Ways to Self-Care (ideas)

I need to be kinder with myself. Lately, I’ve been pushing myself to do so much, to perform so well, that I’ve been overlooking my successes and beating myself up mentally. I want to work on my novels, draw pictures, work on my birdie books, all that in the same day as well as functioning like a non-disabled person. Which I know I can’t do. I just can’t. I don’t have that many functioning hours.

Today we went out to get my meds and I was so anxious 😦 it makes me see just how bad my bad days lately have been. It makes me feel like I still need a service dog. Even just sitting in the car while my wifey drove (which I normally can do without stressing) was making me anxious. Because, hark! Curves were coming up! What if we took the ditch? Yikes! It was depressing.

However, once we got home and I realized this, I’ve decided to be gentler on myself. So I’m going to only do what I can do, and celebrate that. But how? Like, I can sit here and be all ‘yeah, I’mma be kinder with myself’, but what steps can a person actually take to be kinder on themselves? Here are my steps that I’m going to (try) and do in the next little while.

  • Set more realistic goals.
    • I tend to overdo it on the goals thing. I want so much done, and I want it all done well, and super fast. But life and disability doesn’t work that way. So I need to aim for less, so that I can actually succeed.
  • Listen to my needs.
    • Maybe not cut out all the sugar. Maybe allow myself some sugar, to, you know, live. Lately I’ve been on a ‘I must lose weight’ binge, which is actually really stressful. I need to get a better relationship with food.
  • Take concrete time to rest.
    • For me, I think I should rest more in the mornings. I have no concrete ‘rest’ time. I keep telling myself that I’ll rest in the evenings, but that’s when I do my writing, so… I have no down time.
  • Not overload myself.
    • I have a new commission coming along, as well as one underfoot, as well as all my writing… I sense that things can pile on quickly! Thankfully, nothing has definite due dates. In order to help with my workload, I’ve been very transparent that the artworks will take time. So far, no pressure, and I’m getting them done. But I need to keep that ‘no pressure’ and not heap too many more things onto myself.

I think, really, that the most important thing when it comes to self-care is to break it down into concrete steps, whatever that means for you. For me, this is enough structure, but for others it may involve more strict scheduling, complete with agenda markings and reminder stickers. But the important thing is to have steps. To know how you will take care of yourself, because if you just ‘wing it’, you might not get it done at all, and with self-care that just shouldn’t happen. You really need to take care of yourself, be it by taking pajama days or having a nice coffee date with yourself every so often!

Well, I hope this has been helpful to some people. For me, I find it useful to put my ideas out there and write them down. So, hopefully this will mark a new period of self-care and less self-imposed stress!

 

That’s It! It’s the End!

I’m not sure how to call this. The end of an ‘era’? Starting with a clean slate? Beginning the new year with a fresh book? Because, y’all, I just finished typing out the very last words to Chaos’s story.

I’m not joking! Today I went to a family brunch, came home, and wrote. I thought ‘hey, maybe I’ll get close to the ending’ but here it is. On the first day of the New Year, I finished Chaos’s novel. Which, for the record, I started last June (I think?). Less than a year ago, just after a massive move. Wow! Less than a year of growth, challenges, and so much writing! So much drawing, too!

What started out as just a dream has now become a full novel that ties in with another of my full novels (Dreaming of Lights) and has totally changed me. Chaos has grown so much, and with them I’ve become even more dedicated to my craft. I’ve started to really ‘feel’ myself as an author. I’m starting to connect with people via my stories (gasp! my dream is coming true!) and I’ve gotten my writing anxiety largely under control. I even started drawing out my story as a comic!

I feel so lucky to live where I live. Every day or so I tell my wife how happy I am to live out here, in the countryside. It’s done me wonders, as well as having a social worker and getting on testosterone. My anxiety and organizational skills are truly getting under control and my gender changes are happening. My mood is so balanced. I feel great. I haven’t been this happy for most of my life. Just truly happy to be here and alive, and so lucky to have what I have. I cherish everything and everyone (including all of you, dear readers one and all!) and feel like this is as good as it gets. Everything more from here on is just whipped cream on top of it a drink. Nice, but not the meat of it all.

