My legs are bending and clacking straight again like a builders tape measure. Bend, straighten, bend, straighten, bend, straighten. This is me dancing. Well, the lower half anyway. The upper half is doing its own thing entirely. My arms are bent at the elbow. I know this much. But past the elbow it’s anyone’s guess. Some sort of twirling might be occurring. It’s hard to say. Perhaps windmilling is a better description. So, to recap – legs: bend, straighten, bend, straighten, bend, straighten. Arms from the elbow down: twirl, windmill, twirl, windmill. Sounds about right. I’m fairly certain if I ever danced like this in a club a 24hr vet would be called out and I would be shot with a sedative dart. Fortunately I’m in the privacy of my spare room. Blinds closed. As are my eyes. Clinging for dear life to my wildly bucking head is a pair of headphones, through which blasts Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. Perhaps better known as the theme song from Rocky. 3 minutes 53 seconds of pure testosterone-pumped cheddar. And I’m doing the full Travolta to it in my back bedroom. Legs: bend, straighten, bend, straighten, bend, straighten. Arms from the elbow down: twirl, windmill, twirl, windmill. Oh, for pity’s sake what now. Cripes. I’m triumphantly punching the air with a clenched fist, which is odd because a 37-year-old man rocking out to Survivor on his own isn’t anything to feel particularly triumphant about. I’m too English for this. I do feel ever so silly. But I’m possessed by the steady rhythmic beat of the drums, which sound like the pounding feet of Hannibal’s war elephants on the march. As I pirouette out of a deft little Northern Soul spin I remember Guru Cohen’s words, “Really go for it and dance and celebrate being well again, feel the joy and happiness just like you’re completely better, really get into it and feel those emotions, be grateful for being healthy.” So as my legs bend and straighten and my arms twirl and windmill and punch the air I focus my mind on what it would feel like to be well. I summon up the spirit of Rocky and imagine myself as victor. I try to visualise myself totally fit and free of ulcerative colitis. I try to feel it as if it were true. It’s a huge mental effort, but I start to smile, and for a fleeting moment I do feel something, and it feels good.
Every day after I’ve finish my hypnotherapy session I put my headphones on and dance to Eye of the Tiger. I no longer feel such a berk and I quite enjoy it now. I’m not sure if it’s having any effect on my UC, but my dancing is coming on in leaps and bounds, and I’ve been called back for a second audition for Grease: The Musical.