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Authors: Lucinda Ruh

Frozen Teardrop (31 page)

BOOK: Frozen Teardrop
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Surprisingly just as I was giving up and not caring truly if I lived or died, and not wanting to learn one more thing about what or why my body was going through all of this, someone we knew referred us to a well-recommended doctor, He actually recommended that I see him for my back pain. It was truly destiny that would bring me to the new doctor.

My mother and I, smiling as usual and with our heads held high, visited the doctor. My mother and I told each other that this was it. After this, if the treatment did not work, we would just go home to Switzerland. This time we did not expect much and maybe the less you expect the more you get. I mean how could we expect anything when we had been let down time and time again? How could we expect good results after nine years of continual struggle with my health? Since all doctors were different in their methods, we said nothing as he did his battery of tests. Once more I was prodded and poked and my blood was wanted.

He called us back about a week later for his findings and diagnosis. Since we thought we had heard it all, we were more interested in his recommendation of treatment than the diagnosis, hoping always that he might help with whatever on earth my body was going through. He sat us down. He was a man with a wise demeanor and calmness.

He began to talk. And the more he talked the more light bulbs started to flick on in our heads, and the more the events and situations in my life started to make sense. This doctor was saying things that none of the other doctors had mentioned. Yes, he said, I was certainly traumatized, overexerted, and mentally and physically broken down. At that time my head, ears, nose, and eyes were still all swollen from pressure and flu-like symptoms and my body was tingling from weak blood flow, my stomach was upset all the time but no one had been able to explain to us why I experienced this.

This doctor then got to the point and made his surprising diagnosis. He said he concluded that I was suffering from post-concussion syndrome and a related post-traumatic stress disorder. He believed that I had suffered many concussions as I spun with the force, speed, and power of my spins. He said I had been spinning so fast for so long and for so many hours a day that I had caused mini-concussions of my brain every single day that I did my spins. My quick and powerful entrance to the spins, then the fast acceleration of rotations themselves, followed by the quick or slow exit from my spins, had caused so much brain and head damage that it had affected my whole nervous system and therefore my immune system as well.

He also interestingly mentioned that when you suffer a concussion the pituitary gland is also injured and since this gland regulates hormones, my hormones were not in balance. He explained that the concussions caused my inner ear to be damaged, had blurred my vision, and was the reason I had vertigo, felt sick to my stomach, and had constant exhaustion. It was all linked to the brain and the fluid that the brain was floating in.

His diagnosis clearly made perfect sense to me. It was that I was feeling the effects of an ongoing concussion every day. I had been spinning much more and much faster than any other skaters I knew. I had been spinning at least two to three consecutive hours a day, and many more hours on some days, every day from the age of four. Just spinning and spinning in one direction.

The doctor ordered that my body would need much time to rest before it could even begin to heal. He said I would not be allowed to spin at all, and if ever again. We never had imagined or realized this. We had all along thought the spins were too beautiful, magical, and elegant to cause any trouble to my health. Although it wasn't easy to hear this, to say the least, we were thrilled that finally we had found a doctor who made sense. It was even more emotionally anguishing than what we had heard previously but it was a great relief to finally have an explanation for why my body was reacting the way it was.

Of course, I still wanted to spin. I had come to the point where I was addicted to the feeling of spinning, and it was my fame, my treasure, and my product of twenty years of work. And so I would miss it terribly and I would miss the feeling it always had given me. I had always been very determined to follow doctors' orders but this would certainly be the hardest order yet.

How could I permanently stop something I loved and was starved for every day? How could I stop the only thing that I thought had kept me alive all these years? Stopping spinning would come with great consequences just as stopping any repetitive and compulsive action does.

The doctor started to treat me with chiropractic work, acupuncture, and also some homeopathic medicine for my symptoms but firmly stated it would help only a little, but the most important factor was rest and not to do any physical activity. I would have to let my body heal itself. Surprisingly, within a few months I was really starting to feel better. I actually started to feel like I had a little more energy, maybe also because now I knew where all my suffering was stemming from. It was a huge relief filling in the last piece of the puzzle. My mind was able to relax a little more and, even though none of my symptoms had truly disappeared yet, I felt some energy to at least start waking up from my fog and dream state.

The more time that passed without spinning on the ice, the less dizzy I was and the more within my balance I became. The less I spun the less my ears were ringing, the less nauseous I felt from gastrointestinal illnesses, and the fewer headaches I experienced. The less I spun the less I was having more concussions, but of course I still needed to heal from all the damage I had already done to my body. It would take time, patience and prayers. Still today I am recovering, and I feel that only now does my life once more begin.

The main lesson that was presented to me here and now of course for my reader as well is not to learn that concussions caused my illnesses. They did cause me to become very sick, but that is not what is to be taken from this lesson. Rather I hope from the bottom of my heart that this lesson relates to all people of all walks of life. The lesson is that anything in moderation is quite fine but when taken to extremes like I did, no matter how wonderful and beautiful and luscious it may seem at that time, it will bring much more harm than goodness. This is true for any obsession about anything that is not in balance with the world and its people. This is one lesson I learned and I promised to God it would not be repeated in any other way in my life.

