12/15/16

Ingvi, Lord of Winter?

Full Cold Moon (Age: 16 Days)
Current Sign: Void of Course
Weather: Bitter cold, windy, some lake effect
Snow Pack Depth: 3 in, approx.
Drought Status: Moderate
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So many people point to Freyr as the lord of spring and summer. I will confess, I was one of those people. Then life got interesting. Over the last few years, I am finding that things between him and I become more ... intense in the time of year from Samhain to Beltane. I was inclined to consider it my attention was drawn more to him because there was less stuff going on to distract me.

Now, I'm not entirely sure that assessment is correct. I have a feeling that there are people who are going to get offended with this. But, he is very strongly encouraging me to put this out there for others to take and consider. Freyr is a gentle god. But he is not always gentle. And he is not always what we would perceive as kind. He has kindness in him. I am not saying that is not there or that he is maliciously inclined. Woe betide the one who earns his anger. I've glimpsed his anger. It is fearsome. He is not one you should seek to intentionally cross or offend. He will simply destroy you. Consider it fortunate, Freyr is not quick to anger and the things that move him to it are not small matters. Things like the business of what is happening in Aleppo are what moves him to fury. People choosing to act inhumanely and with out regard for other lives, they are the ones he gets angry with. Failing to properly observe your devotional activities or act in proper ways, tends to get exasperation in my experience.

Right now, the weather is bitter. Depending on how the winds shift, we may have blizzard like conditions tonight at my home. The wind is blowing hard enough that it has nearly blown a partially filled bird feeder off of the branch it hangs on and we have a draft. It seems an odd time for Freyr to be so viscerally present right now in my awareness. And yet, he is here. His presence has a sharper edge to it than during the warmer months. I feel him with me in many ways. He smiles. It is a beautiful smile, but it makes me uneasy because he challenges me.

I was sitting here quietly panicking over the idea of dealing with some relatives that I do not have a very good relationship with. Suddenly, he was here. He said to me with a mixture of bemusement and confusion, "My brave, beautiful girl. Why don't you know how wonderful you are? Why don't you know how courageous you are? Who stole that from you?" It knocked me for a loop. All of this was on the heels of a health problem that forced me to seek help from others in situations that were, for me, humiliating. The act of sitting in the doctor's office in so much pain that I could not breathe properly and depending on my husband to help me figure out words to describe what was wrong was painful and difficult for me. It just got even more so as time went on, resulting in trips to the hospital for pain and a few rather terrifying incidents where I found myself even more dependent on others for help. And then, not five minutes after Beloved said to me, "Do you even know why you are apologizing?" and I realized with great grief that I was expecting emotional harm for being vulnerable from someone who has never and would never do so, the cause of all my pain was revealed and a solution was given.

I was shaken by Beloved's question. I was equally shaken by Ingvi's question earlier this evening. They say that in winter, he goes into the mound. Some say he goes into Hel's realm for a time. Others say different things. Either way, in winter, he comes to me. And he challenges me. The same one who pushes the plants to grow from tiny, hard seeds by cracking their painful, confining seed coat and drawing them up through the cold earth, he comes to me and breaks the hard shells of unhealthy thoughts and habits that surround me. He pushes me in a manner that is hard and unyielding. To the person looking from the outside, this seems uncharacteristic behavior of Freyr. Freyr is the gentle, golden god who pined for Gerda and was so distraught by love sickness he sent his friend as a go-between.

Ingvi, however, is also a lord of a fearsome host. It is my experience that he joins the Wild Hunt in their winter ride. He laughs and moves through it all with a fierce, if not possibly savage joy. In winter, he is the force of life that thrives despite the cold. He is also the one who keeps company with the dead and leads them forth when it is time to go a-hunting. Some people will be highly offended by this characterization of him. Some may say that I am not actually dealing with Freyr but an imposter. That may be their thought, but this is who I know him to be and how he has revealed himself to me.

And I love him in all his ways. Even when the lessons I am learning are painful. Because I know that he is leading me to healing and deeper love.

11/27/16

Wait, wut?

Waning Crescent Blood Moon (27 Days)
Sign: Scorpio
Weather: Partly cloudy, some rain, cool
Drought Status: Moderate
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So, at Loki's behest, I wrote a post wherein I directly named a being that I am uncomfortable naming this time of year. Then, I did my very best to make as much of an obvious disclaimer/warning for people not to try to play with said being. I gave him the side eye over this. He said, "Don't fear NAMES."

