The Quiet Voice

So… in response to social media asking what’s on my mind. Here we go. A difficult truth.

My illness means that there’s a constant background hum in my head. A voice (or voices), on repeat, telling me You Can’t Do It. You can’t go on, there’s no point, just stop, you’re the worst, nobody cares.

Sometimes that noise becomes loud, overwhelming. Physical action (hiding, or at least getting to a place of safety) is necessary.

Right now, it’s telling me that nobody wants to see this. It’s not helpful, it’s just whingeing. Oh great, she’s off again. And that famous old retort known to depressed folk everywhere: Just Wanting Attention.

No.

This is how my mental illness manifests. People have asked, and some don’t believe it, but it’s true, and very real for me.

But…

If I’m able to cut through the noise, to listen carefully, there’s also a quiet but determined counter-voice. It just says ‘You Can. Keep going.’

It doesn’t always win. But I’m so glad that it’s still there.

My inner self hasn’t given up on me.

Still here.

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This week has been difficult. I have written nothing, because I don’t want to remember the thoughts I’ve been having. But they were real.

Last week, Himself convinced me to buy a notebook. No big deal, I have many.

But this one is different.

This notebook is blank. Unlined. Bare pages. All waiting to be marked.

This book represents such a huge fear. Of making my mark and being wrong. Of mess, of failure, of ruining something that could have been more.

This is nonsense, of course. But like those awful thoughts that I’d rather forget, still real.

I want to mark these pages. I want to write, to draw, to sketch and scribble, with no judgement. I want those voices of illness to be drowned out by what I AM doing, rather than what I’m afraid to do.

My marks may be good or bad, but they will be mine. And true.

Battling onward. Still here.

Small Magics

(Cross-posted with The Catbox).

To paraphrase many notable occultists, Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.

We all do this, all the time – but unconsciously. We let ourselves be influenced by outside forces, as our attention is moved from one thought to the next.

But when we take charge of our consciousness, with intentional and will-power, we can feel the change happen.

As I walk this path, I often say that Paganism is a constant practice (in the same way that we practice magic). We learn about ourselves and our connections with others, and create change with our thoughts, words and actions.

Today… perhaps a simple change, but to me, a profound one.

I felt myself beginning to slip, to spiral down into the depression. Quickly – time to take action.

Moving is the first step. Sometimes I don’t even get that far, which is why I usually have a book or a knitting project to hand.

Then Doing, something which brings me back to myself, usually through happiness, an activity I enjoy. Alter the negative feeling, grab onto something to stop the spiralling fall.

I distract myself with this, even though the anxiety-voices are telling me that I have things to do, I should be working! But no.

Right now, I’m spending this hour in an indulgent, sweet-smelling Bimble bath. I’m reading a book. I’m washing myself thoroughly, then using pleasant scented Lush oil afterwards. I wrap myself in a soft dressing-gown, and fuss the pups (who’re always glad I survived The Bath).

I can now feel mind and body relaxed. The tension has dissipated, the worried voices gone quiet. I was able to beat it (this time). It’s not always so simple, but I celebrate this victory.

Each win tells me that I can do it, and keep on doing it. Even on the worst days.

I’m now sharing this, cross-posting so that in these small words can themselves be a magic spell, to inspire in turn.

If you need it, feel my hand reaching out to you. We can get through it, dear ones.

Small magics, together.

Caring

Today… so tired. Recovering from the past couple of days, perhaps.

What has kept me going is the love that has been sent to me. Seeing how people care. Friends I know well, those I only know via the Interwebs – their honest caring has been a lifeline to me.

Friends who send patterns for creative prettiness.

Those who send their own books, for amusement and distraction.

Himself, caring so deeply even when he is struggling.

Those who share words, pictures of furry family, funny madness and randoms to raise a smile.

I am so touched that people care. Especially when my illness is trying to convince me that I’m worthless.

You all put the lie to this, shining truth by reaching out. Never doubt the worth of your words, even when your own brain weasels start to bite.

Thankyou so much, dear friends. Your love and care is a gift beyond price.

Also, the expressions of your cats as many of you took their picture was its own peculiar gift 😂

xx

Victory

This morning, I was trying my best… but sadly, it was not enough. 

Massive depression meltdown. 

Held up only by Himself, I made it through. I sank deep and had to kick up again in order to see daylight. But I did it. And am so very thankful for my family supporting me through it all.

Now, I’ve got myself moving. Not overdoing it, but I’m writing this from the gym. On my own (well, with a friendly trainer lady and a couple of other busy bodies). And I’m battling this time for positive adrenaline. 

Cycling for miles in a safe environment, watching Bettany Hughes on my phone screen. ‘Divine Women’, a documentary about the Goddess. 

I may not be quite a Wonder Woman, but I’m doing my best. This is more than I thought I’d accomplish today, by a long way. 

So I play on these fitness toys while listening to ancient tales of mighty women. 

This one’s for Nike – not the sporting goods manufacturer, but the Goddess of Victory.

Re-Beginning

It’s been a while. Illness mostly, but this meant a certain anxiety about exposure, wanting to snuggle in and hide instead of expose myself… but this page was intended to be small. Daily sharing of things that inspire me, to remind me and keep me moving, while hopefully sharing that energy with others as well.

Plus, any writing is good for momentum in creating More Writing 😉

I’ve been finding mornings very difficult lately. I used to be up and doing, loving that fresh feeling of the air before the day truly begins. But the thought of all the things the day might hold has been scary recently. Overwhelming. More than I can cope with, physically and mentally.

So today I’m taking it gently. What am I doing… right now.

I have a pup cosily asleep on my leg.

I’m writing.

I’ve been knitting a madly-coloured cosy thing with beautiful yarn, that makes me smile and feels good to touch.

The rain is beating down against the window.

These thoughts can inspire grins or worries. I have to take the dogs out in the rain soon – I’m letting the thought bring a smile, anticipating the rain washing my hair naturally and bringing the scent of damp grass. I could let it bother me, whinge and moan… but I can’t avoid it, so I choose to welcome it, as the dogs will.

Writing has been daunting. What can I say? How will people react? I’m not clear enough in my mind to put ideas ‘out there’… But this is my space, and I’m doing it anyway.

Even the knitting – in a crazy mixed-up bunch of colours that I really shouldn’t like. But I do. It makes me happy, in the act of creation and the result.

I’m doing my best to dig deeper than the surface miasma, the fog of depression. I want to see, to determine that Yes, I’m doing something because *I* want to. And I can. And it will be whatever it is.

I’m looking at the potential of the day, not the fears. Heading outside soon. Let’s see what comes.

Much love, my friends.