I took the last month and a half off of blogging. Sorry about that, but I really needed the time to myself. There were some school-related reasons, and some familial reasons as well. But the main reason for me was that I seriously needed time to myself, to mentally work on my own mental health and to really work on making myself healthy and happier. After all, even though I’ve been on medication for my conditions for quite a few months, I had one that was a bit more difficult to deal with, and I had some major flare-ups of tension and stress this last month. So I took some time off to take care of myself and just focus on getting myself back into a healthy mindset. Continue reading
So I’m a bit late (sorry, school/family is hectic).
However, balance. I’m continuing a bit off my last post (Medication and Spirituality), because it seems prudent to do so. And I want to, so that’s most important. It follows along with how my mind and mental state have been lately, so I’m going to write along as I see fit.
Getting myself all balanced out mentally is important to me. I don’t much care what other people think about my mental state and whether I should be a practicing witch, or a pagan petitioning deities if I choose. Other people’s opinions on that aren’t worth my time, because they don’t know what I’m going through. I have to work with what makes sense to me, and how I believe is best, and what the clues my system has given me over the years. All the clues and signs show me that what I am doing has not offended anyone/thing yet, so I think that at least on that front I’ve found something that works for me. So I’m coming to where I don’t listen to what others have to say about what I must do. Still, for my own sake, I want balance. And by that I don’t mean a duality, or a dichotomy or any sort of traditional meaning of the word.
For me balance is being level, being happy and confident with myself. It means having a level of emotions that isn’t swinging between extremes and not feeling depressed most of the time. It means me being comfortable in my own skin and with who I am. Because I’ve finally come to accept that I am not going to be what a normal person is, not with my mental health what it is. For me, being “normal” is never going to happen. It is not in the cards for me, that much is clear just from my mental makeup and the way I’ve been raised. I had to come to terms with those facts. I might be able to pretend, to act normal, and at times, acting is important.
But, balance for me is being myself. It is accepting who I am and working with what the gods have given me. That means, I’m working with a mental framework quite outside the ordinary. I’ve been fighting that thought for quite some time. It’s only very recently that I’ve begun to accept that I need to be myself before I can really work as either witch or pagan. If I’m fighting myself on who and what I am, I’m not in balance or able to do what I need to. Accepting that I have flaws, and that my mental health is considered (by society) totally wrong, is something I’m working with. There are some good points to my mental health, and good days, where I do better. Those are good days. But balance for me is working through the worse times, dealing with myself and my health when I’m not at my best.
I enjoy finding this balance, actually. Finding ways to keep the balance is forcing me to be creative. I have the “mundane” (I still need a better word for this) points all covered, and I’m working on those with my doctor for my health. But, on a spiritual level, I have to get creative at times. Because some things I read will just not work for me, they are not part of how my mind works and functions, they would throw what balance I have out the window. I enjoy the challenge of finding ways to continue to find balance though. It helps me see myself in a positive light, which is something I’ve never much been able to do throughout my life. So finding balance is helping me in my normal, day-to-day life as well, even if the intended purpose is to help my spiritual life, it carries over into making me feel just overall better on the self-esteem front.
Balance is just a rather new concept for me though. I’m just beginning to figure it all out in all facets of my life. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes and mess it up, but at least I’ve begun to find a framework to work with to keep myself in balance in most cases.
So my medications seem to be working (a few months out now). This is quite good news, and I’m sensing an upwards trend in my mood. I’m not in the ever-depressed state that is my normal. And I’m sleeping for the first time in my whole life, quality sleep that is actually leaving me not feeling tired. Pretty much, I’m counting this as a win. Since I’m feeling better, with more energy, I’m actually quite thrilled that my life seems to be evening out somewhat.
Still, I’m cautious. Medications have always stopped working for me in the past. I don’t want to get too optimistic about this treatment working, and then have it fail on me again, as the others have all inevitably done. I like being on the level and feeling good, happy-ish again. But still, I’m very cautious about what is going to happen in the next few months. I have a tolerance or something to medications, or my mental disorders tend to be treatment resistant to a more or less greater extent. So until this method seems to work outwards of a year, I’m going to be skeptical of exactly how useful it is for the long term.
I want to be optimistic about everything, to just believe that it’s all going to work out without fail. That hasn’t been the case in the past though, and I don’t like being burned per say, so I’m leaning on the side of over-cautious.
My medications though, since I’m finally finding a level again, I have new questions arising in my head. After all, if it requires medical treatment for me to remain emotionally and mentally level, then I wonder how much I can trust anything that I do. Can I trust what I see or hear, what I work on, if I can’t even have my own mind in solid, stable peace without medical intervention? Not that I’m delusional or I hallucinate, I don’t do that, even off my meds, but I am curious as to how the medications in my system might affect my experiences. I wonder if they might cloud my ability to contact deity, or to fully participate. But then I shake those thoughts off. Because no one is perfect. And my issues are just strong enough in a chemical unbalance that I need some extra help.