I have two things here that make me a bit ... bewildered. First, how did he manage to somehow speak in capital letters. It was the weirdest cross between visual psychic impression and auditory at the same time. I think this is just a case of Loki doing Loki things - namely throwing odd ball things into the mix to make me sit up and pay attention. (It gets pretty weird around here when I am head-blind.)

Second, I'm not sure why the emphasis upon not fearing names. I am pretty sure there is something more here than my reluctance to directly name one of the most fearsome terrifying spirits in my region. I mean the Wendigo is terrifying to a point where I'm even kinda uncomfortable typing it here. (I justify this by the fact that I did not say their name directly and there is a strike through it, thus obscuring the word/name somewhat. It does not make me more comfortable, though.) He has a point to this exercise and I can't quite grasp it.

Loki has been fairly chatty at odd moments over the last little while. Times when I don't expect it, like when I am in utter pain and desperately trying to concentrate on just breathing through it. He just showed up and started talking to me about how brave I was being and that it really was a much better thing to focus on breathing through the pain rather than holding my breath. He also helped me sleep by basically grabbing hold of me and dragging me down into unconsciousness whilst essentially throwing me in Freyr's direction as he goes "JUST TALK TO HIM! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"

The last bit sort of makes sense. I've been feeling self conscious and like I am an imposition upon Ingvi. As a result, I've been kinda very shy. I have gone into 'If I'm quiet enough, I won't get noticed and I won't be a problem for anyone.' mode. Loki's had enough of that shit. Thus the "NOW GO TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE!" and such. Ingvi, for his part, seems somewhere between mildly annoyed and exasperated, with a dash of outrage that I feel this way (the outrage, however, is not directed at me but the situations that have taught me this coping mechanism).

11/25/16

Load the berth.

I'm all out of spoons right now. Please forgive my failure to note things like lunar phase, sign, and such. I am still unwell and in a lot of pain. As a result, it has made it difficult to think of much or get organized enough to do anything. I am frustrated and miserable. Also, I am anxious and terribly self conscious.

Earlier today, I was laying in bed trying to wait for my OTC medication to kick in for pain. I was perseverating on how much I was worried that I was an inconvenience and problem for Beloved. As I was sitting there quietly freaking out, Ingvi set a hand on my brow. He said to me, "What are you supposed to do with your panic when it is time to rest?" I just sort of mentally froze. I was too wrapped up in feeling badly and spiraling into panic to really get it.

He showed me an image from the dream where we first had this conversation sometime last year (I think). We were standing on a pier and his ship was moored on the left side. Beside me was a staggeringly large pile of boxes, trunks, and all other assorted forms of luggage. It represented everything from my daily worries about if the apartment was clean enough to my insecurities about how loveable I am to my even deeper issues. He picked up one of the boxes which was actually a wooden crate almost half as tall as I was. He walked over to the ship, stepped on board, and secured it in the hold. He then looked at me with a mild expression that was something between exasperation and ... I don't know, something I can't find a word for right now.

So, I began mentally boxing up my present anxieties and giving them to him. Boxes that seemed enormous and impossibly heavy, he lifted with all the ease that would come with a small box of tissues and set them in his ship. The hold did not fill up, as I worried it would. (That went into a box of its own - something that looked like an iron chest.) The ship did not seem weighted down for the cargo. To get me out of my solemness, Ingvi started whistling, singing, and generally being cheerful about it all. At one point, he actually began juggling boxes. That was what broke my very serious demeanor, by the way.

I felt myself moving into sleep as he took me by the hand and lead me to a place where I could rest with him. My pain was still present, but it did not cause me the emotional distress it was.

11/9/16

Burn it all down, child.

Waxing Hunter's Moon (Age: 9 Days)
Sign: Pisces
Weather: Seasonable, clearing skies
Drought Status: Severe
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sitting here trying to process everything with respect to the election. Signs of fire and disaster leading up to last night really should have been listened to more on my part. I, honestly, hoped that Trump wasn't going to get the electoral votes to secure the presidency. I was wrong. I am upset. I am deeply disturbed. And, I am angry.

