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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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Patience

Drawing from the lounge – I’m only allowed to draw five minutes at a time and only a few times a day. Makes completing a mandala a very slow practise. Very frustrating but doctors orders.

If patience is a lesson I’m supposed to be learning via these health issues, I’ve been studying it intensely for 3 or more years now and I think I’m well enough versed to be given a university degree with honours! Haha.

At least I can draw at all though, right? Trying see the positives. Hope y’all are having a great day/evening- wherever you’re at.

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A Date Gone Wrong

Decided to share a little something different today. I love thinking back over outrageously funny moments in my life — or even just outrageous moment. 

(This is a post I pulled from an old blog of mine, because I can’t currently draw, or do much of anything actually, due to overdoing it d creating a pain flare.) So if you’ve read it before, you should read it again for the giggles! Ha 🙂 

I once went on a date with a guy called Bob, who decided to surprise me at the end of the night by telling me that he would be rowing me home in a rowboat, rather than driving in a car.

Backstory: he was my boyfriend and was a sweet boy who I think was trying desperately to be romantic. 

We lived next door to each other, and also lived in beachfront houses, not too far across the wide open ocean, once you got out of this bay. So theoretically the whole rowing home thing could have worked. Bob could have literally rowed us up onto the shore in front of our houses. Apparently people had done this successfully before but I wasn’t really a boat person, and was mildly terrified of being attacked by a shark, so I had my reservations.

After coming to terms with the fact that this wasn’t a joke and that the only way home was across the ocean in a rowboat. I convinced myself that there was some kind of speckled patterned romance in this scenario. I got my spontaneous on. And I rolled with it.

It was about 11pm by the time we got going.

At first it was indeed almost romantic, with the quiet night surrounding us, the sound of soft water lapping at the sides of the boat and our conversation ebbing and flowing with ease.

Most of that ease was, of course, due to the fact that we were only moving through the still waters of the bay between the two headlands. We weren’t yet in the open ocean, you know, with waves and stuff.

I remember it taking a lot longer than Bob had anticipated, to row to the end of the bay. I remember watching the houses as we passed them, some with lights still on, some with lights off. Bob and I creating stories about what was happening in each house.

And then, I remember, as I became colder and colder and the rocking of the rowboat became rougher as we neared the end of the bay, looking at the houses with more of a longing for the warmth and soft beds I was imagining.

Did I mention that I’m not much of a boat person?

Anyway…

As nature would have it, the wind really picked up that night. By the time we reached the end of the bay and were trying to push our way out into the ocean, we were not even at a stand still, we were actually floating backwards, back into the bay.

It took Bob a fair while longer than I, to realise that his heroic efforts to row harder into the incoming ocean swell were beyond futile. 

At one point, I remember being so cold, with the waves now washing into the boat, and disorientated by the pitch blackness, that I wasn’t even that concerned about sharks anymore. It seemed it would be easy enough for a small shark to just float right in on the back of one of the waves, but it didn’t really bother me now.

I figured we were going down anyway. What did it matter if it were by drowning or bleeding to death from shark bite?

In hindsight, that was probably the disorientation talking.

By the time Bob finally admitted defeat, I was soaked through, exhausted, freezing cold, had absolutely no idea where we were and wasn’t sure whether I had a migraine or an aneurism coming on, but was starting to favour the aneurism as I felt I just needed this night to end and if it had to be by death then, at this point, so be it.

We managed to get the boat to some rocks in front of a waterfront property.

Where we BOTH had to drag the boat up over the rocks and carry it to a safe place for the night.

I felt like I was in some kind of bizarre b grade noir/horror movie. The two of us, soaking wet, hoisting the rowboat above our heads and carrying it to safety. I was just waiting for some monster to jump out of the bushes. Which was making the shark attack and/or aneurism look more and more appealing.

Not to mention the moderate case of what-the-fuck’s I had going on in my head as we hauled the bloody boat to a safer place.

A safer place? For the fucking BOAT? 

Oh yeah, sure, we’ll get that bleed in my brain sorted out in a minute but first let’s make sure the fucking boat – which, let’s face it, should have been a car – has a safe place for the night. 

Apparently we were hoping the boat wouldn’t get damaged overnight. Well, I can say with certainty that not all of us were hoping for the same thing.

The night ended with us calling Bob’s mother to come and get us. Me getting a migraine rather than an aneurism (thankfully) but it being one of those glamorous migraine with vomiting — so the 45 minute drive home was a hoot.

That night was one of the worst ends to a date I’ve ever had. But I do remember watching, with fondness, the ambition of Bob as he tried so desperately to make something unique and special happen. 

His desire to create a wonderful memory for us both, whilst a tremendous failure, was also incredibly endearing. There’s a certain kind of romance in this type of epic failure that makes my memory of that date a happy memory. 

That quality of optimism despite all the odds being stacked against us, that is very romantic.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t relive it even if my life depended on it, but it was romantic all the same.

Thanks, Bob. Thanks for trying. And for a date gone so terribly wrong that in the world of my memory, twenty-ish years later, I actually see the romance in it. Sorry I couldn’t see it on the night 😉

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Hello Old Self, Good To See You Again…

Inch by inch, progress is being made. Actually more like millimetre by millimetre. But the amount really doesn’t matter, it’s progress all the same. 🙂

I’ve been slowly slowly just motioning through this tough as hell physical rehab. [‘motioning’ = going through the motions.] And every now and then I get a tiny little breakthrough that makes me feel like there is hope for progress. 

Most importantly these breakthroughs make me feel more like my old self. 

No, my ‘old self’ wasn’t something special on the dance floor. No, we’re not talking about a prima ballerina in recovery here. 

But fuck titles, I’m a person, a woman, a human being, an adult ballet student — and what I want to achieve is just as important as a prima ballerina.

So, yeah, I want to feel like my old, struggling, flying-to-get-to-ballet-classes, beginner ballet student self. I love that self. And I love when I feel a smidge of it again.

So today, my breakthrough was higher, stronger developpé positions. I had done the rest of my class and then I was doing some gentle developpés. I was about to begin and heard myself ask ‘could I go higher this time?’ and then I heard myself answer simply, ‘do you want to do it?’ A moment of calm and clear came over me and I just went into it, lifted my leg up, pulled up and really held the extended leg with strength. I felt my core engaged and all my working leg muscles engage as well as my standing leg. I broke my first sweat, since being back at ballet, right then in that moment. 

It. Was. Awesome.

How we see ourselves has such a huge impact on how we behave, our actions — which in turn create who we are. 

I want you all to see yourselves as strong, worthy, capable beauties. Because you all are. We all are.

We may be limited in certain ways. We are certainly all flawed. But nothing can stop your beauty from shining through.

Let down your guard. Be okay with yourself. And watch the miracles of self-acceptance start bursting into life.

I’m more than okay with you. I reckon y’all rock!

I’ll leave you with a photo of me resetting my heart rate after doing the fondu.

Be proud of you,

Zoe xxx