So tonight, on the first day of this New Year, I will be opening up a document from another dream story (and creating a playlist for it, because I can’t write without music). I will probably be working on and posting that one, as well as working on Ranger’s on the sly (without posting). Y’all, I just can’t wait to start this year now. I’m so excited to see how you all feel about Chaos’s ending (to see all the treachery come to surface!) and to then share another of my weird, wacky, stories with you all. There is just so much to look forward to in this new decade.

Much love to you all, and a great year!

“My Mother Had a Massive Stroke” – help needed!

Yikes! If you follow the bipolar writer blog or appreciate what they do at all, check out their latest post and donate to their fundraiser if you can! James’ mother had a stroke! Please consider helping out in any any you can ❤

https://thebipolarwriter.blog/2019/12/09/the-bipolar-writer-needs-your-prayers/

Mental Health Advice from a Buddhist Nun

Hey everyone! I haven’t been active lately, at all. I’ve been very busy taking care of myself and living life, which, is apparently full of stressful appointments.

But one lovely thing happened this weekend. I met a Buddhist nun for advice regarding meditation and my mental health/illness.

And you know what? She was just so nice and kind and logical. When I brought up my hallucinations, she advised focusing on the reality, not on the hallucination. A thing that, I think, would help reinforce reality instead of the hallucination. And really, why did no one ever mention this to me before?

It was so counter to all the advice I had ever gotten from the esoteric crowd. Instead of telling me to indulge in the hallucination, to go deeper into it, to try and find its meaning, it was rather to focus on reality. Wow. For me, that was ground breaking.

Furthermore, she advised me to lay off psychic activities until I feel better. Another thing that esoteric people won’t tell you to do: lay off the psychic. Wow!

Honestly, it was just so nice and refreshing to be told these things, because they felt true and they resonated so much with me. They didn’t feel dopey or about self-inflation. Rather, it was all just so logical (that was my one biggest impression of her. Logic and kindness.).

So yes, that was my lovely encounter this weekend. Other than that I’ve been working on the next birdie coloring book and haven’t been writing one bit at all. I’ve been knitting, working on Christmas gifts, and they haven’t been coming out totally well, haha. One sock was just so small I had to undo the whole thing. But I’m trying.

So anyways, hopefully I will find more time soon to keep writing and posting! Lots of love to you all, and I wish you the very best. ❤

 

My Struggle with Anger and Sadism

So I’ve written the next scene for Chaos (it’s actually been written for a bit, but I’m due to publish it now) and I’m quite unhappy with it. I’m just asking myself that famous writer’s question (or maybe it’s not that famous) -> is this really how the story goes? Should I leave this in there? is it too X/Y/Z? Is it too ‘much’?

I think I’ll share it with you all, just for the sake of sharing. But, really, I’m maybe … ashamed of it?

For anyone who’s been following along with the Chaos story, you’ve seen Chaos having a masochistic side. But he also has a sadistic side, and that’s what we get to explore in the next few scenes. Sadism, sex, ah what fun (or not?) times.

I find this stuff really difficult to write about, because sadism was such a thing I struggled with in the past.

See, I used to struggle heavily with sadistic urges. I was told when I was young that one could become addicted to very angry outbursts because of the adrenaline they brought.  Is this true or not? I have no idea, and am sure that my google searching skills are not up to par. For all I know, it could be a fad terminology or it could not be. I really don’t know. What I do know is that when I was a teen, anger was a real problem to me that really did feel like a minor addiction, along with the urge to hurt other people.

What I mean is that I had this burning anger within that was always wanting to get out. I remember feeling like I was transforming into a demon on the inside, full of hate and anger that was so deep that it could not be fathomed.

The sadism was there too! Some days I just wanted to pick a fight (I mercifully never did) and other days I just wanted to hurt others. It just seemed like a good idea, like it would be the most rewarding thing ever, akin to a good chemical rush.

