Since before I was 5 years old, all I wanted to do was ballet. I dedicated 20 years of my life to training and performing. Everything else I touched, dancing was in the back of my mind. It was like the heartbeat under the surface.
It was never about being seen, at least when I was young. It was about being in control. I became addicted to the discipline. I liked the barre because it was about perfection and I got to be in deep control of my body. The centre of the studio was terrifying to me because I was seen.
The addiction to it started around 15. The vision in the mirror was completely distorted and I couldn’t put on a piece of clothing without taking it off again. Nothing felt comfortable.
Not a day went by that I wasn’t consumed by my body. I was restricting food. Counting calories. Early morning and late nights of constant exercise in the studio. This dictated my life. And it was a sickness that was in the drivers seat. I spent 12 years like this.
No one ever said anything about it and everyone thought I was fine. My mom went through a lot of shit with the men in her life. So, I wanted to be independent, strong, and dedicated so that she could look at me and say…”she’s got this.”
As a woman now, I know that my body is not all of who I am. There’s a soul in there. And, I feel that soul more as this story has less and less of a grip. I’m not sure it will ever be completely gone. And, I’m ok with that. It’s like an alcoholic that sees a drink and says…”I’ve come this far”.
The nest was safe and soft and something that I’ve never allowed myself. Stepping into if felt like coming home.