Monica

My life took a dramatical change 1992-94

I was on my way to work as a social worker in Afrika, Mozambique. I lived in the countryside in the south of Dalarna in Sweden. I had lost my job as a school welfare officer because of a turbulent economical period in Sweden. I prepared for working in the capital of Maputo in the area of adoption.

Before I left I started to get problems with my eyes. They became very sensitive to light and I also became restless in my body. I thought I was nervous because of my coming trip to Mozambique. I told my doctor about my restlessness but in spite of that I got my health certificate.

At first I went to Portugal, Lisbon, to learn the Portuguese language and after that I went to Maputo. The restlessness increased gradually after I arrived to Afrika. I lost the control over my eyes. I got muscle spasm which I couldn´t control. I couldn´t sit still for more than a couple of minutes. After a while in Mozambique I consulted the doctor of the Swedish Embassy. She could not diagnose what was wrong. She also thought that it was my nerves playing me a trick. I tried to do my job and because of that I strained myself into maximum.  The problems increased.  I also started to lose control over my jaw and eating became difficult. I was biting myself in the tongue, cheek and teeth. The rest of the body also became affected. Now I had difficulties to see properly, my balance was poor, I could not keep my body still, my arms moved all the time. I had difficulties to write properly. Many of the movements that were automatic from childhood were affected. I tested foot zone therapy and acupuncture. Nothing helped.

I also lost my capacity to meditate. Still I did it. I only managed to sit in meditation for a couple of minutes in the beginning. Gradually I could meditate more minutes. Meditation gave me some release.

After one year the strain was finally too much for me. I decided to leave my mission in Maputo. I knew that something was really serious because I couldn´t heal myself with what I had learned as a health therapist. I have some healing skills but they did not work. I also realised that in this condition I was incapable of continuing to work in my profession.

During my time in Afrika

I had again started painting again.  I was shown the seed capsule of the rosewood and I started to paint on them. The rosewood is blossoming in October.

When I walked through a park on my way to my job the crowns of the huge trees were blue lilac as well as the ground beneath. Among the flowers there were the brown seed capsules about 6-7 x 5-8 cm. I did not have much to do as homework because I had a maid doing all of it. I used my leisure time painting about 100 small paintings on the capsules.  I also designed a few clothes which a tailor made for me. On the last day in Maputo I said to my Mozambican colleges that I am going home to become a designer. What I meant was to become an artist. I had been painting during many years before.

My doctor in Africa had finally understood that there might be something serious in my health situation. She sent me to a neurologist in Sweden when I returned. The doctor immediately realised that I had a neurological decease. I got a diagnose which did not cover my situation. There was no real help to get, only tranquilizers, which I did not accept. I got my correct diagnose only several years later. Dystonia – Meighs syndrom.

I was very ill when I returned home

I did not want anybody to see me because my appearance was terrible, I was shaky, restless full of cramps, especially in my face.  I had to sleep many times during the day to get some balance. As fast as I communicated with somebody or did something that made me tired I lost the little balance and energy I had. I isolated myself to be able to cope with the situation. Even thou I had the difficulties I went to town to by my food, I participated in curses, I sang in the choir.

When I was alone I could cope with myself. My worst difficulties were when I was together with people. I could paint in my loneliness and do artwork. I also managed to be in groups when I wasn’t the headperson. In the countryside I could ride a bicycle but in town totally impossible. In traffic I could not focus enough on riding and the surrounding. Through using the bice I restored a lot of my balance as well with yogic exercises.

When I returned to my village there was an art course in Vedic Art. My teacher Kurt Källman was a wise man. He understood my situation and supported me to become an artist. I followed his teaching under many years until his death. I soon got an identity as a respected artist, not only as a person who was ill and looked strange with all the cramps in the face and the body.

The first years were really hard. Soon after I returned home I was in an anthroposophical hospital for 4 weeks.  I could relax in the loving and caring surrounding. My healing started slowly. I have since then consulted several alternative practitioners and have gradually become stronger.