This was a real struggle for me. I quit activities (like martial arts, which I loved) because they fueled my anger. I semi-converted to Buddhism, vegetarianism, and refused to kill even flies in an attempt to control my anger and sadistic urges. It was a real struggle. Thankfully it did, in fact, get better. It is especially much better now since I am medicated, and even better now that I am transitioning!

But that portal to my inner demon is still there. I know that, on occasion, whenever it opens (and it is very rare now), there just seems to be a pit of demonic energy within me. I feel hatred like a rush, and sadism like a cocktail of ecstasy that is just so wrong but so powerful. When I’m experiencing this anger, this hatred, it feels unquenchable, unfathomable. There doesn’t even seem to be strong enough words to express it! And yet, when I am not in this ‘mode’, it seems so ridiculous, so hard to explain away. it really just feels like I have a demon sitting inside of me, like it’s no part of who I am, who I choose to be. Yet I know this must be an aspect of myself.

Strangely enough, meditating to connect with my ‘higher self’ really brings this anger out. Intense meditation brings me closer to this inner portal, to facing all of myself in a very dangerous way.

For anyone else out there struggling with this sort of anger issues, this is what really helped me: the little things.

Of course, I recommend reading actual Buddhist literature and not the watered-down esoteric stuff. But that’s what worked for me. Find something pacific and peaceful that brings you into what feels like a state of peace. From there, implement it in tiny doses all throughout your day. For me, not killing bugs was a huge step, because by doing so I was honoring even the tiniest little scrap of a being as worthy of life. This went against my profoundly racist and Holocaust-enforcing past and helped me practice the sanctity of all life, every day.

You don’t have to stop killing bugs or become vegetarian like I did (though I eat meat now, unfortunately). But find little things that reinforce your peaceful aspirations throughout the day. It could be reciting prayers of compassion, walking dogs from a shelter, almost literally anything that brings forth compassion and peace within you.

Build on these little things. If you do feel like meditating (and I advise caution when doing so!) do it for short periods of time, and perhaps try and do emotion-focused meditations. Take a break from uniting with your inner/higher self and all the esoteric stuff. In my case it just made things worse (maybe it won’t do that for you, but this is my two cents). Instead focus on reinforcing positive emotions. Little things like exhaling compassion, breathing in and out peace, can seem silly, but they reinforce the peaceful ‘wires’ in our brain/that emotions’ brain-patterns. You can ‘wire’ yourself to be more happy and peaceful.

If you have outbreaks of anger, forgive yourself, AND -> work on fixing any harm you caused when you were angry. Be responsible. Apologize, try and explain, and definitely acknowledge that you were wrong/hurting.

Finally, remember that anger is a secondary emotion. It is usually based off fear, hurt, jealousy, etc. Be honest with yourself and face these emotions. In my experience, facing these primary emotions usually helps me stop the anger.

I hope this will be helpful for some people, and sincerely wish you all the best if you are struggling with anger. I will try and do a more detailed self-help post about spirituality and anger later/another day, as this post is already plenty long.

I wish you all the best.

Suicide and Wicca ~ An’ Harm Ye None

“An’ Harm Ye None”. One day I’m going to be sick and tired of interpreting this phrase, but that day is not today!

After writing my last post about suicide and paganism, I decided to do some googling. Basically, I typed ‘wicca suicide’ into google and was hoping for some sort of enlightening result. After all, if there was some sort of dialogue happening out there about suicide and Wicca, dear old Google would surely find it, right?

Now, I’m not saying that ‘nobody’ out there is talking about it, but it sure as crap seemed that way when the Google search came up. It was a bunch of articles, some about cults, some about (unfortunately) suicides. But from what I saw -> no discussion about the overlapping of Wiccan philosophy and suicide.

Now granted, I haven’t done an intensive research here. Feel free to drop in with your own links, as well as anything useful!

