Feeling Smug Despite it All

If you can see that picture, you know how I feel. Smug.

Let me recap what has made me unusually silent these last few days. I had a very large activity planned this last weekend, and it… flopped. Belly flopped. And not just that, but it wrecked me anxiety wise for the mast few days, and I’m still feeling the repercussions from it.

So why am I smug? Because I’ve persisted. I took the flop as a kick in the butt, got organized, bit a bullet, and am now on the road to doing something magical. Something that, if I succeed, will be a local sensation and it’ll be worth all the weird crap that the locals have put me through.

I shit you not, if this pulls through I’m celebrating and doing lots of glamorous posts about it. But for now I’m keeping that project hush hush.

So my point? Don’t let failure get you down. Be like a cat. Just keep on, and be smug that you did. The haters can’t keep you down.

“My Name is Chaos”: Chapter Seven, Part Two

I stood up gingerly, not really trusting my limbs to hold me. But they held. Bella guided me out of the aisle and led me outside of the chapel. I was not prepared for that gust of cold air. It was cold! So cold!

Chuckling, Bella pulled her hat on. I hugged Mark’s jacket around myself. I didn’t so much realize that we had let go of our hands as I felt it as an emptiness within myself. I told myself it was nothing. But still, those alarm bells within me were ringing.

“So,” I said as Bella began walking forward to the skidoos. “What just happened? Why did you show me that? Why?”

“Well aren’t you full of questions?” asked Bella with a smile as she drew to a stop by her skidoo. She pulled on a pair of gloves and pulled her turtleneck higher up on her throat. I couldn’t help but notice how soft her skin looked. But I refused to be distracted. My head was a bit more on my shoulders, that strange craving for her now only a tiny feeling in my gut. So I crossed my arms, told myself to digest that feeling, and scowled.

“What’s your plan? What – why even show me that?”

But Bella grinned at me. My heart flip-flopped stupidly. “Because I like sharing,” she said sweetly. “I like giving people answers to their questions. So,” she fiddled with her skidoo helmet. “What’s your next question?”

I took a breath. Really? Was this going to be that easy? A question about the portal almost slipped from me. But I stopped. If I really wanted to know – “Where’s Mark? What’d you do to him?”

She ducked her head, grinning widely. The vampires looked concerned. “What?” I asked. “You said you like giving answers.”

“Mark, ah, had an accident,” she said with the smile that said she was lying.

“Really?” I asked. “Well I still want to see him. And Leo.”

Bella’s eye twinkled. “Well then, let’s do that, shall we?”

I hesitated. “Really?” What, was she letting me dig my own grave?

“Really,” she nodded at the vampires. “Let’s go.”

And off we went.

I was expecting us to go to the hospital, or to suddenly transport into a medieval dungeon where bits of Mark would be hanging around. Instead we went to a mansion. It wasn’t quite quaint. It was modern (Ish?) with giant windows, peaked towers, and well, it was huge. I sort of wondered why Bella wasn’t living her instead of her small victorian-era home. Was she just into vintage?

“Here we are!” Bella announced as she drew off her helmet and I awkwardly got off the skidoo behind mcwhateverhisnamewas. She pulled her gloves off and gestured to the house with a large grin towards me. “The center!”

“The-?” I balked. Was she really showing me something important?

“Center,” she said, dropping her skidoo helmet into the seat. “Our intelligence center, where we keep people who are problematic, and where,” she shrugged “Our center is.”

I blinked. The center. There was going to be a portal at the center. Whoah. She just spelled it out for me.

She flashed her trademark smile at me. “What’s that face for?”

I shook myself. “N-nothing.”

The other vampires didn’t look so certain however. They were giving me the stink eye. I did my best to put on a casual smile. Wouldn’t want to give away that she’d just solved my biggest problem for me.

Well, up we walked to the door. Big, imposing, double doors. I was expecting some sort of high-tech fingerprint or eyeball-checking security system. No such thing. We just walked straight on in.

My alarm bells rang at that. Why was she so trusting? How come they could afford to just – no security? It made me frown as we walked in.

“Namastay!” cheered someone so happily that I jumped. Whoah. Right there, just a few steps in, a cluster of vampires were standing around and sipping out of water bottles.

“Namastay, namastay!” said Bella so happily as she strode on in through them. She hugged several members and patted others on the back. “How is everyone?”

My brain balked. What the hell? The vampires had the same adoring eyes for her that the humans had. They chirpily told her that oh, everything is good, grand mistress, all good.

