Dance through a Setback

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

November 1st, 2009 • Dance for Natural Pain ReliefPrint Print

Man oh man that barreling-past-me incident last night left my body totally jacked up in pain. My whole low back/hip/pelvis/upper thigh area was a mess last night, plus I had pain in my right shoulder, right neck, left foot, both knees, and the general region of my left shoulder blade.

Here’s how I responded:

1.  Blog about the incident to get my angries out.

I absolutely have to vent when something like this happens. The blog is the perfect place where I can take note of bad social behavior that I want eliminated from our world, while also expressing my frustrations about how this kind of behavior turns my life upside-down.

2.  Accept that I have to lay low for a few days.

This one is especially hard to accept when I am finally getting my life back — feeling minimal if any pain or discomfort, going out into the universe and overcoming fears, meeting people and creating community and a much-needed social life. It’s also a pain in the ass (as it were) when my laundry is piled sky-high, and there is nothing left to eat in the house; but I can’t do a damn thing about it becuase I have to lay low. It’s like, damn it! Thwarted again. But what can I do. Whoomp there it is.

3.  Extract my mind from instant-replay mode.

When I’m angry and frustrated, I want to undo the situation that fucked things up. Last night, I was pissed off at the Office Depot dum-dums, and some part of me was hoping that I could reverse the situation if I replayed the scenario in my brain enough times. Instead, I brought my awareness into the here-and-now, into the activate-healing mode. What happened happened. Now what. What is in my power.

4. Dance.

Last night, I danced for an hour. While it didn’t make the pain disappear, it significantly calmed things down.

5. Rest and Ice.

Last night, I iced the most painful area repeatedly. Today, I stayed in bed until noon, got up and ate, then want back to bed until the evening hours, sleeping, resting and icing some more.

6. Dance again.

I got out of bed for good at around 7:00 pm and danced again, gently – first in a chair, then on my feet, then on my back. After dancing, my pain levels were again significnatly lower, and in most areas of my body, altogether gone. Pretty much the right groin/thigh area was all that was still problematic after dancing.

7.  Walk.

Having danced, my pain was low enough that I could venture out of the house a bit. I went on a very slow, very short walk to a café. Well, short in terms of distance, but it took me about 20 minutes to walk half a mile, and another 20 minutes back. The point is, I walked. I did my time-out, and I can start re-entering the world again. 

A new friend of mine was kind enough to drive out to my neighborhood, to meet up at that cafe (my reason for going to it), so I even got some social fun within just 24 hours of the incident.

As my mom pointed out last night, I’ve overcome setbacks before. It’s especially irritating when someone’s careless behavior sets me back after days or weeks of pain-free yumminess, but what can I do. Cest la vie. I have learned not to mentally battle against it, but to accept it, release it, and apply all my tools to healing from it.

Of course, being that certain incidents ended up throwing me into pain and/or disabling me for weeks, months, or years, and that some essentially turned my life upside-down for the better part of a decade, if not more, I get a strong jolt of fear when something throws me back into pain. How long and how hard will it affect me this time, I panic.

But since coming to accept that, yes, dance does really work, and yes, I can heal my own damn self, that fear is far less powerful than before. I know for a fact that when I dance, I will feel better. The pain may not be gone right away, but it will be on its way out the door. And having that tool at my disposal, 24/7, makes all the difference in the world.


Amanda July 29th, 2010

So happy you found your “tool”! I hope it continues to ease your pain and gives you a good mechanism to cope as well.  Inspirational!

Dana Marton July 29th, 2010

Nicely put!

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