I want to share a story with you..
Exactly a year ago today, I poisoned myself in an attempt to take my own life. While I survived the night, I was rushed to hospital the next day as my kidneys and liver started to shut down due to over-toxicity causing me to vomit uncontrollably. I was diagnosed with Depression, and remained under the care of the hospital as an out-patient for the next 5 months.
But that’s not the story I want to tell. What I want to share with you is how pole aided my recovery, and has enabled me to be the young woman today who feels so far removed from the lost girl I was 52 weeks ago..
POLE HELPS ESTABLISH A ROUTINE. This is one of the key things when struggling with mental illness. A sense of structure, as well as a time and place where you are expected to show up really helped me start to organise my life. It also kept me nice and busy so that there were hardly any moments where I was alone long enough to let any dark thoughts creep in.
POLE HELPS YOU SET GOALS and SMASH THEM. Setting realistic short and long term goals are always important, and pole is a really easy way to set some of those. For me at the time, my short term goal was to get my twisted grip; my long term, to get my splits flat. Again, I had to commit to turning up to class in order to achieve these goals.
Having said that, pole helps to accept set backs for what they are – a slight delay in plans, not a total failure. Sometimes the pole is a slippery a-hole, and we’re just not gonna get that move today. When you can take that rationalisation and apply it to other aspects of life, you come to accept that you’re a pretty awesome person and things not working out isn’t a direct reflection on you.
I remember after my Sponsored Athlete Audition interview 3 months ago, I pulled Kristy Sellars Pole Artist aside and said, “If I don’t get chosen this round, be prepared to see me every six months until I do”. Man, I was ballsy. But now that I think about it, I find it really extraordinary that while I was still recovering from a pretty crappy time in my life, I was filled with a fiery determination.
POLE IS A CREATIVE OUTLET. I’ve never been good at drawing. I’m a music school drop out. No professional would ever consider me much of a dancer and yet, pole has given me a space to pour my heart out. Pole is my therapy. Seldom when I perform is it to compete. Rather, my performances last year were a way to express the pain I felt but couldn’t quite put to words. I didn’t place in the comps I entered, but it didn’t matter because after I came off stage I felt so much lighter inside.
POLE IS A COMMUNITY. Some of my closest friends are people I have met through the various classes I’ve undertaken at Physipole Studios Ballarat. Maybe it’s because these people literally see me at my worst – sweaty, no make up, flab and cellulite poking out.. Not to mention the pole eating my shorts whenever I do a Titanic! But there is no judgement. We are all there to get fit and have fun. We support each other when things don’t work out, and boy do we celebrate when we finally nail our nemesis move. Excited squeals across both studios, and high fives all round haha. My classmates are more than gym buddies; we are all part of a sisterhood.
There’s obviously the benefits of staying active that we’ve read a million times over online and in magazines, so I won’t bore you with that.
I just wanted to take the time to share part of my story and let anyone out there know that it DOES get better. I know, know, know it doesn’t look like it at the time.. But when things are that low, they can only go up from there. Do your future self a favour and give life the opportunity to get better for you.
And enrol in pole! You don’t have to share your story, but if pole has helped you through any personal hardship then please share this post so that people can see just how good pole is for healing your soul xx