“Excellent,” crooned Baella. She reached for me, gesturing me over. I slowly scraped over, letting my feet slide grudgingly over the floor.

Mcsomething or other shoved me forward so I stumbled next to Bella. Bella took me by the shoulder and righted me with a crick. “This is Chaos,” she said sweetly, her fingers digging into my shoulders one second and caressing me the next.

A general coo went up, like I was a baby. Adoring eyes went from Bella to me. Bella’s hand slid across my shoulders to hug me sideways. “She’s visiting!” said Bella excitedly. “So let’s all be on our best behavior, okay?”

I gingerly looked around, hoping I wasn’t blushing ridiculously. Bella was holding me so close. So tightly. It was… very nice to say the least. Something in my gut was twisting free, squealing in joy at the attention just as I found it strange, very strange.

After some aimless chatter, I was led away, my hand in Bella’s. “I’m sure you’re very worried about your friends,” she said happily as we walked down the entrance hall.

“Very,” I muttered, looking everywhere but at her while all my attention was on our hands together. I didn’t want to let go. It felt so nice.

Up a flight of stairs we went, vampire troupe still in tow. Into endless corridors we went. The place stunk of old money, old luxury, that had all been torn down. There were spots where paintings had been removed from walls. The bannister was pointedly not polished, full of grummy handprints. The corridor was making me sneeze.

“Too much fur?” teased Bella.

“Is there cats here?” I asked, sniffling.

Bella shook her head. “It’s the werewolves you’re smelling.”

“Uh- huh,” I grumbled. I knew no werewolves had escaped hell. That, they had been sure to tell me. Only vampires on the run.

And then a door opened and – yeah, those were werewolves. My jaw practically hit the floor. The werewolf in charge (some muscly dude with a mohawk) did the same. His eyes bulged and a look of sheer panick crossed his face, eyes flitting from me to Bella. Then to our joined hands.

He made a sound, pointing at me.

“This is Chaos,” said Bella as we walked up to them.

“I – know,” said Munch, as I liked to call him. Munch and I never got along. He was dumb. He ran a small gang that always got into trouble with ol’ Beelzebub and – wait a minute. They’d been really quiet lately, hadn’t they?

“Chaos is visiting,” said Bella, swinging sideways to bump her shoulder against mine like we were best buddies.

Munch chewed on that for a minute, jaw working. He ogled me, then again, our hands. “Okay,” he said finally. Bella flashed him a grin. Then, leading the way on, she gestured him to come along. “How have our guests been doing?” she asked as Munch tailed along sheepishly at her side. By his expression, I guessed that he wasn’t used to this much attention from her.

“Good,” he mumbled, making part of my brain explode. Munhc? Mumbling? Whoah. Usually this dude just up and yelled every word in people’s faces. For him to be so docile…

I eyeballed Bella. She just looked so sweet and docile, her evil red eye completely hidden by that eyepatch. Hmph.

Up another flight of stairs, we were suddenly swamped by the smell of chemicals. “This is the science flight,” she said happily, stating the obvious. There was a cluster of scientists here and there in the hallways, all whispering excitedly at our passage. One quickly stepped forward and opened door for Bella, who smiled so sweetly at them as we went through.

And there was Mark.

He was shirtless, his hair a grimy mess. Propped up in a hospital bed, he was restrained by cuffs and tubes coming out of his veins. He was utterly unconscious, looking almost peaceful.

“See?” Bella pulled me to his bedside, where she planted me beside a drip-bag-thing that was connected to Thor’s tubes. “He’s not all that bad, is he?”

I had to say that she was right, actually. I’d been expecting, well, much worse than him to be simply incapacitated.

“He tried to run away,” said Munch, crossing his arms across his chest and flexing. “We tried our best but,” he gestured to Mark’s arms and wrists, where there was some bruising. But that was minor, right?

“And Leo?” I asked, mouth dry.

“Right here!” cheered a vampire from behind us as Leo himself was pushed in.

Leo was in fresh clothes, wearing a lab coat and a very, very, unhappy expression.

“See?” said Bella. “All fine!”

Leo gave her a hateful look. Munch flexed again.

“Can we talk? Alone?” Leo said, glaring at me like I was to blame for the universes’ problems.

Bella looked at me. A frown crossed her face.

“Please?” I asked.

And that was all it took? Again, her smile returned. She left, and everyone else followed, looking quite puzzled. The door was shut.

“What are you thinking?” hissed Leo, walking to my side. “We’ve got to get out of here!”