I turned to Loki and asked him what the everloving fuck was going on with this result. His response was initially a rather dry 'Indeed.' Then, after a pause, he said, "Don't ascribe human stupidity to divinity." Unlike the other times where I see humans doing human things that are particularly WTF, he was not amused. He sounded tired. A good number of the other folks I know who have an active devotional relationship with Loki have been getting the same results when they inquire the same thing. This leads me to believe this is most definitely an accurate assessment of his position.

As the anger is rising in me, I note with some dark humor that Trump's victory is on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. It is a date that lives in infamy, to be honest. I now question if we will witness our very own version of this infamy in the near future. Pitchforks and torches may be the only good investment right now as all the global markets drop precipitously on the heels of Trump's victory.

One may wonder what this has to do with the meme I posted at the head of this entry. I am quietly being encouraged to hold on to my anger. I'm finding myself exhorted by so many subtle points right now (and I am pointedly avoiding active participation on social media today, I have been working on my novel instead) to hone it and forge my anger into a weapon of resistance. So, I am in the process of deciding what to do.

Fire cures everything, right? If it isn't cured, you have not applied enough fire to the problem, right?

9/28/16

Anxiety + Worship = Inactivity.

Waning Harvest Moon (Age: 27 days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Fair skies, dry, seasonable temp.
Drought Status: Extreme
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Damn my anxiety. I have been so afraid of doing something that will upset or offend any/everyone that I have been inactive on all fronts, even worship. My proverbial curling up in the fetal position, however, has not been ignored. I suppose this leads to a whole pile of uncomfortable feelings as a result. At night, Ingvi and Loki are with me. Sometimes both of them. sometimes one of them. But there is always someone with me, usually talking me out of laying there and panicking over the thought of falling asleep and having nightmares of the past.

I feel horribly guilty about the fact that I have lapsed in my devotional activities. I get so far as lighting a candle. Then I find myself quietly terrified that I'm not good enough, that I will somehow offend the gods, or that the things I was told when I was younger about the emptiness of prayer are all correct. At which point, I back away from the altar and try to occupy myself with something else that will chase those thoughts away. Usually, it's been looking at cat videos on the internet or knitting.

Loki is beginning to get exasperated with it all. When the fear hits the point where I simply can not bear it, he starts telling me things like the fact that I am even trying is a good sign. His response to my anxiety in the face of those things ranges from frustration to something akin to feeling as though he has been personally insulted. But, he hasn't said anything to indicate that I have insulted him. His anger is directed at the people who hurt me in the past. And it is disturbing to view, to be honest.

Ingvi has been quiet about it all. I am not sure how to handle that silence. Well, it is not complete silence. He's been doing things like reminding me to take my medications and eat when I am hungry. Basically helping me take care of myself. Because I haven't been sleeping well, he's been pointedly noting when I have the opportunity to rest during the day and firmly instructing me to do so.

9/21/16

He sings to me.

Waning Gibbous Harvest Moon (Age: 20 Days)
Sign: Gemini
Weather: Unseasonably warm, partly cloudy skies
Drought status extreme.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I was having a hard time sleeping again. Ingvi was with me. As I tried to sleep (with the assistance of bendaryl), I heard him singing quietly. He has done this other nights where I have a hard time sleeping. He just holds me and sings. I could remember the music of it, but never the words. Then I stumbled on to Storm Weather Shanty Choir via Spotify. Cue my amazement and surprise when I recognized this. 


For the curious, when he sings, his vocal range is exceptional. He can sing baritone easily as well as tenor. His falsetto is easily in soprano range. It really is amazing. I honestly don't think he has a vocal break.

9/17/16

Stumbling with Apples.

Waning Harvest Moon (Age: 15 days)
Sign: Aires
Weather: Overcast, stormy
Drought status: extreme
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I have been unwell. I am taking measures to resolve this. My illness has cut into pretty much everything, which has me feeling frustrated and helpless. I was struggling with this when Ingvi came to me earlier today. At one point, I was literally stumbling over things and getting very angry with it all.  As I caught myself in an effort not to fall over my feet at the grocery store, Ingvi made a point of catching my eye. I looked over and he was standing beside a display of locally grown apples.