But there was a method to my madness (hah!) and I did that crappy half-hearted research for a reason. I wanted to see if there were resources readily and easily available to anyone doing a quick search in an attempt at help. The answer is that no, there isn’t easy resources.

This is terrible! Wicca is a rapidly growing religion ranking up there with some of the big monotheistic ones, and we have no suicide resources? Blah!

So what can we do? I would like to suggest that bloggers take up the topic. Try and think about how suicide fits into your wold-view, your afterlife, your concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. I’m not expecting everyone to write a book, but just breach the topic. Let’s start a conversation here.

And so, in order to lead by example (not that I’m a great example anyways) I’m going to do my part and talk about suicide and Wicca, specifically suicide and the Wiccan Rede of ‘an harm ye none, do as ye will’.

Now the immediate response to ‘an harm ye none’ and the notion of suicide is that the Rede means, point-blank, no harm. This usually is seen as meaning to cause no immediate harm, such as inflicting pain upon creatures. Suicide is seen as being the result of an immediate form of harm. Why? Because in order to die, one must (usually) harm the body in some severe way. Going with the interpretation of the Rede as meaning to cause no (immediate) harm, it seems that the Rede is against suicide.

Or is it? You see, when I was suicidal, I contemplated suicide not as a painful thing, but as a form of release. A blissful step into an endless void of relaxation. Now how does this line up with the Rede?

I, personally, would argue that the Rede still orders us to not harm ourselves physically. I would even take it a step further and say that, as suicide causes very painful repercussions to those around us, we must avoid suicide in order to not harm our loved ones as well.

However! And here’s where I find the situation gets tricky. Are we harming ourselves (and thereby others) by remaining alive and entrenched in our misery? Is suicide really self-harm when the aim is, much like self-harm, to reduce the amount of pain and suffering? I would argue that, in certain cases, assisted death is an ethical option according to the Rede.  How?

Well, consider the amount of pain that a person is in due to their being alive. Consider the harm being brought to those who are surrounding them, watching their loved one suffer and never being able to alleviate their pain. This is often a large amount of pain and suffering!

In the case of ethical assisted death/suicide, as far as I know of it (and I do not know much) the person wishing to die must go through many doctors and all other options of recovery must have been exhausted. This procedure ensures that the person has received treatment, and isn’t merely wishing to die due to a lack of treatment.

Now, in this procedure (that, again, I know very little of), there is a chance that those who know the suffering person will be informed of the person’s choices and be able to understand the reasons why. Due to this, I think that their suffering can be minimized.

Furthermore, in the case of assisted suicide, the person wishing to die is able to die on their own terms. They are mentally prepared for the process and have physical assistance. I would argue that the harm they are causing to themselves in this situation may be less than the pain that living would bring them. In this case, where the harm of living outweighs the harm caused by death, I think that assisted suicide is ethical according to the Rede.

Now, granted, this is a case of choosing between two forms of harm and choosing the lesser harm. Some may say that doing this is against the Rede. I will argue that that depends upon your interpretation of the Rede.

While some interpret the Rede as meaning to do strictly no harm, others would argue that it is impossible to do no harm at all! Even when eating plants, we are harming plants, and stealing food from bugs and deer. So to these people, the Rede is merely advising us to do as little harm as possible. It is with this interpretation that I am justifying my above argument, as I personally find that it is impossible to cause no harm at all, especially in the repercussions of our actions.

Does this mean that suicide is always an answer then? No, I do not think so, and I think it even less in the case of mental illness. Why? Because I believe in recovery. I believe that medication, spirituality, and a balanced environment can greatly help alleviate pain and suffering. And I sincerely believe that in order to apply the Rede, we must do all in our power to try and cease our suffering in as non-harmful way a way as possible first.

This leads me to say that applying the Rede  to suicidal thoughts involves radical self care. It means to take your medication and consult doctors, to call help lines and to reach out in appropriate (and sometimes inappropriate!) channels. It means that even if the suffering person doesn’t feel like taking care of themselves and struggling on -> that is the moral imperative until every last option for recovery is exhausted. This means not only not giving up in the face of adversity, but also to not resign oneself to merely existing in suffering. We must actively try and heal this suffering!

