Brianna Wiest: recent publications

How a Dance Class Brought Me Back to Life When I Was at My Lowest

“When it’s time for something new, you will feel it. You will feel a desire to let go, to shed layers, to move, to re-create. You will know because there will be subtle shifts all around you. You will release the old because you are really clearing the path for what’s ahead. Trust the process.” ~Brianna Wiest

I landed myself in the ER three days short of my twenty-fifth birthday, due to a mental health crisis.

It was January, always a difficult month for me. The holiday season tends to be stressful, and I’d recently visited my parents back home, which had led to a resurfacing of depressive and anxious symptoms. It was also a month filled with anniversaries, and the winter weather and early darkness affected my mood in a negative way.

And of course, my fourth year English literature seminar had left me feeling so overwhelmed, I believed I’d never be able to graduate from university.

I’ve been caught up in the same pattern for many years. The fallout of my hospitalization had left me not only with a broken heart, but also a deep conviction that everyone I loved would eventually leave me. Roommates asked me to move out; my therapist was discouraged and didn’t know whether she could continue to help me; and I was now unable to complete my course, which meant I had plenty of time on my hands.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that I found myself in bed, ruminating about the choices I’d made that had led me to experience symptoms so severe I needed to be hospitalized. I wondered what options were left ahead of me.

One afternoon, as I was wondering what was the point of being alive, I suddenly sat up in bed and exclaimed, aloud, “F*ck it. I’m signing up for dance lessons.” I had nothing to lose at that point, and I did

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Brianna Wiest My Lowest

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