Feeling Better Slowly…

So today I managed to do an array of things, among which was (drumroll) painting!

Yall, I’m working on a tarot deck, and it’s going to take me forever to do, but I’m loving it. Its adorable, cute, and aimed for children.

I know, children and tarot? Who will buy that? I dont know, and I dont quite care. I love what I’m doing, and I think it’s going to be a good deck.

So, I managed to do some writing and painting today, mulling over some advice from my wife about adding texture in and whatnot. Which, resulted in the below picture.

Y’all, it’s unfinished, and its from Ranger’s story, which I am still working on in the background.

Anyways, I’m not sure what else to say, apart from thank you all for being patient with me. I’m finally getting back on my feet, and I’m really looking forward to getting to do more gardening and writing (I did a teensy bit of gardening today!).

I would love to be active in the social rights movement (Black lives matter, loss of lgbt rights in the states, etc) but I just cant. I can barely upkeep with my showers, so please, forgive me for not being that active. My heart is with the protestors and all who are struggling, but I just cant right now. I need to put my own facemask on first, to try and be useful later on, which sucks.

Thank you for sticking with me. Much love y’all ❤

Blaaargh ~ Still not Feeling Well and Children’s Activities Book

So I’ve been trying to write and keep my chin above water. It hasn’t been going well. I saw my social worker recently and that helped, but, yeah, no writing has been happening.

It’s not like I’m in crisis mode, so please dont worry. I’m just… not so well. Everything feels monumentous. I do my basic chores, and feel I have no energy left. I’m easily obsessed with the need to “work” and get “stuff done”, which has left me overworking on a particular project -> that of a pagan childrens activity book.

Now, this book is aimed at kindergarten level children. It will feature a bit of math, some coloring pages, some word puzzles, and more. But absolutely everything will be pagan or nature themed. From the word choices to the pictures, everything is pagan/earth centric.

Now, of course, this book features my very own “twolovebirds” birds as the main characters, featured in almost all the activities and accompanying the children through the book. They will be shown in ritual gear, worshipping, and engaging with nature.

Do I think I’ll make a ton of money selling this book? Fuck no. I doubt it’ll sell at all. Honestly, I’d be shocked if more than 5 copies get sold. But, it’s something I really want to do. I’m insanely proud of every little part of this book, and consider it to be quite an accomplishment. It’s teaching me a lot about formatting and it’s pretty fun, when I’m not obsessing over “getting it done”.

Overall, I really wished I had a bit more of a grip lately. I’ve been dropping in and out of my schedule due to lack of energy. I really wish I was capable of doing some awesome networking/sales pitching for my books. But hey. Not everything is perfect.

A quick sketch/practice!

Depression and Writing

Depression is hitting me hard. I think it’s my symptom/condition that I have the hardest time accepting. It’s not glamorous, it’s never fun and never makes you feel special. It always makes me feel like I’m worthless and useless. As an author, this preys on my natural beliefs.

You see, I tend to see myself as a vessel for my stories. But combined with my depression, I feel like nothing BUT a vessel. I feel like I’m nothing without them.

The sad truth is that writing is my whole life. It’s me. It’s been my refuge since childhood, where it suddenly filled a void within me that hurt so badly until then. Ever since I started writing, my days rotate around it. As a kid, I would squeeze it in whenever, would draw my characters everywhere, and obsessed over them.

Now, I wake up thinking of my novels. I spend my mornings wondering what I’ll do until I get the chance to write. My whole day is just spent waiting until the right time to write. I know I dont have the mental energy to write all day, but I wish I could. Already I love writing 5 hours a day, and feel bad if I “waste” even one of those hours not hammering out words.

I know this isn’t healthy, but it is what it is. My writing is my life. The only other thing more important is my wife and my relatives. Literally, unless it’s a basic need, everything else feels secondary. I dont want to travel, I dont want a career, I just want to be good at writing and do my stories justice. I want to accomplish what this drive in me is calling for.

