Today’s episode of Mental Smackdown is brought to you by the demons in my head. Rated R for generous use of crude language. Do not look for inspiration here. It’s all about the self-pity.
Sometimes after I’ve won a few battles in a row against my demons, they go a little ghetto and lay a mental smackdown on me. Just to remind me that they can. I think that’s why I woke up feeling jaded yesterday and thinking “what the fuck am I doing, I have no business dancing ballroom, I must be trippin’.” Then when I try to shake it off during the day, the demons come and shove me back, as if to say “bitch, you get down and you stay down!” How rude.
I slept maybe 4.5 hours last night. They’ve done a number on me. It’s hard not to think “shit man, I’m gonna make a fucking fool of myself.” When I’ve lost a battle, everything gets a negative light or spin. Every correction during my lesson is added to the evidence list of why I suck. Instead of seeing others practicing at a higher level and thinking that’s something to work toward, I think I’m not as good, aw fuck it, I am no good. I hang back from people I would normally chat with or off to the side of group class where normally I’m right in the middle of the action, so then I feel left out or excluded. Nevermind that I’m doing it to myself.
There is a 4-hour workshop at my studio this weekend, put on as a final prep for Emerald Ball. An hour dedicated to each smooth dance. Obviously I’m going, right? It’s perfect for me. Not so much. Follow me down the rabbit hole as I try to explain the distortions created by my demons.
First of all, three teachers including mine are teaching. The other two are pro world champions in smooth 4 times over. So everything they do looks perfect and easy and I feel like I’m still learning to put one foot in front of the other. Just a little intimidating. When they teach a group class or workshop, they deliver an incredible amount of valuable information. And I feel like a dunce when I can maybe process a third of it. A lot of the people who attend their workshops are dancing at the silver level or higher. Again, intimidating because I start out feeling like I’m behind everyone. But I put pressure on myself to keep up because I don’t want to let my teacher down. And then I feel like a failure when I don’t because duh, I am not at the silver level.
There is a good chance I will get completely overwhelmed and leave the workshop feeling like a fucking loser. And then I’ll compete 4 days later. And of course, I’ll put pressure on myself to not screw up or forget anything I learned in the workshop because if I do, I’ll let down not one, but three teachers! Yeah, sure, that’ll work. Fuck.
We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of self-pity. The demons hope you will join us next time on Mental Smackdown.