To summarize, the Rede does not order us to live for the sake of living, nor does it force us to endure suffering for some sacred imperative, but rather to take care of ourselves in order to minimize harm to ourselves and to others.

There is much more to be said on the topic of suicide, notably ‘what about suicide and the afterlife’? or ‘what about suicide and the deities’?, but I will close this post here. I believe it’s long (and heavy) enough as is. Hopefully I’ll get around to the other topics soon enough.

I would just like to close by saying that, if you disagree with me and want to discuss, please be gentle. I am in a very fragile state these days and do not feel like having someone verbally assault me for voicing my support for assisted suicide. I understand it is a difficult topic for many and sincerely hope that I have handled the topic with enough delicacy.

 

Suicide and Paganism

I listen to a lot of music. I listen to it when I write, draw, and do my dishes. Minus the dishes, that takes up a lot of my time. To put it into perspective, I write usually about 3-4 hours a day, not including  the drawing or general editing.

So what’s this got to do with anything? Yesterday while scrolling through Youtube, I fell across Linkin Park’s music again.

Oof. I bawled like a baby. Linkin Park really helped me when I was younger, and the fact that Chester chose suicide – it’s just rough. What especially struck me was a comment on a Youtube video that echoed my feelings, saying how they felt, yet they added in that it was maybe too late for anyone to care about their comment? And this brought me to thinking about paganism, suicide, and the time it takes to grieve.

First off, I’d like to mention that grieving can be a long process. I don’t feel there is ever a time where it’s ‘improper’ to feel acutely the loss of someone. For people with mental health issues, grieving can be… complicated. Personally, I barely grieve -> yet remain very sensitive about it for a long time. I feel like Ijust don’t grieve like normal people do, and that’s okay. It confuses people and I chock it up to my beliefs, but the raw fact is that I really don’t grieve like they do. I mourn suffering, not the departure. I just don’t feel like death is a terrible thing. Certainly, I will miss the person/being. But do I grieve outright? No. Yet I do miss them and acknowledge their absence.

All that to say, that for people with mental health issues grieving can be extra complex. We are stuck between expressing ourselves honestly and behaving in a socially acceptable way. We are held up to a ‘normal’ timeline and told that that is how it is ‘supposed’ to be. Well, that’s just not how it always is, is it? For some of us, we just can’t allow ourselves to feel too deeply or we fall into a black hole. For others, we simply don’t … feel? Everyone’s experiences of grief is different, but especially among those with mental illness, the expression of grief can be extremely varied.

That brings me to my next point. Paganism and suicide. Unless my head has been under a blanket lately, I haven’t seen it discussed much. So what the hell, peoples? We are a culture that embraces death and the passing of life and goes on about being in touch with our ‘dark/shadow’ sides and being all edgy with our dark clothes, yet we don’t talk about suicide?

Granted, we are a culture rampant with abusers * cough cough * so to discuss suicide within paganism openly, we’d have to point out how we’re a cesspool of insufficiency.

Yeah, insufficiency. Oh, we try. We puff ourselves up. But you know what? For all the activity and esoteric shops, we get ridiculously little done. We party and buy shit, and that’s about it. Whoopee.

I haven’t seen any pagan group really discuss suicide. And the more I think about it, the more I think that we have nothing in our group/culture that prevents suicide.

  • We have no pagan ‘leaders’ like a priest that a person can go to to get concrete help.
  • What help? There is no pagan-specific help out there. Do we have message boards for mentally ill pagans to help each other out on? Do we have hotlines? No, we don’t even have fuckin’ temples to meet each other in.
  • We have no books or material discussing the morality of the topic.
  • We are scattered and isolated. This leaves people, well, isolated, and helpless in the face of suicidal ideation.
  • As a group/culture, we are immature. I’ll say it again for the people in the back. IMMATURE! We are a young movement, sure, but I find that we are overfed with bite size simplicity in our thinking. This means the average pagan is ill equipped to deal with suicidal ideation. We say ‘an harm ye none’ or ‘we do not bow to gods!’ and rarely take a step further and think about it. Really, we don’t.
  • We are victim blaming in our approach to mental illness. Telling people to avoid doctors, get out in nature more, and meditate more is ableist and victim-blaming. Period.

