Dancing with Bears

It’s somewhere around 4.30am when I start to notice something different. But it’s just a slight niggling feeling. I roll over in bed and try to ignore it.

About 15 minutes later the niggling feeling is now more of a scratching and gnawing feeling. I’m tired from not getting to sleep until 2am. I need this rest.

But it doesn’t go away. It gets louder. I can no longer ignore it.

It’s now 5am.

The digging. Scratching. Gnawing, are all now ever present. They have engulfed me. I am forced to wake up. And that’s when I see it.

There’s a big old scary grizzly bear right there in my bedroom. Before I’ve had a chance to jump out of bed, the bear is right up in my face. I can’t move. I can’t run. I am stuck. Frozen.

The only thing that moves in the room now is the swirling and twisting in my head. The churning, gnawing, digging in my stomach. And the rapidly increasing beat of my heart. It feels like it’s going to explode out of my chest. Or maybe just stop altogether.

I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first person to ever go into cardiac arrest from being attacked by a bear? Right?

The bear stares me down.

I feel powerless. I can’t possibly win against this beast.

At least that’s what it feels like. But my life experiences have taught me that I will actually survive this bear attack. By about 5.30am this knowledge creeps into my awareness and I decide to break my freeze.

My head keeps swirling. I feel sick, clammy, dizzy. My thoughts are cloudy. Clarity is a ways away. But I chase clear thoughts all the same, even though I know I can’t get there yet.

I make a cup of tea. I don’t offer the bear any. I’m a shitty host to arseholes. He can get his own fucking tea.

Now I start to do what I do in these moments. My strategies. After a while, the bear starts to back down.

And … breathe.

Anxiety sucks. And when it visits, I get exhausted.

I have been exhausted for more than a week now.

I’m lucky these days that my anxiety and/or depression comes and goes and is no longer a permanent state. Now it usually visits me if I have slipped up on my management of it. Or when I am confronting something or trying to change some crappy internal dialogue that I have run into.

Change is a pot stirrer, that’s for sure.

I am processing some very old crap at the moment. It seems the closer I get to my next Sydney trip, the louder that old crap becomes — the more the bear comes knocking. I’m not at all worried about my classes with Tibor. There is something else at play.

I have read that a lot of people who try to change major negative self-beliefs, aren’t successful because they can’t hold onto the belief that they deserve to change, long enough to break the cycle. I think a lot also depends on what your self-beliefs are, how long you have had them and where they are coming from.

I don’t want this to be a pity post. No, not at all. I will bounce back. I will dance. I will laugh. I will continue. But I want to remain honest about my journey. Remember that is how I started out. An honest account of what I am trying to do. Learning ballet from nowhereville. Healing my body and mind along the way. I never wanted to gloss over the sticky bits.

I’ve gotta dance with the bear. That’s just my reality and that’s okay. Granted, it doesn’t feel “okay” when panic sets in at 5am. But hey, it could be a lot worse. Like, a LOT a lot worse! And If I can get through the mud, then maybe my journey might help someone else to believe they can too.

There are many different ways to choreograph the dance with the bear. Some people medicate. Some people try to face it, and be at one with it. Others manage it with lifestyle. And I am sure some people try it all. I think you have to do whatever suits you and works for you.

For many people, these things don’t just disappear. They are constantly managing the state of their rise and fall. Making sure the dance steps are as smooth as possible. It’s a never ending dance piece.

Realising you have these issues is only one part of the whole story. But it seems to be the only part we ever see portrayed in the media or hear being talked about.

I wish more attention was brought to the everydayness of these issues.

And speaking of that…

I recently started listening to Osher Günsberg’s podcasts. His interviews make you feel like you’re a fly on the wall, listening to a great, relaxed conversation between two interesting people. He also talks about his journey with anxiety and depression in a more realistic, every-day way. Like, hey, it’s here. It’s part of me. And I work hard every day to keep on top of it. It’s only a smidgen of what he talks about. It’s not his whole gig or anything like that. But hearing his open and acknowledging approach to the issue was so refreshing to me. I hope he continues to be open about it in the public arena, as I am sure it will help other people not feel like they have to be so silent about their struggles.

I wanted to link here to Osher’s podcast site because they are seriously great listening. I’ve seen people tweet that they listen to the podcasts while cooking dinner. What a great idea! If I didn’t have a 12yr old child, I would definitely do that. But some of the content is a little sensitive for the kiddo’s ears. You can download any of the interviews you want to. The last one is pretty great. You can find them all here —> Osher Günsberg Podcasts

So back to the bear. Well, it may be more present over the next 10 days, but I will do what I do. And it will be okay. Seriously, the next 10 days can’t come fast enough! Hurry up already!

