look forward to. Actually, gave me a damn special day to look forward to.  

So, hubby and I will fly down to Sydney and back for the day, and see the daytime show, and it will be lovely.

I’m aware that it will be summer, which means warmer weather, which may mean a degrading of my health. But hubby and I talked about it and decided it would be fine — if we need to hire a wheelchair, we will. It will still be a very special day. I will still love it. 

It will still be a ballet day.

I’m so excited.