I could go on about the flaws in paganism, as I sometimes do. But I’m going to stop here.

People, we need to have these conversations. We need to stop, drop, and think. What would you say to a fellow pagan suffering from suicidal ideation? What are your views on suicide? How does suicide fit within paganism?

 

 

“My Name is Chaos”; Chapter Nineteen, Part One

I woke, groggy but determined. As I had slept in bursts and hiccups, I had time to think, and think, and think. My mind kept feeling grogged, but I was determined now to- something. Be better. It was a hazy idea, but I wanted to improve things. I wanted to make Bella happy. I was going to do that – somehow.

My mind just couldn’t compute a solid answer!

When I finally woke for good, the first thing I did was splash water on my face in the washroom. That turned my skin cold, but did very little to actually rouse me. I felt trapped in a mist.

Grumbling but still determined to… something?… I dressed and stomped from the room.

“AH!” I yelped as a vampire was just – standing there.

She looekd down at me, peeling her lip back from her teeth in a grimace. “You, awake.”

“No,” I snarked, hand on my thumping heart. “I’m dead.”

The vampire paused. The sarcasm seemed to have conufsed her.

“Where is Bella?” I asked.

“She has orders for you to stay inside the house until her return,” said the vampire. “Rest or, something,” she finished with a shrug.

I scowled at her before brushing past her to the stairs.

A hand slammed down on my shoulder. I whirled around to face miss fang-face. “Where do you think you’re going?” she hissed, stooping so her breath was straight in my face.

“Breakfast,” I hissed back, rising up to snarl in her face. “Or something.”

Rolling her eyes, she let me go. I turned around and stomped down the stairs, fully convinced that I was going to do the ‘something’ part of my statement. I just wasn’t sure what it would be. But sitting around and just waiting for Bella? That didn’t feel right.

But first, really, I had to eat. And if there was coffee to be found- it was to be mine.

There was three beefy werewolves in the kitchen, pouring blood into baggies. They looked at me, then the middle one, Munch as it so happened, straightened.

“Hey, if it isn’t the little kitten!” he sneered. Dusting his hands off on his apron, he strolled over to me. “What’ll it be? Want some milk?”

Oh gawwwwd. I smirked, trying to not listen to him. Whatever. “With cereal,” I said sweetly, trying to somehow turn the joke on him. “Can you manage that?”

“Oh, for you? Sure, kitten,” and he reached to ruffle my hair.

I punched him in the gut. My reasoning? If I was Bella’s precious kitten he couldn’t really punch back, could he?

Well, as it turned out, I was right. Munch straightened, lifted a fist, then double checked himself. I smirked. Victory. Alea jacta whatever.

I bumped past him into the kitchen. “So where is this food? Theoretically?” And I propped myself against the counter right before this big window.

I picked it because, really, cool window? Nice view while eating my cereal and being smug? It turned out to be the worst decision, like, EVER.

The sniper must have been like ‘Dude, my lucky day’ and shat themself in excitement.

Oh wait, they’re Canadian, so it must have been ‘Eh, dude, my lucky day eh?’. Then, presumably, they apologized to me.

Because, really, after two point oh seconds before this window, it shattered inwards and something whacked into my neck. Glass showered over me in little slicing bits and I yelled wordlessly in surprise as I ducked forward.

“What the fuck?” I asked, crouched down beside the counter – not under a window this time. Munch and the others were also crouched down, eyes wide and ogling me.

Munch pointed at me, more specifically my neck. “Your neck!”