But when depression hits, as it does now, I cant write. Every word hurts, I cant think, and then everything that makes me ‘me’ seems to crumble away. What use am I if I cant write? Not being able to write for even one day is a terrible blow. What if my stories are terribly written? What good am I if i can’t get my stories out there properly, to those who need to read them? I know it sounds dramatic, but not being able to write feels like a poisonous sin that will destroy me.

I know, in some way, that my belief of me being just a vessel for writing is bad for me. I need to see myself as more. But how do I do that? It’s like seeing yourself beyond an addiction, in some way.

And then, what’s wrong with this view, if it gives me purpose and value, even in some small way? I know I should see myself as more, but what if I dont feel like more? I feel like so much in my life just points towards writing, and like it’s the cornerstone of my life. Where would I be without it?

I know, in some factual way, that I am a person without my writing. I’ve experienced that, by having my spiritual projects. But… I just feel like more with my writing. I feel this compulsion and a sense of destiny and being attuned with the universe when it comes to writing. Is that a symptom of a delusion? I dont know what to think some days.

I guess I cant hope to find other people who feel this way. I’ve hoped, and as of yet haven’t found other writers who seem to have this weird perspective and obsession and maybe even delusion with their writing. And yet I hope. I feel lonely, a lot, so isolated with my writing. It’s not the only way I connect with people, but unless someone dips into this part of me, do they know me at all? Will I ever find that I am not alone in this weird feeling?

Grieving the Deaths in Nova Scotia as a Pagan

I feel mentally bulldozed in a strange way. For those who haven’t heard the news, us Canadians have just had a major shooting. The last one of this magnitude was a shooting aimed just against women at the Polytechnique school.

It’s one thing to hear of atrocities happening all over the world, and its always stranger when it’s closer to home. Furthermore, I’d like to point out to any American reader that shootings barely ever happen in Canada. When they do, they’re a big fucking deal. We mourn them seriously.

Anyways, this news leaves me feeling strangely – distant? Dissociated? Upset without really knowing why? Part of me has a knee-jerk reaction of ‘Oh, just another shooting in the world’, while the rest of me is very shocked and upset that this happened in my country. That innocent people were killed.

I’m majorly left wondering what to do with myself. Is it appropriate to sit down and write and just ignore the fact that we’ve had a mass murder? Is it appropriate to let this take over my life, when there are so many other deaths in the world?

Balance is key, I suppose, but I am no expert. I’ve heard there is going  to be a national vigil online sometime this Friday (I think). But, again, what would be appropriate to do? What is sensible, in a way caring for yourself without letting the grief take over, as well as honoring the dead of these senseless acts?

I would like to suggest, as a pagan and a polytheist, some ideas for self care and to care for the dead of this massacre.

  • Write a letter to your favorite deity, or a deity who specializes in helping the dead pass on (a psychopomp such as Anubis or Saint Michael), asking them to care for the dead and help them find peace after such horrific ends. Burn the letter to transmit it to your deity/spirit of choice.
  • Pray to an appropriate deity (Sekhmet? Bast? Ma’at? I’m not quite sure who would be in charge of purifying a soul. Perhaps a Buddhist tradition would have more specific deities for such a purpose.) for the spirit of the attacker to be purified so as to cause no further trouble as a spirit. You can see this as fire burning away the evil in their heart or the anger that may have caused them to commit such actions.
  • Light a candle with the intent of it lighting a way/ opening a channel for the dead to find their way. Again, you may consult or ask the aid of a psychopomp for aid in this.
  • Write a letter to the deceased in this tragedy and burn it for it to reach them. Offer them your help (within your own limits) and maybe even invite them to a small ritual with candles and a dumb supper. This could be a nice chance to let them talk to you, pour their grief out, and basically process their own death with you.

Remember to take care of yourself! Cleanse and purify your space with incense that gives off a solemn vibe (but nothing too cheerful). Acknowledge your grief, but set the intent that you will carry on in honor of them, not despite them.