I looked around, puzzled. “Really? I mean, this place is weird but-”

Leo rolled up his sleeves and showed me several pinpricks. “They keep injecting me with ‘vitamin B’,” he hissed. “Have you found the portal yet?”

I looked around to avoid looking at him. “No, but I know it’s going to be in this building.”

Leo snorted. “Good job, kid. You’re really on top of things.”

“They’re not being awful,” I argued back.

He squinted at me. “So you too are going to start singing praises about Her?”

I flushed. “No.”

“Yes. Do you know why Mark tried to run away last night?”

My mouth was dry. “No. Why?”

“I don’t know. But they used quite some technology and magic to heal him.” he gestured to Mark. “He didn’t look that good earlier on.”

I wanted to kick myself for being so gullible. But then again, what really was wrong here? Everyone seemed so happy… “You’re right,” I said flatly. “Something’s wrong.” People just aren’t this happy. Besides, if Lucifer wanted this place shut down, there had to be a good reason, right?

“They’ve got information that,” the door opened and Bella strode back in. Leo scowled.

“So? All caught up?” she asked sweetly.

I caught myself smiling back at her. She was so sweet. So pretty. “Yeah,” I said without thinking. Beyond Bella, Leo glared at me. Like, really glared. He wanted to murder me.

A Disabled Leader? Gasp!

Today,   I was doing great. I worked on a course I plan on giving, compiling materials and sources. Then, unexpectedly, I felt “a little bit down”. Okay, I decided to be an adult about it. I sat down and rested. When that wasn’t working and I kept getting worse, I watched TV. Halfway through my second episode of ‘Grace & Frankie’ I paused the episode and declared to my wife that “this isn’t working”.

So what? Now I’m feeling better, having shaken off the dregs of depression and anxiety to a point. But what’s my point?

Life isn’t all roses. I still struggle. I like to think that I’m all better.Sometimes it feels like I’m normal. Lately I’ve begun to think I won’t need a second service dog. But then… I break down. I face the reality that I still am not able to go grocery shopping alone. I … I face the fact that just showering daily is still a struggle. I mean, I’m not ‘as bad’ as I once was. Instead I’m in this hazy background shade of grey, pastel-ified with reborn happiness and covered in glitter through my sheer desire to survive and bloom.

I’m reading a book on pagan leadership. In there, the authors decry the leaders who go on food stamps. A person should be able to self-sustain, they argue. What, I think, would they think of me? More importantly, what do I think?

I’m one of those people who’s incredibly hard on themselves. I want to think I’m good. I want to think that I won’t need a second service dog. And today, reading that it’s not just me, that there’s others that would probably look down on me as a leader, who would say I should focus on ‘getting a job’ first before doing the small amount of service that I do as a ‘leader’…it was crushing.

It’s also incredibly insensitive (and oh so typically American) to think that we must first self-sustain before leading or even thinking of contributing to society. Let’s take me as an example, because I feel the need to defend myself.

I can’t self-sustain yet. I can’t. But what I can do is spend a few hours a month leading a ritual. I can happily chat with friends and students, offering support (and even doing too much of that can send me into a downward spiral). Can I easily leave the house on a regular basis? No. Am I functional after the exhaustion of leading a small holy-day ritual? No.

But you know what? Disabled people can lead. We so can, because being a leader is not the same as holding a job. A leader is a way of life. It’s offering moral and emotional support, connecting people, coming up with ideas, and sharing the weight. It’s not about doing it all by yourself.

I want to finish by saying that I think I am doing a damn good job at leading (despite my obvious insecurities on the topic). Better yet-my pagans think so. They love the energy of my rituals, and so far those who  study under me love me as a teacher. So don’t take it from me, but take it from them. This disabled person can lead. And if I can, then so damned well can another disabled person. What does that mean? It means we need leaders who can do the job and walk the talk. And sometimes the ones who can do that the best are those who have gone down the rabbit hole and who are fragile. Sometimes it’s not the able-bodied loud mouth who should be leading. Maybe it’s the quiet person.

The Problem with Sanity

Let’s be honest -> I got the title for this article before the idea for it. The title just popped into my head and I was like “wait, what’s wrong with sanity?” but the line bugged me so I thought on it.

And lo and behold, I discovered things that I don’t quite like about sanity (and the process of becoming sane again). Here we go!

