The Feel Institute

Dirty Secret

This is a post I made on Sunday 11th February 2018 on Facebook. It was at the tail end of another brutal winter….this declaration was a game changer…

I have a secret.

A dark dirty secret that I simply cannot contain anymore.

The thought of putting a declaration on Fakebook about it jars with me.

I judge people who put ‘notices’ on here.

Who do they think they are?

Why do you need to share this?

What is wrong with you?

Don’t you have any ‘real’ friends you can talk to?

Have some self-respect.

Contain it saddo.

See. I am doing what I always do. Distracting you (me) from the real truth.

I show you my courage and bravery. My vulnerability. My discovery.

What you don’t see is that I am hiding something.

I am the mistress of illusion.

I don’t even tell myself the truth so how can I possibly tell you.

I just did it again.

Did you notice?

I don’t know how to say it.

FUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKK!

I have a secret.

A dark dirty secret that I simply cannot contain anymore.

The tears, rage and despair and leaking from my body.

For 2 decades I have been in pain. Physical, excruciating pain.

It’s my feet.

I’m trying to make this sound pretty and whimsical.

Fuck it. I can contain it in bullet points. Let’s do bullet points:

• ‘Moderately severe osteoarthritis’ is the large toe joints of both feet
• Haven’t been able to move my big toes for years
• I wake up from the pain (mainly in the winter)
• I can’t get to sleep because of the pain (mainly in the winter)
• The undercurrent of pain makes me edgy and bitter sometimes
• Sometimes the pain is so bad that any kind of non-soft touch on the rest of my body feels like an attack
• On the really bad days, it feels like a sharp, hot tip of a kitchen knife is burrowing into the middle of my big toe joint
• The arches scream to be released
• The spasms up my toe to the nail gnarls at my nerves
• My calf muscles are really really tight. Ask to feel them. I might let you.
• Sometimes, there are moments, when I don’t feel it
• Sometimes I want to cut my toes off (yes I know, I know)
• Maybe, you can ask me more when you are drawn to

Why am I writing all this down? Good question.

Many of you know me from dancing.

I bring it. I bring the energy.

The pounding. The fierceness, all that.

Can’t let the side down.

Can’t admit it hurts even when I am in agony.

Why?

It’s exhausting. Or maybe I am exhausted?

I’ve exhausted my container that’s for sure.

I am boring myself with this. That’s how unattached I am to my feelings about this thing that I don’t want to be true.

I’m telling you all this, in the most ungraceful of ways so you will be mirrors, reminders, confidantes, advocates, allies, soldiers, catalysts, teachers and so much more.

Most of all, I AM SICK OF THIS CRIPPLING PAIN BEING THE CLOSEST THING TO ME!

My dirty secret is out with the help of some patient, challenging and loving people. Rob LondonStainsby, Judith Antell, Carrie Gow, Nikki Ashley, Anthony de Sigley, Sam Wells to name but a few. You know who you are.

I am not sure what is supposed to happen now and I am a bit scared, embarrassed, hopeful and angry.

I don’t want you to treat me differently
I do want you to treat me differently.

There’s that rub again.

There are a lot more tears to come.

Sometimes I don’t know I need to slow down. Sometimes I don’t know how much pain I am actually in. Sometimes I need to lie down. Sometimes I need a chair. Sometimes I really need to dance through it, over it and under it.

I have a request. I want to keep dancing. I just started! Can the amazing space holders, guides, mentors and students continue or start to have a couple of chairs available on the dance floor in the movement practices?

I’m naming Sue Rickards, Nikki Ashley, Ruth Hirst, Christian de Sousa, Bodhi Nick Hunt, Liz Baron Cohen, Sarah Davies, Killian Strong, Becca Parkinson, Jane Belshaw, Alex Svoboda. Please consider it.

It means we can participate.

Some of you do this already. Some of you know this.

It means we can belong. I want to belong. I just need to get off my feet sometimes. I want be on the same/similar level to my fellow movers.

Maybe the truth can heal after all.

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