18
I Know

(NEW YORK CITY)

The longer I live the less I understand and the more I know.

A
t that time I came to see in myself, and find this even truer today, that the older in age on earth I became, the younger I evolved in spirit. Like Pablo Picasso said, “It takes a long time to become young.” A child does not really understand anything, yet he or she knows everything, sees everything, and can feel everything. Children are innocent yet knowing. The older I became the less I understood about life and the more I was in the knowing of life. I did not need to understand to know. It was an incredibly fortunate aspect of my life then and now, because everything was simplified. It unexpectedly brought all I needed to know to the surface.

As oil rises above water so does the truth in life, and the more I eliminated obstacles around me the more I saw clearly. All the nonsense started disappearing and all the clouds started lifting. I always felt I needed to prepare for my chance that would one day come to me, and now I felt my whole life had been preparation for my life to come. I wanted to put all my genius into the way I was living my life and my talents and hard work into the work I was to do.

Not many doors had easily opened in my life and many doors had shut, but now the roof seemed to open to the sky for my health. I feel the more you let yourself mourn a loss, the greater the possibility you'll have for the old to be released and for a door to open for new blessings to enter.

I had to stop spinning but I also had to cure all the other traumas I had incurred emotionally from my life. I let myself mourn more and more and whenever I felt like it. Previously I had never allowed myself to feel emotions as I had always been expected to smile and be happy 24/7. If I was upset or sad at something my mother felt guilty that she was unable to make me smile and would in return be mad at me. Since I did not want to see my mother upset I had refrained from expressing my feelings at all. To allow myself to be emotional was scary at first but freeing at last.

I was still living with all my ailments but I now knew what I needed to do. I just let myself cry from exhaustion. I stopped swallowing every single medication, vitamin, and pill with whatever was in it. I threw them all in the garbage. I threw away all the books I had tirelessly read on health and self-improvement. I threw away all the health drinks and steamed food. I had not eaten real food with flavor in ten years!

Where others in life needed a coach, or a teacher, or someone to guide them, one of the most important lessons I learned was that I now needed no one to tell me what to do. I had been desperately searching for a teacher, not realizing the teacher within me. You have to understand, that all my life I had people telling me what and how to do every single thing in my life. I could not walk or even eat without someone telling me I was doing it wrong. I was criticized all day every day in hopes of my becoming that perfect person. In my life when given two sweaters as a gift and having chosen which one to wear that day, I would be criticized for not having worn the other! I never could win and it was not a matter of wining but a matter of feeling like I could do something good. Now for me to cure myself I knew I had to follow no one, no treatment, and no plan whatsoever in any aspect of my life. I had to make my own decisions about life and I had to decide everything for myself. I had to have silence and only hear my voice.

When I was younger I remember thinking my head was going to explode because it was filled with monsters coming to get me that were all talking to me at once. In other words, I had to silence all other voices so I could hear my own, rely only on myself, let my wings spread, and let no one disturb their growth. I had to become the butterfly I was meant to be. I had to relearn how to take a shower, how to dress, how to eat like I wanted to. I had lost the meaning of life and now I had to find it again for myself. I was twenty-nine years old, and I hoped that I would never have to suffer like I had, ever again. I prayed that my body had gone through all the illnesses needed in this lifetime and that only health and happiness was to await me in the rest of my life.

I had deprived myself of almost everything considered self-indulgent and enjoyable in the last twenty years. So now that the world was my oyster you would think I wanted everything but rather, to the contrary, I did not want anything. You might think it was easy for me to decide to do what I wanted but it was extremely hard. I had no idea what I wanted or who I was. I was at a loss for everything

I had not enjoyed food since I had left Japan due to dieting, illness, and image. I decided I would start there. I would start eating real food of substance and flavor. I had to start not feeling guilty about eating. I had to forgive myself to really eat. It was very hard but I was motivated not to fall back into the state I had been in. It had been so long a period of such pain and despair that I would do anything not to fall back. It would take time and great forgiveness of myself, but I felt confident I would be able to do it.

Next, because I was so used to exercising nonstop, it was hard for my body and brain not to just automatically push myself to exercise, no matter what condition I was in. When I had exercised I did it until I shook and bled. I had no boundaries and did not know when to stop. I needed to now decrease exercising to the point of not doing any at all. Exercise had become detrimental to my life and it was incredibly hard to force myself to rest. I had to learn how.

So many people in this world lecture and teach others about how important exercise is, yet almost no one ever talks about how detrimental it can be as well. No one was out there to help people like me and I am sure there are many others who go through this. Think of it this way. I exercised about ten hours a day every single day nonstop for about twenty-five years from a young age when the body is trying to grow and mature. I was over-exercised to say the least. I had never recovered from the very first practice session that I had done on the ice at the tender age of four. I had never recovered from my spins.

