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Old 01-19-2009, 12:55 AM   #1
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Inspiration can come from the smallest of places.

There's so many places here on the healthboards I would have loved to put this under. I feel depression was the best choice, since it was the root of all my issues, as it can be for many others.

I grew up in a separated home. Numerous family issues, friend changes in between middle and high school, insecurities, and social anxiety pretty much crippled me for having a 'normal' life. I was the girl who watched her feet as she walked. I almost never spoke to anyone, and if someone spoke to me I would have a sudden rush of what to say and do. Like a mini panic attack. As I got later in my teens, these things started to subside and I came more out of my shell. Some things do just come with time, experience, and old fashion trying. That hadn't helped my self image, depression, and still somewhat social anxieties. I was doing nothing, and going no where fast. Funny thing was, I was so suicidal, it just didn't matter to me.

One day I was looking at Renaissance festivals online (being the social outcast I am, haha), and I happened across Tribal Fusion Bellydance ad that was pretty tiny in the upper corner of my screen. I usually never paid attention to the ads, but for some reason I was drawn to check it out. If you don't know what that is, it's a style of bellydance that is like none other. You can take it so many ways, but mainly it's more earthy and snakelike. You learn to isolate muscles and move them simultaneously. Some involve hip hop influence, some yoga, you name it. I thought hey, that's neat, there's way more to it then just getting up and shakin' stuff. I got on youtube to pull up some examples and that is where I saw Rachel Brice. I was blown. away. I had no idea someone could move like that, or dedicate themselves to something they love to that extent. I learned she used to be on drugs and also going nowhere when she saw a dancer about 25 years ago, and has been dancing since. I was moved to tears. I immediately looked for any lessons in the area, and took them. I started doing yoga as well to help become more in tune with myself. Eating better took some (and still to this day is) taking more time.

That was nearly 3 years ago and every time I think about it I still tear up. What this dance has done for me is unexplainable. I have regained confidence in myself. I carry my head high and look people in the eyes. Something I would have NEVER done before. I lost 20lbs. I dance in a troupe now, with my instructor. That was always a helpful factor as well, was that everyone was so very supportive. There was no 'out-doing' one another, there was no 'badmouthing behind your back' stuff, it was all pure support. And don't think I was in a class of rail thin girls either, the beauty of this is that it celebrates who you are, and what you look like, regardless of what you think your flaws are. You break through boundaries.

I now am a college graduate, reporting news for a local station. I dance with the tribal troupe i'm in, and the shows just keep being booked. We had 5 shows this month alone. I no longer carry the weight of depression and social anxieties. At some point you just let it all go. Life is too short not to live it fully. Especially since the more to break your comfort zones, the more joy and memories you experience. I could have easily kept sitting there on my computer, doing nothing and probably eventually succumbing to the ever looming thought of ending it all. I took that first step, and now it's all I have to live for.

I hope my (shortened version) story of my mental issues and long time battle with depression can inspire you to at least open your eyes. There is beauty everywhere. Inspiration comes from the smallest of places. Take chances, take risks, and give what ever you love your all.

 
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