Most important has been Osteopathy

I used to get severe strain in my head because of what I was doing. I felt better for some time after a treatment. It did not solve the problem, it helped me to cope with my life. I am an intense person doing a lot of things which many times was, and still is, too much for my body.
I also consulted different kind of alternative health practitioners. I have been eating vitamins and minerals. All the B vitamins, B 12 and folic acid, Magnesia, all minerals and trace elements. Gradually I have been stronger.

Around 1980 I had learnt to improvise, to dance in a conscious way, called Essential Movement. It´s a free form of movement. The choreography is to focus into the whole body and follow the movements that coming up. It´s like meditation in movement. I loved that kind of movement but after some years with the illness I was so disillusioned because of all the difficulties. I was on my way to give up everything I used to love, painting, singing, dancing and learning new skills.

Because of my teacher in Vedic Art I dared to try new things. I resulted in a journey to India to my Spiritual teacher whom I had not seen for some years. On this trip the Swedish group got an interview with him. Immediately when we had entered into the interview room He pointed at me and told me to dance. I doubted in my mind.  He told me again that I had to dance. He also showed me that I had to go on with painting, singing and do all the things I used to love and to develop myself.

I understood I had to improvise dance again. I started to dance every day from that moment. I improvised to any kind of music. I became skilful to connect with my deeper self, my true movements. Somebody saw me dance through a window while I was in India and said that it looked beautiful.  That was the starting point for me to show my dance for other people.

I am meditating in movement

While dancing I am lifted up to another energy level. It gives happiness and good feelings. The body cramps are less during the dancing. Because of the dancing, I also improved my strength, flexibility, and balance. It motivates me also to do yoga, meditation and other exercises. In this way I have managed to keep the body strong.

Soon I met another Dance movement teacher. I went through the teachers training in Essential Motion. It deepened my dance skills.  I felt I came closer to my true self. I have also been teaching this kind of movement dance.

I saw a neurologist again after some years. I got my correct diagnose. After that I got Botox injections around the most affected parts as eyes, jaw and neck. This has helped me a lot. I got access to more of my natural energy. Still I am not totally well. But I participate in life more fully now.  I am 71 years old. I became ill when I was 47.  My life is inspiring and full of new challenges.

Since 1995 I regularly have had art exhibitions. I also perform, improvise dance in connection to my art shows. In this way I show my art from two angels.

I followed my spiritual teachers advise to dance

It has taken me to new inspiring places in life, and still does. I moved to Stockholm 2015. Here are more possibilities. I am learning salsa, bachata, tango and other kind of dances. I am doing the things I like. I feel the joy of learning new things.

I believe that any kind of dancing exercises can heal and help all kind of ailments in the body and mind.
You can watch on youtube a dance video with the name:   Monica Gorschelnik

Stockholm 2017

Monica Gorschelnik

monica@onlinekonst.se


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Emilia

Emilia’s story

It all started eighteen years ago when I was 17. I’m 35 years old now. It was very hard at the beginning. I couldn’t sleep because of the uncontrolled movements, my neck and my shoulder were twisted. Going to school was not easy so I often missed classes. My friends were having fun and partied a lot like most teenagers and my life was all about dystonia. I went from hospital to hospital. I was totally helpless and did not understand what was happening to me. I received lots of different drugs by they didn’t help much. My mum arranged individual classes at home for me.

I think that I didn’t go mad at the time only because I always had a strong personality and I tried to confront my condition. I met with friends, went out and people visited me. I remember when my friend’s father once said that he couldn’t help wondering why such mishaps occurred to good people like me while so many bad people around were doing well and feeling fine. Even my teachers were surprised that I was so joyful.

Despite suffering a lot, I tried to live a normal life.

Then came a time when I started feeling better. I’m not sure whether it was the effect of acupuncture, well-chosen medications or maybe my inner cheerfulness. I passed my GCSEs and went to the prom which I enjoyed a lot. I took entrance exams to a college to study education but I failed. I wanted to try once again the following year but in the meantime my condition aggravated. I was hospitalised  and received botox – not much, just half a vial. All the time I was on neurotop tablets.

