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Still Alive and Moving



I went to an expressive arts therapy workshop last night. Ok I thought it would be fingerpainting but it was all dance stuff. There I was with a walker right. So I took off my shoes and one foot felt the carpet underneath my foot. We were told to explore that feeling. All I could concentrate on was the other numb one that was getting tingly zaps even though I had taken the Gabapentin. I was on Norco too which is the only reason I can even function and move without pain. But it adds to my loopydoopy feeling. Ok so ready for expression right. So then we were doing arm movements and exploring our space around us and doing movement that expressed our innerness beingness and concerns fears and feelings. I waved around my arms including my frozen arm that functions but is to me like a frozen steak arm always cold and yet the fingers and arm move just like always. I could even to some ballet fingers lol. I stretched back my leg from hades and remembered ballet class from childhood when it was so easy to hold the bar and bend into shapes. Now it just went back a bit and off the ground a few inches. Progress. I held onto the walker for dear life because of vestibular things like the room spinning occasionally which I am accustomed to now. Then we were going to walk around in between people. wow. I slowly pushed my walker but then the fact of how I live in the world now was so evident. when people walk past me if feels like they are zooming at lightening speed. pT said it was going to be like that typical she said. Now I was in a group of people walking around me. She told them to increase their speed. I of course walk at one speed. slow. as I passed her she touched my arm and said just do the best you can. I was. I am. that is my motto now. do the best I can. But it *beep* me off she touched me and said that. Of course she was being kind even encouraging. But it was like a "how nice of you to join in, but you don't belong and can't do this." Ok so I am superduper sensitive and possibly the world's biggest fool for trying to BE in the world the normal world. What is my "beingness" exactly. What is their acceptance of "otherness" exactly even though they claim to be so enlightened. So then we did a big circle and she called us forth to make small circles or groups according to our level in school or staff. After we were all matched up. there were four groups. Then we were to make a statement to say and movement to show it. So our group did that. Then I had so much pain in my leg from standing and moving that I had to go sit down. Typical for me. I last a bit longer than I used to but a half hour is about my endurance nowadays. So the group went on without me. It was good because I could never do those spinning and stretching limb thingys they did. How wonderful to watch whole youthful movement. I remember dance classes and exercise classes and just the feeling of gracefulness. I had a moment of it last night a glimpse of how my body can still be graceful even if slow but I also had a hit the wall moment when I realized that I am damaged ruined and lets explore how that felt. Is there a movement to show that expression. No, that is too painful and not real in the world of the wholeness beings. So the workshop leader came over to me and said I would be the witness. Nice word for someone who had gone to sit it out on the bench. So my job as witness was to give feedback. Lovely. Now I was the critic. How could I express how beautiful wonderful lucky even just any movement and what was their group feeling who knows anyway. They were all overcoming feelings of embarrassment just doing the activity but none would know the tiny piece of what I was feeling. Embarrassment didn't exist. I was in the grip of the greatest despair and longing and yet someplace there was a space for feeling the freedom to even move the bit I could because I recall the days in the "chair" and now I was doing simple movements whisper of dance.


So then we watched a presentation about expressive therapy. The idea is you have the experience and then explore and analyze what occurred for you what changed you from and to. So the members shared. They felt connected to each other, they felt relaxed and peaceful, they felt free, they felt.....blah blah blah. And so I just sat there drinking my tea in a water bottle contemplating how wonderful that pain pills enable me to be out in public doing things, moving even because otherwise I would be sitting on my couch in horrific pain or in hospital. And I want my doc to know I don't just sit home on my couch taking pain pills. He seemed most concerned I would do that. But I am avoiding talking about how I felt. I did this for an extra credit assignment for school, did I mention that. Otherwise it would never cross my mind to do something like this. But how wonderful and I imagined a group in PT or OT like this but I wouldn't know because all I did in PT was a sit down bike thing and walk with a walker practice. I don't know about OT never had it.

So anyhow back to the feelings I had last night. Wasn't that the purpose? express them? Only I couldn't. I sat it out and watched mostly and took the feelings home. I felt worse than when I cam in sort of and yet again maybe good that I contemplate that I am not the same as everyone anymore. I did not feel connected or connections. When she made me feedback witness I felt like critic and on the spot. I said nice things but I felt like the bad guy, I didn't want that role and I disliked her for doing that to me but i didn't say so and I just went along with whatever and realized I felt given a label because she was trying to include me so I liked her for that. so confusing.

I felt alone with only the walker as friend. It enables me to join in for a moment but that is only a taste. Was it better to have had the moment of freedom? Perhaps if I had been with my own kind. my kind is others with walkers. I am resentful to see others my age still moving and living in the free world. Why isn't that still me? I love me as I am now though too. One year and I am ok even proud of me and confident out there in my world with vestibular stuff going on, limitations abut walking. My daughter offers her arm and we go in places that owners caution me not to fall on precious displays. I smile and say I wonder if I will buy anything in here today daughter or perhaps we go somewhere else.

I still move something. I still life. I still feel. alive.


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you are very alive pam. and you capture an emotion, feeling, of the u and express it so that I can have some glimpse of understanding.  I am beginning to see that you are also a remarkably honest person who is saying to the world, hey this is me and who I am.  I have a similar attitude of honesty in describing the me in me.


I can understand well about wanting to be in a group of people like me.  I remember being a little kid maybe 5 or so  at say a wedding and the first thing I would do is look among the giants for little ones like me. what happiness when finding another!


I have a little of the sensation of what you experienced when I go to a book discussion group at the local library.  I don't have a walker to alert others that I am different and different from who I used to be.  I think I used to be somewhat articulate.  now I have trouble expressing thoughts and sometimes if the thought gets a little complicated at remembering the noun of the subject I am talking about.  I would feel much happier in a group of people who struggle as I do.


you have benefited a lot of people by having done that.  us the readers of your description, the other members of the group in which your presence and struggle gave an added dimension to their experience, and pam who gains herself a little more insight.


take care pam, and most definitely keep being brave!



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Thank you Pam for sharing that experience.  Yes it is hard to go out but when you do you see new aspects of the world.  Eventually you will be comfortable with this, for now it seems a little strange.  Bravo for you brave soul.

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Yes Sue it is strange to go out in the world now because of the way I am experiencing it: all the dizziness and people seem to go by me so fast. Visually the world looks differently to me.  I guess if I can go out to some dance thing then anyone anywhere can do anything!!! I look now and say what a silly fool!  I had thought it was going to be a sit down thing like art!  I guess it is is funny!


Follys I think that you and I are doing good going into the world and just doing the best we can with it. Thanks for understanding the inner frustration.  I sometimes am overcome with frustration because I want to be as I was, as I still am in my mind's eye, and I want to thrive as I am now. And all of this is wrapped up together.  I refuse to stay home so I am sure to have more silly adventures.

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