Depressed salsa

Dear Salsa Dance Instructor,

You are the only one who notices my various toe nail polishes. Thank you. I mean it. No one seems to see me, and so, I’m happy to accept your compliments. When you comment that green is the colour of hope, I feel like crying, but hopefully you don’t notice.

I guess I have no talent for dancing. But then, I am currently very depressed, so really, it’s a miracle I make it out to the studio in the first place.

Yours very sincerely, Ellen.

Just wanted to put that out there.

I am depressed. I wake up in parts, one of whom keeps saying she wants to die. Another wants to go home. Or is it the same one? With the parts, come feelings of disaster, of things crashing in, or having just crashed in. It seems best not to get up, not to move around too much.

In dance class last night, every man corrects me. I need to do the steps this way or that way. I feel like a child. Some of  them are more experienced than me, but some not. One very young man, who has less experience than I do and who really is NOT THAT FUCKING WONDERFUL, ahem, tells me repeatedly how I should be holding my arms.

I suspect I am putting out a childish vibe, leading people to see me as less than capable. I have a habit of doing that. I seem to be less capable than others, in their eyes anyhow, in every area of my life. It sucks. I am not showing up as a strong mature woman at all. And yet, I can do it. Just not very consistently, and people make up their minds fast.

I’m sure I’m not that talented. But why do I need to be? It’s just for fun. I can do the dances OK. I practice. I pay attention. Lately, I’ve even been dressing up a bit, wearing more feminine clothes, which helped me feel more adult at times.

When I’m depressed, everything seems horrible. I’m seeing the dark side for sure. I think that side is always there, but it’s not functional to focus on it.

I’ve got a voice mail from a recruiter – must return the call. The thought of doing so is awful. I need to dredge up cheeriness, enthusiasm, and cool competence. All complete lies.

But. I did vacuum my bedroom, after posting about it here. Which means I can spread out my yoga mat again and do some meditation. Progress is possible.

I wonder if dancing is a microcosm for my issues. All the insecurities, the issues with criticism, feeling not good enough, come tumbling out , dark sludge at the bottom of the sack. Feeling everyone is my judge. Angrily pushing back – how dare you tell me what to do?

Today I need to buy food and cook. I’d like to take a walk down by the lake. Phone back the recruiter. Laundry? I can do this. I can do at least some of  this.

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6 comments
  1. leb105 said:

    I enjoyed your post Ellen… it’s hard to focus on the positive when you’re depressed, but maybe the bright side is also always there. Maybe we create them both. I was totally interested in the idea of a salsa cafe until I realized you were talking about the dance, and not the food-stuff! Hang in there…

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, we create them both. Salsa cafe? It does sound good – I’d go! he he. Thanks.

  2. Gel said:

    Tears in my eyes while reading this. What you write is so painfully accurate for how I feel in the moment-to-moment of my life. Not always, but often. It’s stuff I want to say and have heard and understood. Even though it is seems kind of trivial.

    It means a lot to me that you write here and allow others (me) to read/hear/listen.

    xx

    • Ellen said:

      Glad and sorry you can relate. I’d have thought you wouldn’t relate to the dance stuff at all, as you likely have some talent and self-belief around dance, having chosen to study it. Interesting. Thanks Gel.

  3. There are many men who see all women as less than capable, childish, and in need of correction. It may not really be about you.

    A man here who is not very competent in English once launched into a long explanation about the meaning of a word because I had asked about it. (Many words are routinely misused here, so just because it is supposed to mean something in English doesn’t mean it means that to speakers here.) I told him English is my mother tongue and he didn’t need to teach me.

    Arrogance is annoying. Some people–and some men–are just annoying.

    • Ellen said:

      That is a funny/sad story. There’s currently a book out called ‘Men Explain Stuff to Me’ that deals with this topic. It’s a pretty common phenomenon. I once had a male friend come over and start to explain to me how to use my TV remote. Sigh. It is annoying. Thanks.

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