Tears poured out of me as I swayed. Tears of joy. I was dancing at the She Recovers Retreat in the Berkshires. Sober! I was dancing sober. I assumed that dancing would go away forever when I first gave up drinking. I loved to dance when I was hammered. Of course it was never rhythmic or appealing to watch. Um, I know this, because I've seen some videos. Not pretty.
What I've found with recovery (which has included doing a lot of deep healing work) is that as I've healed trauma, my body has gotten looser and more rhythmic. I'm not going to claim to be a great dancer now, but I do know that my body absolutely has a natural, primal rhythm to it that it craves getting back to. That rhythm was frozen in trauma before recovery.
I blame frozen, stuffed emotions that were locked in my body for: RBF (resting bitch face), lack of rhythm, and general discomfort in my skin. Yoga helped to unlock it, and I've had some emotional release during yoga, but I've found that dancing touches a wellspring of JOY and the tears flow. Brene Brown reminds me that when I was numbing out pain, I was also numbing out JOY. I'm elated to now feel joy.
I looked around the room as I danced in broad daylight and there were about 25 other sober women doing the same. My heart swelled with gratitude to be among this group of women (most who were very new to sobriety). They were laughing, experiencing freedom and sometimes crying too. This is one of the gifts that healing and recovery has provided. I hope you dance too!