Dance Your Way Through Dysfunction


Do you enjoy dancing? The feel of the music taking over your body, moving every limb in a different direction? What about dancing to your own beat? To the music that rings in your head with no disruption? I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly dancing to the beat of my own dysfunction–I mean, drum. At times, it feels like the Cha Cha slide—a quick twist of the hips, dipping it as low as I can with two torn ACL knees. Then at other times, it feels as if I’m doing the staple of Hip Hop, the One-Two Step. My limbs channel Ciara’s flexibility as I violently snap these fingers. The dance I do during my dysfunction times tells me how often I have one foot in and one foot out in several conflicts in my life. I don’t want the dance to necessarily stop. I love dancing. However, I would like for this dance to look a little bit more coordinated.

Because I want to make sure I sound somewhat educated for the people, I’ve done research on what dysfunction actually means. It is quite simple. Merriam-Webster defines dysfunction as “an abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group.” Contrary to the dysfunctional person, a functional person consists of a healthy/resilient identity with the ability to have appropriate boundaries, a degree of self-acceptance and compassion, positive emotional regulation, and having great skills in self-reflection.

(I also read that a functional person does not drink Tequila. Great.)

And let me be clear, the dysfunction I am referring to is the everyday chaos we may endure—relationship conflicts, feeling inadequate in your job, toggling between your representative versus your real self, and setting healthy boundaries. But as a woman that works in the mental health field, I’ve also had exposure to the dysfunction accompanying conditions like depression and anxiety. If you’re experiencing or believe that you’re experiencing a state of depression or anything related, I look forward to making future posts concerning mental illness.

Nevertheless, why does it seem more taxing to attempt a life of function rather than dwelling in the chaos? Psychology is telling me I can’t be too clingy, but I should understand how to be interpersonal. Then I have to learn how to accept that people are not going to do as I ask and be okay with that. THEN I have to learn how to go home and reflect with the man in the mirror, fighting all my demons, insecurities, and doubts to come out on top. Basically, in order to be a functional person, I have to be still, friendless, jobless, and lacking romantic connection. As we speak, I’m now in the process to buy not one, but several cats. I am lonely!

Your life may be perfect. However, I’ve had several life experiences that brought complete turmoil into my life. I’ve endured romantic relationships breaking me in half, discovered that BFF4L can sometimes means BFF4-right-now, questioned if being a stripper sounds better than getting my Master’s, learned the difference between self-reflection and a midlife crisis, seen family not being so family, and braved the constant fight with myself, etc. Frankly, I have endured life beating at me time after time.

Dysfunction lives here. It is okay.

But yet, I am still here. And yes, you are still here. Through the storms, hail, and sleet (and now Corona), notice that we’re all alive and breathing. We came out on top. I find that truth correlates with having hope. Specifically, having hope in finding out what’s next with deep, internal motivation boiling inside to conquer whatever mountain is standing in our way.

Please point me to one person that has gone through life with no dysfunction? If you’re to show them to me, I’ll scream, “BULLSHIT!” Then I’ll proceed to say, “What a boring life you may have lived.” Your dysfunction is what you make of it. If you decide to dwell in your chaos, grabbing that ice cream and watching Gone With the Wind for the umpteenth time, then you may have just failed yourself. But if you decide to dance through your chaos, casually doing the Cha Cha Slide, then you may have found that your stiff ass hips have swayed you out of yet another problem.

Once the Cha Cha Slide has ended, the One-Two Step may have violently stomped you into your next dysfunction. But don’t panic.

Realistically, you will, and when you do, breathe. You will remember how great the Cha Cha Slide felt. You will remember how dancing to the beat of your dysfunction turned into the beat of your success. Then you will bang on those drums, never getting tired. In my opinion, dysfunction introduces you to a life full of color.

Dysfunction turns into function that turns into dysfunction that turns right into function. It is a cycle, a draining one. You get up, dust yourself off, and learn from your mistakes. And with everything in you, do not make the same mistake twice. That means leave that man alone, girl, do not give him that 100th chance. Chile.

Cue the music. Alexa, play Freakum Dress by Beyonce.