As I did all of this healing, after a few months I was finally awakening. My senses slowly were starting to come back to me. I am not saying it happened right away. It was a painful experience but it was the way I wanted to go through it. I wanted to feel every emotion and pain in my body to fully be able to heal it. I was in a tremendous emotional recovery of life. I did not want to miss even one emotion and did not want to mask any of my past and how I had felt about it. If I did, I knew it would come back to haunt me later. I was meticulous about every single detail. I was missing my spinning incredibly but I had to put my health first. There had been years and years of torment to my mind and body so it would not heal in one day. It would take time to unravel it all. There was a beautiful park right below my apartment building and I took long slow walks along the river praying, meditating in my own way, and figuring out about life and myself. Here I did the most healing.

I knew I also had to forgive myself. If I did not forgive myself I truly could not forgive anyone or any situation. Forgiving myself was the hardest thing to do because I was the angriest at myself. I was angry and disappointed that I had said or communicated very little, that I had never stood up for myself, that I had nearly ruined my whole family, and that I had almost killed myself by not resting. Now I had to forgive everything that I had done to myself and to others. I knew as soon as I could forgive myself and therefore trust myself, I would be able to live again.

After forgiveness I needed to love myself. Once I did those two things I could forgive and love everything and everyone else. You can only do onto others what you have done for yourself. You can only expect from others what you expect from yourself. How can you have someone love you when you don't even love yourself? How can you demand respect from someone when you don't even respect yourself? I know this because I have lived it. I had been swimming up tide for years and I finally made a u-turn and swam with the tide. I let life take me once more to who I was when I was so young in Paris.

As I was healing, it was decided by the heavens above that my life would take me back to New York City. I had no agenda. For once I had absolutely no clue as to what I was to do in the city but I knew I had to be there. I did not understand why or where I was to go but I knew I had to be there to start afresh. In the eleven years from leaving Japan in 1997 to in 2008 I had moved fifteen times! It was an incredible journey, an education and enrichment, and I know I received lessons that I can live by forever and that I would never have learned otherwise. I felt I was an old soul and I felt lucky I had survived my ordeal, but even luckier that I had gone through this, because only now could I help another person in many more ways than my spins could ever have. I was now my only master, my only teacher and ready to be the inspiration to others.

I had so much to learn about life in the areas where I was still a child, such as communication, being social, enjoying life, not being worried that I was always being judged, and letting go and allowing myself to really enjoy life. I had always been in the mode of performance and competition. I was so used to being on stage that my whole life had become my stage. I was so used to representing someone on the ice that my whole life had become representing that someone. I never had the time or the space to be me and figure out and create me. The skating world was not truly a good mirror image of who I had been as a child.

If it hadn't been for my sister's skating I probably would never have wanted to skate at all. I have her to thank and to also forgive since her path had forced me into mine without my true consent. As a child I had been happy to play with the birds and animals and insects as in a true nature-filled wondrous fairy tale. But then life might not have taken me to where I am today and not have showed me the world and given me its lessons. And for that I am truly grateful because I could not be happier than I am today. I am finally living again.

It so happened that it seemed the reason I had come back to New York City and the true reason of regaining my sanity and sanctity for love and life was to know the love between a man and a woman. I had begun to love myself and now having let the past go, I was ready for love.

On October 11, 2008, I met a dashing man and on October 16, 2010, we married at our dream church of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. How lucky I was to be able to step a foot in his path that was not reserved for someone with a past like mine, nor was mine for a past like his. Or maybe our paths had been so similar in so many ways that we had run parallel to each other and now that we both had taken a turn in life we were destined to cross. He is a man of exuberance, intelligence, sophistication, and a subdued but magnetic presence with a hidden wildness to him. He is a world mixed with finance, justice, and law, and professor-like notions in the Einstein world of mathematics. I knew him right away. I did not need to understand, I just knew him. But, when I met him, he was a slate of charm and love. He represented a slate of vitality and truth. He carries me into his world and life, a life that had been as unique and misunderstood as mine. Full of passion stemming from the core of the earth right through his heart into the palm of my hand and onto my forehead was a kiss he would plant.

He introduced himself as Anthony, but I accidently called him Antonio. As he would ground me, I immediately give him the value that I accepted him for who he truly was beginning with his childhood, since unknown to me his birth name was Antonio. He is my root of laughter despite withholding that tear in his eye. We both are old fashioned romantics and I told him that “I love living and being in a man's world, but just let me be a real woman within it.” And he does. He had given me strength by loving me and gives me the gift of courage the more I loved him.

Our love is one no words can describe. We stand strong yet delicately on a powerful foundation of trust. He makes me produce that perfect tear. Lucky is the man who is the first love of a woman but luckier is the woman who is the last love of a man. Love is to never want anything else in return and we love for who we each become in the presence of the other. Love can only make you wiser, make you know more about love, which ultimately is all that life is about.

I have been truly lucky to have been so loved all my life — to have been introduced to eternal love from my parents, to have admiration and love from my fans, to find my own love of self, and now to have the love between a man and a woman. Much more love is to be experienced and I am preparing for all the love life has to offer me in every which way…

BOOK: Frozen Teardrop
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