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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Medicine

After a lovely weekend, this week has been tough.

But inspiration to keep going has come from many places.

The voices of friends, urging me on.

Book recommendations, connecting me to other worlds.

Hugs from dogs (mine and other people’s).

Walking through fog, and feeling its peace.

Seeing the creativity of others, and their willingness to share.

Parcels from friends!

Yesterday, I started some new medications. As I always get side-effects, lovely MH Doctor put me on a quarter of the minimum dose. She gets me 😂

Last night, I was feeling asleep at 8.30pm. Having to force myself to focus on anything. Worrying: ‘Oh no, not again.’

Today, I woke… feeling good. Not having to fight to do the most basic tasks. No tension headache. No brain-fog. Feeling as bright as the sky outside.

I have no idea how long this will last.

But for all of the above, all of the different types of medicine helping me hold on and continue my fight, I am so very grateful.

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

Love Is…

Realized I forgot to post yesterday. This is due to Being Knackered after Saturday’s travelling and speaking adventures!

Today, I’m still so tired. Someone once questioned this, saying ‘You’re just standing there and talking, what’s tiring about that?’ I asked if they’d ever done it. They looked shocked, and replied (in a disgusted tone, as if I was stupid to even ask), ‘No!’

I often wonder what people see when they see me Doing My Thing. Does it look easy? If so, it didn’t always. Those who remember the early days can confirm this.

But honestly, I don’t know how I could not do this now.

I received a quiet message today, asking about a Handfasting. I’d love to help. Plans are being put together. All is good.

It’s for a poly (ie polyamorous) relationship.

I’ve had so many people nervously approach and ask if I mind performing their ceremony, given that it’s ‘a bit unusual.’ From relationship styles to locations, I’ve heard many ‘strange’ requests.

But they’re not strange, not really. They’re true for those involved. The ritual that they’re crafting must be honest, or why bother? It must reflect their relationship, what they love about each other. I’ve yet to have a ceremony without humour, for example, and that’d be quite shocking to some, no doubt!

Yes, I have performed poly Handfastings. Also all male, all female, and my first trans ceremony is being organised now.

Love is love. I hold the space for that. I help, however I can. I encourage, laugh along, listen to grievances and assist with problems where possible. I Priest.

The only time I Judge is when the relationship seems troubled – I cannot, in good conscience, wed those who are not ready (although one day, they may be).

I go away, consider, work and then step up to do my job. It may look easy, but under the robe, there’s feet stepping carefully so as to not fall, and inside my heart is the fervent prayer to do right in the moment.

I’m always honoured to do What I Do, and I will continue. Gladly. Inspiring and inspired.

And with a reserved rest day afterwards.

Blessings

Today, I was giving a talk at The Enchanted Market in Bracknell. My first talk of the year – and I was excited but also VERY nervous.

Fortunately, Himself was able to accompany me (and we were allowed to record the talk, so that’ll be going up on my YouTube channel soon).

As soon as I arrived, I was met with a warm welcome… and people just kept appearing with smiles and hugs!

I love meeting folks that I otherwise only see online. Nothing compares to Real World hugs and chat.

The talk room was almost full, and everyone seemed so happy.

And… I’m now home, and feeling so very blessed.

Today, I made £0.00. I was kindly given money for petrol; otherwise nothing.

But I received amazing gifts from people.

Hugs. Smiles. Kind words. Handmade gifts. Seeing my knitted creations worn by others. Hearing their stories. Faces lighting up…

I’m tired but so happy that I can do what I do. This is where the community support goes – and that support takes many wonderful forms. (Including kind words in the comments for this blog!)

Thankyou, dear friends. So much thanks.

BTW, I meant to take photos today, but was too busy. So here’s my travel knitting. 😂 Yarn by GamerCrafting.

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.