If you do have any specific mourning practices in your tradition that you will be performing  to honor these deceased, I’d love to hear them!

 

candlelight candles
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Self-Publishing and Mental Illness ~ A New Voice in History

Now I’m not going to jump up and down and scream that this is the first time that someone with mental illness has ever been published. I’m sure that’s not true. What I am sure about, however, is that this is the first time in history that people with mental illness have really, as a whole, had access to publishing.

Think of how, in history, publishing and getting printed has always been very strictly gate-kept. For something to be printed, it had to be something that people would think would sell, something that, quite often, had to ‘make sense’ and be considered socially acceptable. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that, if women from the victorian era had been able to write or even blog about their experiences in the asylums, it might have turned heads and made the whole thing grind to a miserable halt faster than it did.

So what’s my point? This. That indie publishing is not only a chance for the marginalized to write and find each other, it’s a chance for the mentally ill to express themselves and find each other. This, I think, has a large part to play in the perceived ‘low quality’ that pervades the indie publishing scene.

I’m definitely not saying that people with mental illnesses can’t write. That’s not it at all. I’m saying that we speak uncomfortable truths, weirdness, and occasionally gibberish. None of this is suitable for large publishing industries. Just looking back on my own writings, I’m quite sure it’s too ‘bizarre’ and ‘out there’ and mentions suicide and death far too easily for a traditional publisher to even approach.

The thing is, mental illness is taboo. Our experiences and thereby, our stories, will be taboo. We frighten people, our experiences frighten people, and so our stories will be silenced.

But for once, for once, we have a chance to write and express ourselves. For once, we have a voice. This is extraordinary! This is a first.

And yet, this outlet, instead of being lauded for its diversity and potential for the mentally ill community, is being branded as ‘low quality’ and ‘sub-par’ and seen as silly.

There is a stigma related to indie publishing, one that I find to be very similar to being mentally ill. The fact is that indie publishing has some incredible authors in it, and some bad ones, just like traditional publishing.  One is just a system that is mentally ill friendly. The other is incredibly gate-kept and, by virtue of being the way it is, is gate-keeping at its best.

I’d like to say that indie writing is the future, but that’s not necessarily it. Gate-keeping tends to keep itself very much alive, and is adored by the masses. Those who succeed at traditional publishing will probably be adored by the masses. Furthermore, there is a whole host of neurotypical people who are exploiting the indie industry for their own uses. This isn’t a bad thing, but they are, whether they want to or not, bringing the ‘normal’ into a space that, in my opinion, could be dedicated to the ‘abnormal’. They are ‘normalizing’ what could be an ‘abnormal’ space.

I find it incredibly hilarious, in an ironic and sad way, that the only publishing method that is available to the mentally ill is being judged and used by neurotypicals. Now, granted, it wasn’t a dedicated space for the mentally ill. No one owns the indie publishing industry. But, I do have to say, I wish there was a space for the mentally ill to  publish their stories without being crowded out by the neurotypicals.

red rose on white book page
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A Publishing House for the Mentally Ill?

Hey everyone! So, originally I had a very boring post set up to post about how I don’t feel like writing Chaos & Kuryo’s story today. Real thrilling, I know. BUT! Then I was asked for a guest post about publishing and wham! Not only did I write up a post about self-publishing and mental illness (two of them, actually), but I had an idea! A very interesting idea, if you ask me.

Here it is: Wouldn’t it be epic (to say the least) if I was to start a publishing company dedicated to the fiction stories of people with mental illness?

I mean, hear me out. I know there are a bunch of writing collectives out there like ‘the mighty’ and ‘the bipolar writer’ blog. But where do we, the mentally ill, publish our fiction? Well, probably indie, you see. But that’s a space wherein there’s already a TON of neurotypicals out there, publishing stuff that neurotypicals want to read. So where is the space dedicated to the mentally ill people’s fiction?