He set a hand upon some of them. The pile shifted a little bit. A woman who was in the process of picking some fruit out of a near by bin (that was not attached to the apple display) commented something tart about how the store did a bad job of rearranging everything and that she was pretty sure the apples were just going to fall everywhere. (She was in a sour mood over the fact that my local Walmart turned the fruit and vegetable display about 90 degrees and moved the bananas another 5 feet towards the bread. I don't know why she was so upset over this, because the arrangement made it easier to move the carts through it all but who knows. Sometimes people hate change.) This woman's muttered comment assured me that I was not seeing things, which made me feel a bit better about everything to be honest.

I casually walked over to the apples. Ingvi gave me a smile and said to me, "What do you and the apple trees have in common?" Then he vanished. I wandered around the store, forgetting his question not long after he posed it. This evening, it struck me what I had in common with the apple trees. Despite the adversity that has come up and made life difficult, I continue to grow and do what must be done. I continue to act in accordance with my nature, even though conditions have arisen that makes this difficult to do.

I may be stumbling, but I am still walking. The trees may be struggling, but there are still apples.

There is hope yet, so long as I do not give up.

8/2/16

The air smells of Fire.

New Corn Moon (Age: 1 day)
Sign: Leo
Weather: Hot, fair skies
Drought declared extreme by NWS
~*~*~*~*~*~

At first, the smell was strongly of cut wood. I didn't think overly much of it because I do live just down the road from a lumberyard. But it is after they have shut their doors for the night, a good number of hours. And none of my neighbors have been working on any sort of home improvement projects in the dark. No noise of tools or lights to illuminate their work. Nothing.

And then the smell changed. Now, the air smells of smoke and my eyes smart with it. I know some of the farmers about are burning the stubble from their fields after taking in their wheat. At the same time, those fields are to the east, the wind would blow that away from me.

I suspect this is an omen. And I fear it bodes ill.

8/1/16

Roses for Ingvi

Waning Buck Moon (Age 28 days)
Sign: Cancer
Weather: Hot, humid
Still in Drought status
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I wanted to do something special for Freyr. Today is Lammas, Chelanya, and Freyfaxi. I have dear friends who are holding rites to celebrate today. I didn't have the luxury of time for something extravagant. I found myself out running around getting things ready for the start of school in about a month and taking care of the stuff for summer school that is going on now. Not to mention the pile of stuff I needed to do for just housework and such (not finished by even half, to be honest). That, however, is not a bad thing.

This, the first of the harvest celebrations of the season, is for me a holy day of work. Thus, I spent my day at work and mindful of the blessings that I am currently reaping. I found it fitting that the field that I regularly pass on the way to drop Beloved off at work before I bring the boys to summer school was harvested today. Every day I passed it, I thought of Ingvi. Even as I worried about our drought and how the harvest was going to fare.

I bought him a bouquet of roses. They're yellow. In the Victorian practice of floriography, they mean friendship, joy, and jealousy. Generally, if the flowers are given inverted with the left hand, the negative meaning is the one conveyed. (I did not do so with these.) Also, a full bouquet is an expression of gratitude. I not only happily gave him the full bouquet as an expression of affection and joy in him. I also spent some time at work with my plants in his honor. 

This is something that has become a bit of a bonding time for the two of us during the course of an average week. I don't get nearly as much writing as I wanted to do done. But every week, I have to spend about an hour (actually longer in the outdoor growing season) tending plants. That makes for an hour that I spend exclusively focused upon him. Some people argue that I may be overgeneralizing the concept of Ingvi as the 'Greenman' of Wicca, but their gnosis is different from mine, which is different from someone else's.

7/14/16

Randomness.

This just flashed through my head earlier:

How far off the beaten path must we go to find sanctuary?

I don't think it was an idle thought. I think it was a question posed by the dead. I honestly don't know what the answer would be. Looking at the horror in the world, I question if there is truly a place of sanctuary.

7/13/16

Visions of Fire.

Waxing Buck Moon (Age: 9 Days)
Sign: Scorpio
Weather: Drought, fair skies,
humid & hot
~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It is hard for me to believe that two weeks ago, roughly, I had seen such things in the smoke of a fire. I watched as the smoke and flames twined and the sparks went up into the night. As I did so, I saw simply fire. It was not the fire that was literally burning before me. I saw great raging fires burning out of control across the land. Fires that turned green pines into blazing torches that burned blue with their heat. It was disturbing, to say the least.

