This low was low. Lower than many of its predecessors, yet not low enough to have its own DSM IV classification. To mark its sucker-punch I performed three unrelated, yet equally informative actions. First I stopped running (okay, only for three days, but c'mon-- I am in training. That was a strategic sabotage). Next I detached from all social media. I felt the bee-sting of ignored posts, unanswered texts and, of course, the unread blog. Finally I took my pole down, but only after kicking and swearing at it (ouch!). By this point, if you hadn't noticed, the Buddhist part of the Buddhist Pole Dancer had long since left the building.
I told my sister what I was feeling and how I was handling it. She plainly said I was trying to erase myself. She said she does it all the time when feeling blue. She gets rid of the indicators of joy and balance, anything that reminds her of her truth.
Seductive isn't it? The intrique of hide-under- a-rock invisibility? To choose to be ignored because you've felt that way all along? To decide to be less than because your mood dictates that truth? To feed the low instead of finding a way out? To believe that your true self is this-- erasable, not some spirit-bunny who runs, plays and spins around a pole?
(Right now) there's enough of me left on the canvas to know I don't want to stay low or-- please no-- dip lower, so I begrudgingly started drawing myself back into my life. Today I forced my feet to run five miles (okay, my nagging, but oh-so-loving husband forced me to run). I didn't take the easy path, but instead ran hills and fartleks (It's Swedish--look it up.)
To further bring myself into view, even if only painting by proverbial numbers, I showed up to write a post that I know no one will read-- but I plod none the less.
And I put up my pole. Not just for posterity: I went through the motions of a happier self and practiced inverts and climbs. I even "got" the thigh invert I've been trying for quite a while. No happy dance followed, but I notice I am pleased by the progress because I keep thinking of trying it again and again and again.
While Merriam-Webster boasts 20 synonyms for erase, the word doesn't have an exact antonym. "Near antonyms" include protect, preserve, mend, restore and renew. None is a fit for my current state of wellness, not yet, but knowing I wasn't lured into erasing even more of myself must count for something.
Image Credit: Erase Me by MUHIRE Joseph