I don’t think we have one, simply put. We’re just starting to have spaces to talk about getting better and expressing our experiences. Our fiction, as of yet, is still mixed in with everyone else’s.

But, here’s another thing. I’m quite sure that people with mental illness have pretty bizarre and interesting ideas, which would make for very unique and interesting stories that step out of the ordinary. I think this could really be a fun initiative!

Sad fact: I have no idea how to go about making this happen. Anyone, any ideas? How would one go about doing this? Is this something that anyone would be interested in participating in? Give me your thoughts!

close up photo of open book
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Self – Publishing and Mental Illness ~ The Issue No One Talks About

I’d like to say that this topic has been largely discussed, but as with many other topics related to mental illness and mental health, it hasn’t been.

Imagine someone with critical anxiety or paranoia trying to get their manuscript published. I’ve seen someone in such a state try, and believe you me it wasn’t pretty. They did not approach the right publisher, did not know which ones to approach, and ended up giving up after one refusal.

Here’s my point: it really sucks trying to get traditionally published when you’re not in a state of pristine mental health. Heck, even if you are in pristine mental health, I’m sure it’s nerve-wracking.

A lot of the discussion I’ve seen about traditional publishing vs. Indie publishing wails on and on about the poor quality of indie publishing versus the flexibility it allows. Is it worth to self publish, these people ask.

But I’d like to take a step back and point out that – > it’s disabled person friendly. For those of us with mental health issues, it’s not only just so much easier, it’s the only realistic and safe option for us to use.

I’d like to say that I don’t give a rat’s ass about traditional publishing, but that’s not true. It’s seen as a badge of credibility, of being a ‘true’ author, to be traditionally published. It’s seen as a marker of quality.

So why did I decide to indie publish? Simple. I couldn’t stand the other option.

Being someone with anxiety, depression, mood swings and the occasional hallucination, I didn’t need extra stress. But that’s all I got when I tried to query. My stress shot through the roof as I began obsessively checking my email for that fated answer that would give me that badge. But oh! What if they make me sign a bad contract? What if they market me wrong?

There’s a lot for traditionally published authors to worry about. I know, I know someone who was traditionally published and was screwed over. Their books were badly marketed, they made no money, an they lost the rights to their series. An author’s nightmare.

Now here’s another thing. Suppose you do get into the process where you start actually talking to the editor (or whomever you talk to first in that company)? Well, I got to that stage with one company. It was a shitshow for my nerves. My mental health plummeted, I was so anxious, waiting on every sacrosanct phone call and misinterpreting everything they said. Because here’s the kicker -> people with mental illness and mental health problems are (quite often) not good or comfortable at interacting with other people. I certainly am not. That made what was arguably a very good situation go terribly bad. I quit the entire process and curled up into a ball and cried.

Because people with mental illness can’t stand the extra anxiety and anticipation of waiting for their manuscript to be reviewed. Then add having to navigate the personnel of the publishing company (who can be very brusque and impatient) and then worry about all the very real pitfalls of the contract and manage all the editorial changes that the publisher wants to bring to the novel.

It’s just not feasible to expect someone with a mental illness to go through all that. It’s detrimental to their health.

Furthermore, I’d like to throw in an element that is highly personal to me. Simply, the fact that I’m very attached to my novels in a particular way. They’re my babies, yes, but it goes beyond that. Anyone who follows my blog knows that I regularly base my novels on my dreams and hallucinations and mental health experiences. They’re so close to my heart and, perhaps in a hallucinatory way, I believe in them. To me, to deal with someone wanting to edit them is akin to editing the Bible. I believe in these stories. Some of them feel as if they are practically channeled to me. I believe that I have a duty to the spirits that are sending me these stories. To have someone come in and tell me how to ‘fix’ them and potentially wanting to change the fabric of the story could be an affront to the spirits, a breaking of my special contract with them.