  1. You feel normal. Now this isn’t a bad thing in the sense that feeling normal helps you interact with the average person in a better way. But damn… it’s surprisingly hard on the ego. To go from feeling special and ‘extra spiritual’ and having all these amazing wordless experiences to… nothing and feeling in commune with the average person you used to look down on? Ouch, my ego. It can feel like losing a magical cape, your ‘you’ and uniqueness.
  2. No more ecstasy for you. This one was really, really, hard on me. I used to get ecstatic out of nothing, literally, I could just lie back and bask in ecstasy during my episodes. And that’s now completely gone. Even when I have a major episode, ecstasy as I used to experience it is always out of reach. Which leaves me functional, but bored and missing my natural ‘high’.
  3. Real life is fucking stressful. Now that I’m no longer cruising through life only half-aware of what’s happening around me – damn! It’s like waking up from a coma and realizing that all your paperwork is out of order. And that no one mowed your lawn. Now that I am aware of things, I realize my failures and actually care because I’m not lost in ecstasy.
  4. No more secret languages/unique experiences. This ties closely in to #1 and #2, but it’s so distinct and was such a surprise for me that it deserves it’s own point. Music used to speak to me. It used to be a language. It used to make me cry and bring me to near-ecstasy if I focused. And I thought it was normal. Imagine my shock when I realized it had gone away? This whole language, this whole way of relaxing – just sucked out of my life. With it went the sensation of flying too, by the way. No more free flights for me.
  5. You really end up questioning yourself and your past experiences. Now when I consider things I’ve done and experienced, I can’t help but wonder what is/was a symptom. Things that the average person can just assume is ‘psychic’, I got the fun of wondering if it was just my symptoms going screwy. Like, the feeling of hands touching my back. Divine intervention/comfort? Symptom? Who knows, and … the uncertainty can be a pain in the ass.
  6. You become more logical, and you suddenly care more about rules. Before, I had a hard time caring about coloring within the lines because a) too busy being in ecstacy to care b) didn’t understand why it was important. Now that I have a better grip on social functionings, I’ve started being less ‘free’ in my judgments. I’ve started seeing the social lines delineating things. It changes who I am and how I react and care.
  7. And finally, I had to rebuild my entire life lens. The way you function and the way you experience the world has changed. It sucks, but I found it for the better. That doesn’t mean it’s not a scary experience though.

Islam and I… A Polytheist’s Experience

Well WhAAAAAAAT? Islam? Me? I know, right?

Let me get into storyteller mode here. Ahem…

It was a bleak morning. The crescent moon had just been covered by a shivering cloud. Gusts of icy wind rustled through dead leaves.

I honestly think it was inspired from a dream. It sort of just came to me, this compulsion to cover my head, especially before the shrine. It happened so recently after a particularly stressful day of attending a street festival. My wife had just congratulated me on holding up well to the stress.

And now, boom. I wanted to cover my head. With a scarf, particularly.

I did research on shrines and head covering and pagans and headscarves. It seemed to be a uniquely female thing, and so I begged to be let into Facebook groups. I was steered towards one that accepted all genders.

I met some fabulous people there. They happened to be muslim – and suddenly I was compelled to do like them, and pray five times a day. After all, I was trying to meditate more, so why not pray AND meditate five times a day?! At this point I was trying to meditate five times a day, ten minutes a piece.

But, prayer? Because it’s related to the sun, right? And so it can be pagan! And then one by one, tick after tock, I began seeing Islamic practices popping up before me. I realized Allah must be calling me. I felt a pull to worship that deity. I began reading more and more about Islam, even going to the library and taking out books on it.

I noticed patterns Islam seemed everywhere around me, even in shoes at the thrift store. I grew ecstatic during prayer and meditation. My moods became terrible. I resisted any questioning of my new path. Within a matter of three days, I went from being completely uninterested in Islam and viewing it as a curious thing to which I’ve often been pulled to, to praying 6 times a day, one of which I had to wake up in the middle of the night for.

Once or twice, my wife pointed out that this wasn’t like me. But I ignored her.

I questioned my gender. I compulsively shopped, shaking from anxiety but unable to stop myself. My anxiety and logic was so bad I had difficulty expressing myself and speaking.

After about two weeks of this, a friend pointed out the warning signs. She anxiously suggested I speak to someone.

At first, I was all ‘yeah, I know’, for I had sensed something ‘off’ ever since this conversion process began. It felt like a radiating spot of light, a strange before and after wherein i entered into a new zone. Also, I now felt like whatever I prayed for, Allah would give me. It felt like it. I was given ‘signs’ and once even wondered if I was going to become a prophet or something. It just felt like I was being carried on this wave of transformation – and somehow I knew it was wrong.