I touched, and felt the feathers. Damn. Sweet Jesus on a stick and fuckity fuck fuck. I pulled it out, then glared at it. It was a black metal vial with white and blue feathering. I threw it angrily on the floor.

“What the fuck?” I hissed angrily as if it was Munch’s fault. Scrambling, I poked my head up to look back out the window. There was the town, or more precisely the rooftops.

Munch was on a walkie talkie. “There’s a sniper firing shots into the house. Repeat, a sniper-”

The world lurched around me. The floor crashed up to me. I jolted, spasming once. Twice. The cold tiles were hard against me as I thrashed in a seizure.

“Shi-i-it,” I heard Munch hiss.

But, of fucking course, he didn’t even come to help. They just stood in their corner of the kitchen, talking on the walkie talkie. Their words faded into a jumble, and as I railed angrily against htem, the scene faded.

“FUCK YEAH!” someone fairly roared, jolting me awake.

My eyes flew open, my nostrils flared, and I was struck by the sudden newness of this scenario. The smell of champagne, the moving masses around me.

“We did it!” someone was cheering. “We did it, we did it, we did it!”

I looked around, but could barely see. There was juts these white blobs massing around me, and I couldn’t move.

Then – “Alright officers, take that party outside,” said a voice that was unmistakeable. FoxFace.

I blinked and shook my head. I twisted my arms and felt bonds. I blinked again and the world slid a little more into focus. Someone patted me on the shoulder. “Hello Chaos,”

I spat at the shape that was generally before me.

“Oh, gross!” said FoxFace. She wiped her face, and slid finally into focus. She was grinning as she wiped her face on her sleeve. “Good to see it’s still you and we didn’t bodyswap you with a chipmunk or something.”

I looked around, heart pounding in my throat. Back in the lab. It shouldn’t be scary, but for some reason it was terrifying. Something in me was runnign a mile a minute, indeed like a chipmunk, and –

“Whoah,” Foxface frowned, looking at a panel beside me. “What, are you happy to see me? Your stats are running high. Calm down, soldier.”

My snark was lost. My mind was reeling. An overwhelming sense of panic was drowning me and something was flashing through my mind like a warning signal, telling me that I was in dire danger.

But of what?

“Hey,” FoxFace leaned again into my field of vision. “You seem to be having a panic attack.”

I couldn’t breathe, the fear was choking me. Bella! I needed Bella- and it clicked in my mind. I was away from Bella. I was away from the ‘hive’, and her touch.

So this was withdrawal? Wow.

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to rationalize this panic. Trying to remind myself that I was fine, that I could breathe just fine without Bella there.

FoxFace was talking coolly. “You know if we were friends I could give you something to help, but we’re not, so I’m not going to bother.”

I tried to glare at her, but instead the vision swam fuzzily. I tried to breathe but the air wouldn’t come. The sight of FoxFace was reminding me of Bella. So I tipped my head back and stared at the ceiling, only to realize that Bella was going to be furious.

Emotions crashed over me like a tsunami. Powerful, ripping at my mind and dragging sense away.

Bella was going to be so angry! So angry! I’d Disobeyed her order to stay home! She was going to be furious!

I tried to rationalize, but that thought drifted away, torn out of my mind and replaced with a sheer panic. I’d disobeyed! I was going to be punished!

Something stung my arm but I barely noticed. Then, like a cool bath over a fever, plastic and fake calm rushed through me. It wasn’t complete, but just like having my head lifted out of the water, but the waves were still up and clogging my nose.

Indeed, I was gasping as I came to my senses, seeing FoxFace frowning at me with a needle in hand. The needle was only half empty.

“You’re having strange side effects,” she said with a frown. Then, tipping her head to the side she added playfully “Or are you really that scared of me?”

I gasped, struggling to keep the internal screaming just that – internal. “Give me the rest of that.” I needed it. Anything, something. I just wanted to breathe again. I had to get this panic to stop. It was just getting stronger and it was rising up again, drowning out my thoughts. Tears were stinging my eyes and my breathing was turning into hiccups again.

