Centre Stage

The first time I watched this movie I mustn’t have started purging or any of my ED behaviours yet. The second time I watched this was on TV last night, so I took more notice of the character Maureen. She is the best dancer at the ballet school she goes to yet she’s unhappy and she has symptoms of an eating disorder- she restricts and purges after she eats.

In the end she gives up her dancing career despite what her mother wants- for her to be the best ballerina there is. She realised that sacrificing her happiness and her health for something that she doesn’t enjoy, a dream that’s not hers, is not worth it.

I like the lesson in that and I like that she chose happiness and health. I did some dancing when I was younger but not seriously and definetely not to that extent. So no, not the lesson in that regarding dance but regarding other aspects of my life like school.

In year 12 especially, I put so much pressure on myself to do well. There were also expectations from my family and relatives and I guess I was expected to do relatively well in my studies. This resulted in a worsening of my depression, I had a very little social life, my self harm got worse, that year was the first year I started using pills and alcohol to self harm, that was the year I started developing an ED…

And looking back, it’s just not worth it. Here I am now, I managed to get into my first choice with a TER of 90.15 but this course is seeming to be too hard for me, hence I’m failing it. Recently I tried applying for a course that has a cutoff TER of about 70 but I couldn’t even get in because I’ve been doing so badly in my Uni studies.

I’ve seen this in other people too. A friend of mine is very intelligent and hardworking and did so well at school, but in year 12 she was burning out and she had depression, was hospitalised numerous times and self harmed. There are other people I’ve met over the internet who also experience a worsening of their mental health issues due to pressures to do well in school etc. I’ve read in the newspaper of one of the top TEE students in the state going to a mental health clinic for some respite after all the stress of it. I’ve heard of a year 12 student committing suicide after the TEE exams.

So I forget this a lot, but watching this movie reminds me once again, your mental health, your happiness and health is more important. No matter what other people like your parents or family think.

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