After my friend talked to me about it, I noticed the telltale signs. I grew worried, catastrophically so. I called a health  hotline and inquired what to do. Luckily, I already had an appointment scheduled with my psychiatrist.

Then, wiping away my tears, I went to bed. That’s it!, I decided. It’s just another mental episode. I know how to cope with this.

Or do I?

I’ve spent the last three days covered in blankets, tears, and unable to get off the couch. Yesterday I celebrated when I was able to brush my hair. Today, relatives are arriving to help by bringing me food and help with the dishes I haven’t been able to keep up with. My apartment is a mess and my sick wife has been having to pick up all the pieces.

Because, you see, I wasn’t ready for the crush and fall of realizing that it might have all been fueled by mental illness. It had just been so real. So incredible. And now I’m questioning not only all of it, but the motives of Allah for appearing during a mental breakout. I just… it’s a mess. Trying to draw the line between what was real, what I might have imagined/hallucinated, and what ever else was going on… it’s incredibly exhausting and disheartening. It just makes me miserable.

So that’s it folks. That’s all that’s happened to me. Some fabulous friends are going to talk to their therapists about me so that I can maybe get some tips and perspective in the meantime of waiting for my psychiatrist. But until I see my psychiatrist, I’m just coping I guess. And even then, I’ll still have to scope  out what’s real.

I’ll also have to get a corner of the house to stop telling me to cover my head. Shrines don’t do that, do they? I think I’ll take that shrine down. It bothers me now. It faces Mecca (another sign! Gasp!) and it reminds me of everything that happened. I just can’t stand it any more.

Until next time, take care y’all.

 

An Author’s Take on Writers

Are we all dumb-fucks or what? Since joining Instagram, I feel like my brain has been flooded with stupidity. Now don’t get me wrong, some indie authors out there are brilliant, and kind, and just plain full of awesome.

But then there’s stupid twigs that go around posting things like “women, when treated properly, are naturally submissive’.

Like, u dumb branch, u ain’t met NONE of the women I know, o-kay?

And then they’re all posting like, hmmm, do you pants or do you plot your novel? And,… that just gets to me. Because, as I have posted on another profile I blog on… I consider writing to be a spiritual process. A book is good if it is alive. If you feel you’re connecting to some alternate dimension and retelling what’s happening there -> that’s a real story.

Am I potentially crazy? Yeah, clinically. But you fuckin’ know what? When I was young, I believed in my novels. That’s what prevented me from committing suicide. So now, I owe a debt to those characters for having kept me alive. In every sense to me, they feel real and alive. I believe they exist in some dimension. Somewhere, out there, I’m telling someone’s story.

Is it literally their story or an allegory? Who knows? One day I read a summary for a Stephen King novel and it so much resembled parts of my childhood that I freaked. That novel was my life (at least in parts and premise). And that’s a thing I’ve always wondered if Stephen King was aware of. Does he realize that he’s writing people’s lives? Or is he not aware of this?

But you know what? I don’t know if it’s because I’ve only met neuro-normative authors on Instagram or what, but authors don’t seem prepared for these kind of conversations. Authors don’t seem willing to deal with writers who wake up inspired from actual sleep dreams with novels in their heads. Authors don’t seem at all ready to cope with the deeper questions of authorship and working with spirits and dreams to form novels. And this really frustrates me.

I get so frustrated about the poor quality of authors and their social justice narratives, their not-so-feminist values, and their terribly lacking esoteric perspectives. Just- where is the depth? This is a group of people that I’m a part of, a group that I’ve long considered to be torch-bearers in a world of darkness and… instead I feel surrounded by clamoring idiots. It’s like expecting a series of wise angels to radiate down and instead you get a medieval mob with torches.

So you know what? Maybe, I dunno, I’ll start this Instagram game over again and find some real people to connect with. Maybe I’ll just blog here for a bit as a relief. But either way, if any of you are curious and want something fun and light to read, hit me up. I got the goods y’all. Contrary to how depressing I can be, I cheer myself up by being a dork. So my writing is a blend of Terry Pratchett and Tolkien as I’ve been told.

Life Hurts Right Now…

Hello everyone. I’m sad to say that I’ve almost given up on this blog. Yes, I’ve considered it a closed shop a few times now. And now… I just need to vent again.

Because huzzah! I might be going through another psychotic break (or something whatever else fun-fuckery).

So you might have wondered what I’ve been up to in these months I’ve been missing from this blog. Well, I’ve been active in the local pagan scene. I’ve been busy getting stabbed in the back, helping psychotic people, and trying to build community. All that seems to bring me the ire of local ‘established’ (commercialized, religion-selling,non-original, internet re-selling and plain dishonest) witches. But at least I helped one psychotic person feel like they’ve got someone to talk to. So that’s good.