“Yeah, maybe,” she said. But she didn’t. Instead she just stood there, needle in hand, and observed.

I hiccupped, twisted on myself, and crushed my eyes closed. It just made everything worse. The screaming couldn’t be stopped now. My skin was itching all over and I heard my breath gasping, felt my face tingle, and knew I was about to faint.

Blind panic was filling me and it felt like I was falling into a tunnel when there was another prick in my arm. The world swerved and careened drunkenly back to me. I opened my eyes to see FoxFace, to feel her latex gloved fingers holding my chin to face her. She was frowning.

I gritted my teeth, wiling myself to be ‘together’. To be strong. It’s just a hive withdrawal, I told myself. You’ll be back to Bella soon. Pull it together!

But I couldn’t. Tears were running down my cheeks, I was shaking, and I was furious with myself for being so weak. Then, as if in answer, the world turned black.

An Update

How am I? Where am I at, life-wise speaking?

Recently, I was doing much better. Before learning of my friend’s death, I was organizing myself thanks to a new agenda and getting serious organizing muscles started. But now… I feel like her death was a slap in the face. A reminder not only of how short life is, but of what’s important.

I’m never going to die wishing that I was working a 9-5 job. I might, however, regret not having been able to devote as much energy as I wanted to all my projects and loved ones. Of not having ‘done my best’.

But how do we know we’ve ‘done our best’? How do we calculate that, indeed, we’ve done all we could without burning out?

I have no magical answer, but for me, doing small and consistent progress is key. Keeping myself busy for most of the day and using my time wisely is also important to my feelings of self-worth. Be it time spent with loved ones or working on projects, I feel like I must be doing something of value.

And so, lately, I’ve been trying to organize my writing projects. I’ve come, once again, to the dilemma of what to do with my writing. Several questions plague me. Should I create an author’s Facebook profile? Should I make a separate blog? And how, oh bloody how, do I advertise myself as a pagan author?

Because, yes, I have general fiction that I write, but I want to put myself out there as a pagan * children’s * author. I want to write books for pagan children. I already have one completed, and now I just need to… Advertise? Publish on amazon? Decide what to do with it? I’m really not sure what sort of steps I should be taking, and any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Confusion and Coloring Pages!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let y’all know that there was some confusion on Adelaide and Shadow’s story -> It was missing two chapters around five and seven! I’ve fixed it, so it should read smooth(er) this time around! Expect more chapters to be coming soon!

As for an update, hmmm. How have I been? Tired, mainly. Very tired. I haven’t been getting around well to things I should be, and so the lag is tiring me. But I’m hoping that after this long weekend I’ll be back on my feet and be able to kick butt and finish my projects! ‘m working on a fanfiction that I’m posting on AO3, a Farfadel novel, and Chaos’ novel, all at the same time as I’m doing some life projects! Go, me! I’m also trying to up my social media presence on instagram and draw more… I’m just trying to do more I think y’all.

I’ve also been rather depressed lately about the progress I’m making as an author. The problem isn’t with my writing (though sometimes I do beat myself up for that as well), but rather with the social networking part. A huge part of how I define my success is how well I connect with my audience and how well they perceive what I want from my story. I know I can’t expect zillions of comments but… I feel like I’m not succeeding in this aspect. I’ve been telling myself that it’s only normal not to have that big of an audience, but, you know, there’s friends I know who are WAY more successful with their FIRST BOOK. Ugh. I am genuinely happy for them but it’s a reflection of how I’m failing, I feel. Anyways, it’s something to work on I suppose.

Oh, also! In case none of you have noticed, I’ve added Colouring Pages to my blog. It’s basically the lineart for my pictures, and I figured it would be awesome to see some of y’all color them in, and posting coloring pages has been a project I’ve wanted to do since the beginning of Farfadel! I’d be immensely flattered too if you did color them in, of course, and would love to know which is your favourite Farfadelian picture! rescan rohtua.jpeg