Now, I’m not expecting anyone else to believe in this. I am merely stating it to make my final point. For someone in the throes of a mental illness, chances are that their stories will mean more to them than to a non-mentally ill person. In my case, I would probably have lots of nervous breakdowns trying to cope with an editing process that didn’t take my beliefs into account.

Really, honestly, I don’t think most publishing companies are prepared to deal with someone like me. I don’t think they understand mental illness or how to treat a mentally ill person in order to reduce their anxiety. Once you throw in potential delusions or paranoia into the mix, I think it’s just highly improbable that it’ll succeed.

For me, indie publishing is probably the only way I’ll ever be published. It certainly feels like it’s the only way that I can be published. It feels like the only option that is accessible and usable for me.

 

Depression Tips for Covid 19, Spiritually Speaking

 

Depression sucks. I’ve had bouts of it and gah. It literally felt like the world was grey and bleeding black around me. It was awful. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing depression right now due to the confinement situation, or from their work overload. So, today, while firing up my blog, I thought ‘hey, why not talk about tips for that?’.

I tend to focus on anxiety, because that’s what affects me the most, and I’m under the impression that it’s more common than depression. It’s also the general feeling I’ve been seeing people expressing online about this pandemic.

Yet, anxiety and depression tend to go together for me. Like, if I become very very anxious, depression can kick in. Yes, they can be separate, but as my mood swings are often anxiety based, so then can be my depression. My point is that they can be ‘co-morbid’, that they can go together as a package deal.

I sincerely hope that you, dearest reader, don’t suffer from chronic depression. If you do, I really suggest getting it checked out as soon as possible and get both medication and therapy as much as possible.

But what do you do if it’s ‘just’ the pandemic affecting you? If staying at home is just getting you ‘down’? Well, thankfully, that’s where our spirituality can kick in. We can use our spiritual practices to care for our inner wounds, and to boost us up.

That’s great and all, but how? How exactly can we use our spirituality to boost ourselves?  Well, I’ve compiled a list below. As usual, do what feels best for you and respect yourself and your limits. Also remember that there are hotlines that you can call if the depression gets too bad.

Ideas to combat Depression in the Pandemic:

