So I spent most of my 20s as a burlesque dancer, and stopped a few years ago because 1) the pain and fibro fog were getting really bad and the troupe was getting more popular and keeping up with the schedule was getting too difficult, and 2) my ex (who I was with at the time) wasn't in love with the idea of a burlesque dancer helping to raise his son or have pics of me in costume/lingerie on the internet. (Ugh. Terrible right?)
I still go back and dance occasionally because I love it, but I also know that I'm not as good as I once was- my extensions aren't as good, my flow isn't as clean, etc.- and most of this is because of pain and the new limitations my body has, and part is because I just don't dance often as I used to so I don't have the strength and stamina.
Anyway, I had the opportunity to perform on Friday so I decided to do a routine I did a few years ago so I wouldn't have to choreograph a new routine, and I had someone tell me they could see the difference in how I used to do this routine and how I executed this routine on Friday - and it kind of broke my heart a little. They meant well, like 'when you watch your routine, you gave great face, but..." and then they pretty much told me all about how my physical limitations made my routine not quite as good as it used to be.
Needless to say, as excited as I was to perform an old classic solo again, especially because it was our 10 year anniversary show so it was kind of a big night with the majority of 10 years of a Burlyfamily in the house, I wasn't able to watch my performance until sunday morning because I was scared I'd watch it and just judge myself more harshly than usual and only think of how good it could have been, 'if only Fibro wasn't my life,' but I'm trying not to let this whole thing get me down too much... I can't change anything and I'm doing the best I can... but damn guys, that hurt. It's one thing to watch yourself and judge yourself, but it's another thing to have someone straight up be like "you used to be better, here are some specific examples" and me having to go, "so basically you could see my Fibromyalgia in my solo" and watch them have the lightbulb moment that made them say, "yeah!" Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.
Letting go of what you used to be able to do, what people expect of you... that may be the worst part of fibro- learning about and teaching others about the 'new you' can be really hurtful sometimes 😥
*This post was originally featured on our Founder’s personal (discontinued) blog, and was copied to The FSC Blog with full permission.