I’m looking forward to Sydney Day and getting through whatever it is that is surfacing.

Just my thoughts.


P.S Apologies if the poorly chosen metaphor “dancing with bears” in any way conjured up images of those poor chained up dancing bears!

P.P.S Apologies if you hadn’t thought of those poor dancing bears until my previous P.S! :/ Maybe you could YouTube cute kittens or people doing stupid things?

P.P.P.S Don’t YouTube both of those together.



OMG you guys! Do you see what I see??? ————->

My nifty countdown calendar over there says there are only 19 days until my next Sydney class at Studio Tibor!!!!!

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Every now and then I think about what others in the class might think of me FLYING down to a ballet class — will they think it’s stupid, crazy or pathetic? I don’t know. It does make me a little nervous as I don’t really want the trip to be about anything more than learning ballet. Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy meeting other students, but for the price I am paying in time and money, I really want to get the most learning out of the class that I can.

Second thing I’m a tad nervous about is that I am going into a beginner class. At the studio they have absolute beginner then absolute beginner/beginner then beginner, and then something up from there (out of the “beginners”). And Tibor feels I would suit the beginner class. Obviously I would still learn from the AB and the AB/B classes, but it seems I will cope with the B one too.

I was all set to go into the AB class so when I heard this and I was a little thrown. I actually thought Tibor had made a mistake at first (Sorry Tibor) and it took me a few days to realise he hadn’t.

I can see that the beginner class could be great if it is within my reach but enough of a challenge to keep me progressing. I would love that! But I don’t want it to be so challenging that I come home and quickly lose everything I learned while there. I also think that because I am not familiar with all the ballet terms, I am worried I will get lost in the lesson and struggle too much with just following instruction.

But it’s ALL OKAY! 🙂 I will have my handy note-taking book at the ready for more highly technical notes, like these here: highly technical notes And I will have plenty of time at the airport and flight home to write those notes while still fresh in my head and aching muscles!

I am more excited than nervous! 😀



Bush Ballerina Goes to Sydney!

Well, it looks like my end of 2013 blessings are continuing into 2014, as just one week into the new year, I’m heading to Sydney!

I’m actually piggy-backing onto the back of my husband’s trip to Sydney for business, which was meant to be later in January but was brought forward — and is why it is so sudden.

I had hoped to catch a ballet class at Studio Tibor while I was in Sydney later in January, but now that we are going to be there earlier, and regular classes won’t be back on then, I’m in a bit of a Tibor-ballet-class-pickle. Tibor’s wonderful assistant has been in touch with me and I can say that there is a small chance I may get a private class with Tibor. But I’m just not getting my hopes too high for this. Everyone is time pressured and I don’t want to be a hassle to anyone.

So the ballet class is a maybe. BUT going to a real-life Bloch store is a definite!

Yep, while I’m in Sydney I will be going to the York St Bloch store. It is the largest store in Australia and is always fully stocked in their whole range! How do I know this? Because I asked them. Yes, yes I did. Like a true ballet geek, and after suffering from multiple online shopping dramas with Bloch, I emailed them to check that this was the right store to go to — that they would more than likely have the shoes I’m looking for, that fit me correctly. I couldn’t think of anything worse than getting all that way and then not being able to purchase the gear I need.

I received a lovely email back from the manager, confirming that they are always fully stocked. Wahoo! She also asked, in the email, if I was wanting to be fitted for pointe shoes, because they would arrange for a professional fitter to be available for me if I was. Ahh, while I read this, I felt my heart swell with blissful desire. How amazing would that be? I wanted to scream “Yes, yes! Let’s fit me for pointe shoes!!!” Hahaha. Luckily reality was right by my side in that moment, and helped me to come crashing back down to earth. BUT a thought that remains with me is that this might some day, maybe, sorta, kinda, somehow … be a question that I can answer with a big fat “Yes!”

The night before I read that email, I had a dream that I was dancing en pointe. I seem to be having more en pointe dreams. And in each one I get more comfortable in the pointe shoes. This most recent one felt beautiful. I’m sure those dreams are more about me feeling more comfortable in my ballet skin, but still, it’s nice to see my mind opening up to pointe possibilities.

So, next week I will be going here…


I look forward to keeping the blog updated with our trip happenings as we go.