And my condition improved once again. I began to live a life similar to that of my friends. I went to parties and enjoyed life. I would go out even when I was twisted because when I danced my symptoms improved. I didn’t realise at the time that it was my best cure, the way to relax my muscles.

My parents suggested that I should start an extramural programme at the University of Technology. They were afraid that I would move to Toruń which would cost them more. So I began to study at the University of Technology and I was really scared at first because in high school I didn’t do well at sciences. But after the first semester I was really surprised to find that I was not bad at all.

All the time when I was studying to become an engineer I was fine and in the meantime I even took an extra course. So in the morning I did the course and in the evening I had classes at the university. When I graduated, I began a 6-month internship program. I also had a couple of relationships but none worked for a longer time. Men would break up with me when they learned I had a neurological disorder. So I came to a conclusion that I should rather treat men as friends and stop looking for a partner for the rest of my life. I spent the last year at the university focusing on intense study and defending my thesis. But I did not manage to do it as my condition got worse again.

At that very difficult time in my life I met my current husband.

At the beginning I thought we would only be friends. When he kissed me goodbye after one of our long walks, it crossed my mind that it might be something more. I was hospitalised again and the doctors gave me botox but there was no noticeable improvement. My mum arranged for me a special medical examination before a health insurance panel and they awarded a health benefit to me for a period of one year. After a year I wasn’t feeling well at all, but the health insurance doctors decided I was ready to start work. I could have appealed against their decision but I thought ‘Let them choke on the benefit!’ and I returned to what I did not finish in the past and defended my degree thesis.

I began to work but my condition was not too good, It was not easy to sit at a desk for 8 or sometimes even 12 hours when I was all twisted, but I managed. In the meantime I started learning Norwegian and doing  extramural master’s degree studies. I had a lot of duties but it made me feel better. After a while I had to give up on Norwegian classes because I would catch a cold too often, but I continued to work and study in parallel. I completed the second semester and then something took me by surprise.

Something that was growing in my belly.

I was just scheduled to receive another course of botox but I didn’t do it because I wasn’t sure what impact it would have on the baby. Even my doctor was uncertain. At the time, I took neither botox nor any medications and it was a real horror. Until the sixth month of my pregnancy I worked and studied but I did not manage to defend my master’s thesis. Pregnancy was an extra burden for my body. I was planning a natural childbirth but it ended up with a C-section because my beloved baby had breathing difficulties. When my baby was born I also did not take botox because I wasn’t sure whether it would not get into the breast milk. And I don’t know what happened then, whether my love for my child cured me or something else but since then my condition has begun to improve. I do not take any medications or botox at the moment, only some thyroid drugs.

There are days when my muscles contract and when I have a back pain but I’m fighting back. My sister told me once that she admired me because she would not be able to cope with all of it. But it might not be true. Before something ruins your life, you don’t need to find the strength to fight for a better tomorrow.

I also found a hobby,

pole dance – which makes me feel great and I started learning to swim. Both dancing and swimming help me relax my body.

I have all my life before me so I will certainly take up new hobbies in the future not to get bored. I try to stretch my body every morning, eat a healthy diet and cherish every moment of my life. I will never give up because I have somebody to live for. Even if my body hurts I try not to think about it because he is my whole life, I live for him. Optimism and openness in relations with other people helps a lot. The disease taught me  modesty. There are days when I am really mean for my husband, but I love him a lot too. It is sometimes difficult because he not always understands me and doesn’t feel what I feel. I don’t think I am a special person. Everyone is special and everyone should fight for their life because otherwise you can go out of your mind. First love yourself and then you can make other people happy :):):)

P.S. Lots of love, hugs and kisses. Cheer up! What’s on your mind matters a lot so think positively and live here and now. Leave your past behind and focus on the presence. And if the presence is not good, face it and fight back. Do not let other people judge you and your life because no one has a right to do it.