Also good: I know am the proud owner of 500 business cards for my foundation, Starlight Pagan Family. It’s the first of it’s kind in my region, meaning it’s going to be a not-for-profit religious organization that’s pagan. WHAT?! YE MEAN IT’S NOT A WITCHE SHOPPE??!

Right. Because shops and selling shite is all we do, right? (haha, it rhymes)

But yeah, bitches. I made a not-for-profit, down-in the trenches and dirty foundation. We help people. We’re hosting rituals where the funds will go to homes for dying cancer patients. We are hosting a library of esoteric books (in my living room) so that people can research for FREE. Bitch, shit’s going to get DONE in my area. And eventually – I’mma build me a pagan abbey/temple space where people can be safe and worship and live if they want to. So there.

But you know what y’all? Shit’s gone down in my head. But I think that’s too long for one post. Next post y’all: how I converted to Islam.

 

 

Bitchin’ Witchin’

I had the silly idea of starting up a pagan group (sarcasm – it’s a great idea). At first, the idea was simple and a little pure, just to help create a community. It would be a sort of group that did events, had little structure, and basically got together to exchange on a variety of topics as well as to help each other out in manifest, physical ways.

A variety of adventures happened, including curses being laid and disruptive actions -> all caused by a cis white male who thought he was ‘the most uber spiritual gurbl gurbl out there’ basically.

Well, I banished him in no uncertain terms from the group and found myself having to rebuild my group from the ground up. And then – lo! Behold! I fell across inspiration! A pagan abbey! Oh, isn’t that a lovely idea?

After slavering at the idea, I decided to give it a shot. I tried to get into contact with Trey from the Silver Song Collective.

She, of all the elders I contacted, actually answered me (holy shit!). With the guidance of someone who’s done it before, I decided to create the Starlight Pagan Family, a hopefully soon to be legally recognized not-for-profit.

Now where, you ask, is the drama? Wait. I am starting to get to it. So you see, I began organizing pagan gatherings. Being a kind person, I invited everyone I knew – including the witches who, about a year ago, had been doing some pagan gatherings but then stopped as they weren’t working well.

Remember, a sentence ago, I said ‘they weren’t working well’ in combination with the words ‘stopped’? Well, bloody fucking Christian hell.

All of a sudden (Magically, one could say!) they re-began hosting their get-togethers, within days of mine!

Oh. Okay. I contacted them and they insisted that this was pure coincidence. They offered to share my event. Well, I thanked them and invited them to my get together again.

Now they never did come to my organized meeting where I announced the formation of the Starlight Pagan Family. If they had, they would have known that the new core purpose of my group was to offer events to unite the community, as well as fundamental services such as weddings, rituals, mental health and spiritual counseling hotlines, accompaniment to doctor visits, etc.

Well, when I saw that they had made yet another ‘witchy’ gathering (so soon? They used to host these twice a year before I came along…) my group of admins told me that it was pure coincidence and not to think about it. Everyone told me I was overreacting.

So, one day, after a full week of planning, I giddily made the Facebook event for our first activity -> Candles & Drums. I snapped a closeup picture of my drum, its beater, a pentacle, and a tealight candle.

Well. Within fucking hours these bitchy witches had released their own event. With a very same picture, a closeup of several random things and a tealight.

I flipped my shit in no uncertain terms. I almost cried. It was a virtual stab in the back, as I had literally invited them to join my group, invited them on Facebook within my closed group for the family, and was hoping to approach them about being active members of my group.

Well. All this drama brings me to a point. It’s not just drama for the sake of drama (I promise, though I do relish in gossiping viciously).

Why the fuck do all the pagans just try and make money off of each other? Huh? I know of at least 8 witches in my tiny local community that sell stuff and throw all their efforts into making money off the pagan community. Yeah, I’m no better. I tried to sell my embroidery online -> but I did my all best to make it the cheapest as possible. I hardly paid myself for my efforts. These witches? Please! 35$ for an event per head is not what I call cheap when it comes to making one bloody fucking ‘magical’ sachet. Not when the room rent (I know because I checked to rent that very same space) is 10$ a head. Materials for one tiny-ass sachet CANNOT be 25 $. There better be a fucking gold nugget in there if so.