  • Host a spirit party! You can’t have living people over, but what about the dead? What about the spirits? They certainly can’t give or catch ‘the virus’, so have them over!
    • you can make this a solemn affair as in Samhain, if that suits you, but I personally suggest making it more of a party. Throw confetti around, bake a cake, have some alcohol if you drink, and have all your guiding spirits over and eat with them! Read aloud some jokes, fairytales, and do some spirit communication however you feel (tarot, rune castings, trance work, etc).
    • Pro Tip: don’t forget to thank and ‘dismiss’ when you start feeling tired. As any party, don’t exhaust yourself energetically. Respect your limits!
    • Extra Pro Tip: use napkins or disposable plates to serve, to make as little mess/clean up as possible!
  • Do divination on a topic that’s not pandemic related. It could be on your garden’s future, your personal development, your psychic powers, what your talents are, and how grandma is doing on the other side. Just anything that’s not pandemic related. The point of this is to see/focus on all the life you still have, on all the projects that will continue beyond the reach of this pandemic.
  • Host a dumb supper/silent grieving period for those dying from the pandemic. The point behind this is to express our collective grief due to the pandemic. It’s normal to be upset by what’s happening, and (I think) it’s healthy to express it. This will not only give you a period within which to mourn, but it will also signal an ‘end’ to the mourning, at least for that day.
    • You can make this a daily ritual, depending on how much grief you feel. Say that every day you check the death tolls then find yourself crying. Then, instead of beating yourself up for being upset, make it part of a mourning ritual where you give yourself permission and space and a set amount of time to feel your grief. Then, when the time is over, try your best to move on and change your mind.
    • If you choose a dumb supper, you can lay out plates for the dead of specific regions, or do a specific region per day. Say, you grieve for Italy one day, Iran another, etc.
    • If you don’t have a lot of energy or want something simpler, you can simply burn a candle with the intention that it will guide the dead peacefully along their way to the otherworld.  an example of what one might say is, as lighting the candle “I light this candle, consecrating it to shine its light for those deceased of the COVID-19 pandemic. As this candle burns, a gate between the worlds is open, taking in all the wandering dead due to the pandemic and guiding them home by the light of this candle.”
    • You could also recite prayers for these dead, asking your presiding spirits/ whoever you feel like to take care of the spirits of the deceased due to the pandemic.
      • An example of such a prayer is “I pray to Anubis, Lord of the Dead. Please take those who have died of the plague in your arms. Be gentle with them. Ease their griefs and suffering and that of their loved ones. Weight their hearts gently and ease their passing into the other worlds.”
  • Pray to a solar deity to bring light into your life and banish depression. A prayer of this sort could go like: “I pray to Ra, Great God of the Sun. Please shine your light within my mind, within my heart and soul. Chase away the darkness of depression from my mind, heart and soul. Purify and invigorate me!”
    • Pro Tip: leave an offering to your preferred solar deity and engage in not only prayer, but also a deepening of your relationship with them. It can be as simple as putting up a sun picture, or baking them a cake and eating it with them. Just engage with them, and you will probably feel them in your life more!
  • Do exercise! Now, exercise is great for boosting the mind, but why not use that energy you’re creating to spread happiness in your home? A way to do this would be to visualize a rune such as Wunjo and imagine it radiating out from you as you exercise, spreading its energy out from you.
  • Cleanse and consecrate/charge your crystals to boost your mood. Simply laying them for a few hours in the sunlight, on a piece of paper on which you wrote ‘banish depression!’, can do the trick.
  • Obviously, you can burn invigorating incenses (like cinnamon!) or boil potpourri.
  • Ring bells to cleanse the air as well.
  • Do magical crafts! Ideas include:
    • Overhaul your altar!
    • Sew yourself a ritual robe, or embellish one you already have!
    • Practice a psychic skill.
    • Practice your basic ritual structure, such as circle casting, invoking, evoking, etc.
    • Write in your grimoire or BOS

Then, we have some basic pointers that are less spiritual

  • Let in sunlight
  • Call friends/relatives
  • Read books (especially books on spirituality!)
  • Paint/do crafts
  • Listen to uplifting music!

 

I hope this was helpful! Please take care of yourself and yours and have a great day! Lots of love to you all! ❤

lavender and massage oils
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Anxiety tips for COVID 19, Spiritually Speaking

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What with the sudden influx of people checking out my mental illness posts, I took a wild guess that people were reaching out for help. So, behold! I’ve decided to put together some self-help tips that try and take into consideration our limitations due to the pandemic. I mainly focused upon anxiety and worry, as it seems that’s what most people are dealing with in these trying times.

