I left ballet due to mental illness that I could not manage. An illness so severe that I felt my only way out was to abandon one of the things that I loved most in my life.
It has been two years since I left my job as a ballet dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. I left in the middle of the summer, breaking my contract, in tears in the director's office. I couldn’t live with the pain anymore.
It has taken me that whole two years since to finally be completely honest with myself (and others) about the true the reason why I left. Of course, I was very honest in that conversation with my director that it was that for health reasons why I had to leave so abruptly. But I still hid the true severity of my illness and all that was wrapped up in it from him. And I definitely didn’t tell any of my former colleagues, except for the few whom I was incredibly close with. I was embarrassed, I was sad, and I was so depressed.
I loved dancing so much. I still do. I still struggle with redefinin...