I've been in a serious rut for the past several months, hence the lack of blog posts. Depression is something I've had to deal with for most of my life, but lately it's been worse than usual. Over the years I've become slightly better at allowing myself to be thrown headlong into projects so that I simply don't have the extra time to dwell on it (this is actually one instance where having so many hobbies and interests turns out to be useful), but there are times when this strategy doesn't work and the gravity of the depression is just too strong. Like an unavoidable undertow it drags me under and threatens to drown me. I end up consumed by guilt and anxiety, in a state of mental/emotional paralysis, mired down by a lack of motivation. Outside of my necessary interactions with people at work and grocery store, etc. I try to be entirely cut off from others and wished to remain that way.
My interest in bellydance, along with my interest in essentially everything else, suffered and came to a virtual standstill. I had paid for a whole 12 week session of Tribal classes and couldn't bring myself to attend even half of them, I wasn't seeking out more Cabaret classes or workshops, I didn't want to attend any events (if I hadn't paid for my BDSS tickets months in advance I probably wouldn't have gone to the show), and obviously my blogs were not updated.
I'm just starting to return to the surface, although there are still the occasional days when depression's grip is unusually strong, and I've been missing my involvement in dance. A few weeks ago I began my second set of American Cabaret classes with Mirjana and have been doing okay. I'm not yet ready to return to Tribal classes though due to the high level of interaction required. Depression leaves me especially sensitive and rather agoraphobic, and while I can currently cope with being in a class with others, I could not handle the lead-and-follow and mirroring/silhouetting exercises which are a huge part of learning ITS. Right now it's just baby steps (with hip drops perhaps?) for me.
On a more positive note, as the depression-related apathy wears off I'm also gaining more of an interest in art-making, which has been even more chronically neglected than my bellydance activities, so I'll probably be taking a break from classes to work on art. I have a whole slew of bellydance DVDs I should be working with anyways I suppose.