  • smudge/burn incense that is purifying and banishing of all negative energy. I am particularly prone to burning cinnamon (yes, the spice). Just pile it into a little pyramid (no bigger than an inch tall or wide, otherwise it might be too much heat for your holder), and light with a match.
  • Do a guided meditation (like this one) where you visualize yourself giving up all your worries to your favorite spirit.
    • Sit down comfortably. Close your eyes and relax. Or cry a little bit, that’s okay too. But whatever you do, relax and let your emotions come bubbling up to the surface. Feel them, hold them. Place your hands on your chest and try and, stretching your hands forward, visualize yourself taking these worries as tangible objects out of your chest and holding them out. Now, pray to a healing deity (my thoughts go to Bast or Sekhmet for this one). Ask them to take your worries away, to heal them and guide you through this pandemic safely.
      • The prayer can go something lie “I pray to you, O Great Sekhmet. Here are my worries, my inner plague. Please erase them from me, leaving me wiser and calmer. Let me, by your guiding grace, pass through this pandemic unharmed.”
    • After this, clap your hands and dust them off away from yourself. They are now empty and your worries are symbolically gone. Rest, focusing on feelings of rejuvenation and calmness.
  • Paint a Dagaz rune on your scarf/mask to help keep the virus out. You can use consecrated water to trace it invisibly as well.
  • Meditate on ice, Isa rune, to calm down and help you reach stillness. Visualize the rune in your chest, wherever you feel your worry the most. Breathe it in and feel it filling you, swelling and cooling down your worry. Exhale and feel it absorbing your worries and transforming them into cold calm.
  • Write down on a piece of paper a list of all things that are worrying you about this pandemic. Light a candle to Sekhmet or your favorite deity (simply say “I devote this candle to ___, to function as a channel of true speech between us” as you light it, or use your favorite invocation), and light the paper with the candle. Allow it to burn as you pray for her powers to destroy not only your worries but all harm that may come to you through this pandemic.
    • Prayer could go something like this. “O Great Sekhmet, here is a list of all that worries me, all that I fear. Please, with your burning powers, O Great Eye of Ra, destroy my worries and all harm that may come to me. Keep me and mine safe from this pandemic, this virus that engulfs the world.”
  • Offer up a prayer for all affected by the disease, such as This Brilliant One

 

I hope this was useful ❤  If you are suffering from something particular and want a prayer or ideas on how to cope with it spiritually, feel free to message me (I can send it to you privately) @ mdaoust245@gmail.com

flowers on opened book
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I Asked! I Received! AKA I got a Dream! And a Life Update! So Much Happy!

Y’all, something happened to me that I’m just so excited about! Y’all, I got ANOTHER DREAM!

You see, after writing my post last night, when I went to bed I prayed to receive a dream to help me advance in the story. And it happened. I had an epic dream, bringing in elements I’d have never thought of before, completely explaining why I had a hard time drawing out the other main character (I was missing a giant part of his character!) and tying the two main characters together.

I hope no one out there is sick of hearing me rant about my dreams. They blow me away every time. To me, my dreams are always these freak ‘coincidences’ that prove to me that there’s something out there, listening and watching and paying attention to us. Having this kind of guidance when it comes to writing a) blows my mind, b) makes it easier to sort out the stories in unusual ways and c) makes me so happy I’m medicated.

I never got helping dreams before I medicated and got stable. It was always just nightmares, nightmares that made me afraid to go back to sleep. Y’all, I used to sleep only three to four hours a night for about two to three years, just because I was so terrified of my dreams and of nighttime in general. It was awful.

But you know what else happened to me the other day? It happened a little bit also last night, but not too strongly.

I started hearing voices as I fell asleep! And if anyone tells me I was shamanizing, I’mma hit you with a bucket. Because I was not. I was basically sleepwalking/dreaming awake/experiencing a form of sleep paralysis.

Being a good little person, I up and called my psychiatrist right away, and she called me back and assured me that unless it becomes recurring and causes other symptoms to return, it’s fine.

Y’all, it was terrifying. I was so afraid that all my progress was about to be undone, and that I’d be going back to hallucinating during the day and being anxious and incoherent all over and gah! It’s moments like those that I realize how precious my mental state is and how privileged and lucky I am to have come so far.

I mean, I’ve been able to start meditating! I’ve been praying devotionally for 15 ish minutes at a time 2- 3 times a day this week and (besides the sleep paralysis event) I’ve had no bad results! Y’all, that is HUGE!

I’m doing so much better, it really makes me happy, truly. It also makes me feel like I should do more to reach out and help other pagans who might be struggling, but, somehow, the better I get the less qualified I feel? I’m not sure why. I ‘know’ that what works for me won’t necessarily work for someone else, but I dunno, I feel like if I’m not struggling myself, I shouldn’t be telling others what to do.

Anyways, this has been a (lengthy) update post! I hope y’all are doing good and will have a lovely time of today! Much love and happiness to you all 🙂 ❤