And you know what else? Why the fuck do no pagans offer actual services to each other? Like why is it that I seem to be the first pagan organization to come up with hotlines, and accompanying members to hospitals? Why is it so easy to walk into a coffee shop and find a pagan advertising their soaps/tarot readings/handmade cards/whatthefuckever … but no such thing as a pagan charity event? WHY?

Even a larger community that I admired, which is supposedly organized and run by a good priestess, does not do charity drives. They do not help in holiday food drives. They do not run around cleaning up rivers and doing actual, physical, good change in the world.

What instead do they do? Offer ‘classes’ on witchcraft and paganism. Sell teas. Sell, sell, sell.

Well, fucking pardon me. But if we want to actually build something, we might as well get off our asses and start trying to be serious adults and try and stop looking at our wallets. You know what? Why don’t we offer classes to which some poor students can fundraise their way into? Why don’t we host raffles from which the majority of the money goes to funding our members to attend an actually academically recognized university? Maybe I’m dreaming in pagan Technicolor, but I dream of building something useful.

Maybe it’s because I was raised by relatives that indulged themselves in Christian churches. And in those churches, I saw members that were willing to fundraise for my family to have clothes. Who were willing to actually take care of their sick and their poor and not just send ‘thoughts and prayers’.

If we’re an actual religion, let’s start acting like one. Because you want to know my final point? When I was sick, horribly lost in my mental illness, I missed a community. I needed people to comfort me and listen to me and drive me to the hospitals and support me and just be there for me. I needed people to show up and do my dishes for me and drive me to do groceries. I needed the support of a community.

And there was none. Because we’re pagans and apparently we do nothing to help each other.

Well if I can change one fucking thing about paganism with my lifetime-> it’s going to be that. I’m going to make a movement unlike any other. I want to inject a shot of adrenaline into my local community and Make. It. Roll. Because dammit, people need us. We need us.

WHAT?! More posts?

Ah-ha-ha-ha! Fear and tremble and shake, minions! For I! Have! Made! A craft blog!

As if the world really needed another one, LOL.

But I have decided to make one, and so it has been done (TADA!).

https://unhingedstitches.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/materials/ is the latest post!

It shall focus specifically upon Wiccan and pagan/neo-pagan/polytheist craft ideas. It should be very simple, funny, and easy to follow for the average person. 🙂

I’m hoping to see y’all on that blog as well! And if there’s anything you’d like to see done (within reason!), don’t forget to drop a comment!

Medication First!

What? Whozzah? Medication? It’s such a rare thing. I never talk about it! Nope, not me.

Ah ha ha. I am joking, obviously.

As I have previously said, psychiatric medication is the high heels to my drag outfit of functionality. I prance around in them, adjust them, occasionally change them, but above all, need them. (Have ye, O great wanderer of life, seen a drag Queen barefoot? I has not.)

Now what do I mean when I say ‘Medication First (with an exclamation mark, no less)? I mean just that. Medication First. (!)

Now, this is where I draw the line between my fabulous self and the so many other viewpoints blazing out there across the Wiccan and neo-pagan and polytheist frameworks. You see, most of Wicca and neo-paganism and polytheist movements are what I would call ‘Medication Second’. In that they will often spout their views in this way.

  • Mental illness may or may not exist, really.
  • Why take psychiatric medication? It has (gasp!) side effects! One ought first to try exercise, eating ‘healthy’, de-toxing, eating special diets, doing special exercises, practicing yoga, meditating, walking in nature, practicing spirituality, spirit-journeying, re-adjusting their kundalini, consulting shamans across the globe, and maybe even breathing underwater while they’re at it. (Note how therapy with a licensed professional is usually not part of this list? Strange, right?)
  • If and ONLY IF the person has tried all the above suggestions (probably even including breathing underwater for some) then the person could, they suppose, try psychiatric medication. But beware of those nasty nasty side effects! Oh, and have you tried the other remedies already?

Note how everything else under the sun (and maybe under the earth) comes first before psychiatric medication. This means psychiatric medication comes second as a final and last resort for the ‘real’ crazies.

Now, I used to be like this. It led me down a truly crazy path and led me into great psychiatric distress. But now the little caterpillar has become a butterfly, so to speak, and I’ve become a Medication First kind of person.

What do I mean by that? It means my train of thought goes like this:

  • Is there a significant problem?
  • If yes, seek medical help. Take the psychiatric medication.
  • Then, once a sense of betterness has been achieved thanks to psychiatric medication, get therapy and try other stuff like exercise and whatnot.

But Why Why WHY? Pagans and so-called ‘spiritual’ people will gnash their teeth and foam at the mouth. We must try all the so-called ‘healthy’ alternatives first! We must avoid the medication at all costs!

