Sunday, 7 August 2011

A struggle between heart and head

Have you ever had to over-rule your heart on something that means the world to you? It is so hard when you really want one thing but you know it might not be the right decision. The whole 'heart vs head' conundrum is so difficult; always so emotive and there is never an easy solution.

I had one such decision to make this week: to return to ballet sooner or later?

Obviously, my heart says "now, now, now!" - I long for the sound of the music as barre begins, the graceful freedom of my arms during port de bras and the developing warmth in my calf muscles as we progress to adage work, not to mention the amazing feeling as we jump and twirl our way through grande allegro (ok, so maybe I'm romanticising a little here, but you get the picture...) but for now I have had to over-rule my heart. My head says "not yet; get better first, then go back to ballet when you're ready" - oh how I hate my sensible head at times, because it is so right.

I stopped dance because I didn't have the energy or the strength to complete a class without feeling like I could collapse. I justified it because I was signed off: there was no way I could do something like ballet when I wasn't fit to go to work. I rationalised that it wouldn't be wise, given how many classes I take with senior teenagers, to show off my shrunken frame - that would be uncomfortable for both me and others (even though to me, I looked 'normal' - such is the nature of an eating disorder). But through it all, I never really lost my passion for dance. And I do miss it. So much.

Being out of hospital (because I persuaded the doctors I could continue recovery at home), the temptation to run, or perhaps dance, before I am ready, is so great. It is taking all my will power to fight the impulse to return just yet: like the dancers who return too soon from injury, I fear doing more longer-term damage if I am not careful, and whilst I am still very fragile, I need to take heed of the voice of reason.  So for now, my head wins, but my heart still longs to return.

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