That doesn’t mean that I should distrust everything I encounter. Or at least, I believe it doesn’t.
I’m careful about what I believe and accept. I judge it all against the litmus test of reasonable expectation, lore and the broader experiences of the “pagan community”. Also, I know what I’m like at my worst, what my mind is like, so I think I have a pretty good handle on telling if my mind is making things up to deal with situations. After all, who better than me now (more stable), to judge what I have gone through and whether my own experiences are valid or not?
I’m sure if I needed to, I could always find ways to check against what I think. After all, the scholar in me does not like to be wrong, and so I do lots of research and checks. I don’t think that I would be any less careful in my workings, because I’m that cautious in my daily life. After all, after years of having to pretend at “normal” to fit in, I know what things should be like. In terms of my religious beliefs it is more difficult, far less of a “normal” to be compared to, but the same basic caution that I have in my non-magic life should serve me just as well.
Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that my medications are helpful. (Of course they are, or I wouldn’t be taking them, I mean helpful beyond the diagnosed purpose of my taking them) Knowing what it’s like to be on an even keel helps me to act and think more calmly, to learn more and understand more about the world around me. If that weren’t a good thing, I don’t know what could be considered so. The medication I’m on helps me feel more myself, and being more comfortable in my own skin makes it easier for me to work in general with regards to spirituality.
So lately I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety. My mental issues lead to anxiety problems. Pretty much, I don’t do well with stress, as it causes me to freak out pretty badly. In all cases, the anxiety has been getting pretty bad lately, I’m sure it’s stress from school having been starting up this last month more than anything, and hopefully this month, as things settle down again, I might be able to get calmer again. What I want though, is a way to get things calmer, so that I can relax and just focus on myself without worrying so much. Still, the stress and anxiety can sometimes be overwhelming. I don’t always handle it absolutely the best, but I do work on handling things better than I would have even a few years ago. Stress isn’t really my best motivator (but then again, I think for no one)…so I suppose it isn’t shocking at all. The anxiety resulting from stress isn’t good at all, and it just serves to make me even more tense during school. That then just makes me even more stressed out, which piles on more anxiety. So it’s a huge cycle that is kind of hard for me to break.
What I’m thinking I want to do is figure out some measures to work on the anxieties. There isn’t a lot I can do, not that would work quickly, I know that. And I’m working on things in the “normal” way (through doctors/appointments/etc, I hate the term “mundane” for things that aren’t witchcraft/practice related, but I’ve yet to find a good term to use for anything in my daily non-practice-related life) as well, so it isn’t like I’m ignoring all the traditional ways of working on my problems. I just want to work on things in another way, perhaps for a boost that certainly cannot hurt me at any rate, and certainly might help me.
I’ve been considering working on some knot magic, working some calming intentions into it, to make perhaps some bracelets for myself. I like wearing jewelry, and it would be something I could wear without thinking about it, which would take the thought process out of it. And, given my friends’ curious natures, it would avoid quite a few questions that I don’t really want to answer about my mental health. If it is jewelry like a bracelet, I can wear it daily without any trouble or thought, which would be very easy for me. Also, I think, if it is convenient for me, I’m more likely to keep it up, which is bound to increase effectiveness. I don’t really do anything if it is going to take too much time out of my day to arrange it, so something simple like jewelry is something I can easily do.
Not that it will solve anything, because it won’t. I know myself far too well. However, perhaps even the help of something on my person will benefit me. It might be calming. I know my anxieties won’t just disappear, and the underlying issues aren’t just going to go away. They still exist, even if I have these. But, perhaps this will help me cope on a daily basis, to at least get through my days. So I’m going to be stopping back by my home tomorrow or Tuesday to pick up my yarns, crochet hooks and then I’ll start on these. After all, knot magic is something I’m comfortable enough to experiment with, even if I’ve never tried anything of this type before.
So I’m going to write this, even though I’m probably going to cry while doing it. See, this is intensely personal, and yet, it’s a huge part of who I am, something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I haven’t talked a lot about it because I’ve been rather ashamed. I still am not fully comfortable admitting everything, so I’m broad-stroking some details. Still though, I need to write up something that is a huge part of who I am. Even if I can’t/won’t write it all yet, I need to at least write out some of it, because it is a factor in my life. Continue reading
As the growing season presses onward, we should be seeing signs of growth all around us….
If you look hard enough, I’m sure you could find it….
Well….this is interesting for me.
I’m sure that I could look a lot of different ways. Perhaps best though is to look at myself. Which seems obvious, but is always hardest for me. I don’t like looking at myself. It usually makes me see things I don’t like. That’s good in a way, because once I see things I don’t like, I can try to change. But it’s uncomfortable and painful at times. My own image of myself isn’t at it’s greatest. I’m feeling better about how I see myself physically. Hell, I’m getting to where I feel pretty again. Not hot, not gorgeous…but definitely attractive under the right circumstances. That’s a start.
But once I look inwards, well then my nice feelings explode. Continue reading