Well, I firmly disagree now.

First of all, for someone to be seeking relief, they probably have a sizeable problem. Chances are, it’s worse than what they (or others around them) think it is. It certainly was for me. No one ever thinks they’re ‘crazy’ or ‘really that bad’. They always think they’re ‘just in a slump’ or ‘just having a bad day’.

Second of all, there is a never-ending source of so-called ‘alternatives’. One can waste years seeking them all out, and they can be blazingly expensive. And finally, no matter the amount of them that one has tried, one will never have tried enough. There will always be one more guru, one more supplement, one more yoga sequence that people will pressure you into trying or, worse, you will pressure yourself into trying. This will delay treatment indefinitely.

Third –and really, I think this is my point – there is no harm in trying psychiatric medication first.

It’s not like the world will fucking blow up.

Because here’s how it happens.

You take the medication → you feel better (somewhat) → you use this ‘feel good’ energy as momentum to propel yourself further with therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.

This might sound like drivel, but I swear it’s how it works for me and how I’ve seen it treated by the good doctors I’ve met. I could try all the lifestyle changes, but without my medication there to help me, I was just swamped. Once I felt better thanks to medication, I could clean my house, go jogging, and feel even better!

It’s basically like giving a sick person medication. You give it to them to help re-establish the normal flow, so that the body can get back on track.

Ohhhhhhmyyyyygodzzzz. Does this… does this mean psychiatric medication is… medication? *sarcasm*

So, medication comes first in the sequence of treatment. At least it did for me.

What’s my point? Where am I going with this? I’m going here → we need to change our narrative surrounding mental illness to be medication first.

I know, I know, it sounds like I want everyone to just echo my viewpoints. It’s not that. I want people to stop leaving medication ‘second’ as a choice that you only go to if you are ‘that bad’ or ‘really crazy’ or ‘desperate’. I want people to realize that medication is not dangerous or toxic, and that it can be the start of therapy and of a whole lot of changes in one’s life.

What would a ‘medication first’ discussion sound like? Like this:

Person a) hey, i’m feeling shitty.

Person b) ok, I trust your judgement. Have you consulted a doctor and taken the requisite medication?

OH MAH GAWDS. Doesn’t that sound the same as when someone has the flu, cold, diarrhea, or whathave you?

Trust me, we can do this. We’ve got this. We do it for broken legs, asthma, and everything else. Yes, for a very mild cold, we may stick to alternative solutions. But let’s revisit my first point in this discussion one more time.

Chances are, it’s worse than what they (or others around them) think it is. Now, I don’t want to be a drama queen. But people tend to overlook their mental health. It’s been my experience that those who finally realized they needed help (especially those who are so-called ‘spiritual’ people) were in dire straits when they finally turned to a doctor.

So what this means is that by the time someone realizes they’re having a problem, it is no longer time for the alternatives. It’s time for the doctor.

And guess what? Here’s the kicker. If you’re at that point… just how much of a dosage of alternative stuff do you think you would need? It’s like taking alternatives that would treat a cold, to treat… pneumonia? Ebola?

Because psychiatric medication can be very strong. It can be easily jacked up to high doses. Not so with alternative ‘treatment’. In a recent video I watched, someone compared the efficacity of zoloft to smelling saffron for 20 minutes, and said they were on equal footing. They neglected to mention the dosage of zoloft it was equal to. Was it a small, itty bitty tiny dosage of zoloft? Was it a high dosage? Was it a stable dosage that the person was accustomed to? What if the twenty minutes of saffron was not enough? How long a day would the person have to smell it for? Similarly, they mentioned cloves as being helpful (I think it was to boost serotonin). Just how many cloves a day would someone need to take in a case of severe depression?!

Personally, I think this is ridiculous. Yes, these alternatives can help someone with the mental health equivalent of a small cold. Yes, they can help someone maintain positive mental health much like they help boost physical health.

But! Mental illness is just that. A fucking illness. It is un-health to the point of distress. It is a serious situation that we, by leaving the life-saving medication thereof as only a second and ultimately ‘only take last’, we are neglecting to treat the illness or take it seriously.

Because take it from someone who tried all the alternatives first. It didn’t work. It hasn’t worked for anyone I’ve known, either (and now I know a lot of people with mental illnesses). And yes, most of the people I know have had it go to the point of critical conditions, ergo their life and functioning was in danger. It is that common that it becomes that critical and yet we suggest treating it as if it was a common cold.