The scene of uncontrollable fire burning through previously calm and sheltered places made me deeply uncomfortable. I watched the scene play over and over again. These fires that I saw started in two places. One was a literal forest fire burning a shocking number of hectares. All life that creeped, crawled, ran, and flew fled in chaos. The bodies of water within this forest fire literally boiled away, leaving the fish and creatures that sought shelter in them grisly death before they too burned to ash.

The other fire that I saw was an image like the renderings of the Great Chicago Fire or the fires that raged after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Urban places that were turning to rubble as massive fires roared through them with the same horrific loss of life that these events had played out before my eyes in my visions. When I tore my eyes away from the vision in the fire, I watched as sparks from the fire landed on dry grass and smoked. And still the vision trance held, and I saw these fires spreading beyond the places where they began.

I told myself that I was misunderstanding what I saw. I told myself that the sight was purely symbolic and I was reading too much into the vision. And then last week happened. And my nightmares of fire have happened. I would be a fool to say that there was mere coincidence that the visions of fire came before these recent events. I would be a fool to say that the fires I saw were manufactured by a vain desire to see something.

Fire can be a beneficial thing. The wild fire in the forest, for all the absolute terror and destruction it causes, also brings new life to the forest. It is what opens up the cones of Redwoods and several other conifers so that they might grow. It replenishes the soil of various nutrients. It can have majorly beneficial consequences in the long term, though the immediate consequences are horrific.

It can also be exceptionally harmful. Fire is fickle. The wise always regard it with caution, even when it seems to be 'domesticated.' The little campfire that you build to illuminate your campsite and toast your marshmallows can quite quickly turn into the forest destroying wild fire if it is not handled carefully. And, sometimes, it happens despite our best efforts to prevent such a thing from happening.

Fires are burning right now. Literal and figurative fires are burning across the world. My intuition tells me that we are witnessing the beginnings of the larger fires that I saw in my vision. I advise everyone be ready to work on helping to keep the neighborhood from burning down and be prepared to set some counter fires. Something unpleasant is coming and it is making the smoke foul. Gods willing, we haven't completely fucked everything up.

(I also now understand why Loki was so utterly insistent about his 'hugs'. As things are falling into place, he's been helping me see that I am not completely mad.)

7/5/16

Ingvi's Words of Wisdom

Waxing Buck Moon (Age: 1 Day)
Sign: Leo
Weather: Very dry, drought risk high
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I was sitting here feeling hideous because of the way I look. Ingvi walked up behind me, set his hands on my shoulders, and just cuddled me for a moment. (It's an odd thing to feel like you're being hugged when no one is physically hugging you. Beloved is literally sitting across the room with his back to me right now as he is reading a book.) Anyways, Freyr said something that really is wise. I do a terrible job of remembering it but he is always kind enough to remind me when I forget. Like I did tonight.

He said: Your soft belly is a wonderful, welcoming place for your sons to run to for a loving embrace. Your grey hair are signs of wisdom and well aged beauty. Your fine wrinkles are laugh lines more than lines of sorrow and they deepen the expressions of joy that you show. Each scar is a tale of glory. A badge of honor won with as much courage as blood on the battlefield. Your life has been hard lived and your body has worn the marks of it with grace. Never doubt you are beautiful. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant and does not deserve your beauty.


I feel like I don't deserve to have him say such nice things about me. Amusingly, Loki's response to my saying this was the following said in a dry tone: 'That's a paddlin'.' That moment when kink and humor collide to both make you laugh, cheer you up, motivate you to do better, and make you reconsider the foolish choices ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And, of course, Ingvi just smiles indulgently as I kinda blush and mumble whilst Loki grins.

That last bit actually describes the last few weeks fairly well.

6/14/16

A question and an answer?

Waxing Strawberry Moon (Age 9 days)
Sign: Libra
Weather: Seasonable, fair skies
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I was numbly wandering around my apartment between folding piles of laundry. Ingvi watched me for a little bit and then told me to go sit down. I thought about arguing with him and decided I didn't have the energy. As I sat on the couch looking around the cheerfully messy living room (I'm learning to identify the joyful chaos that comes from my children just have a lot of fun versus the untidy madness that comes from my children randomly throwing things around because they're bored. There apparently IS a difference.) I asked him why human beings are so fucking atrocious. 

Freyr looked very ... tired at my question. I think it is because a LOT of people have been asking over the last few days. Which isn't a big surprise, considering what happened over the weekend. He sat down beside me and just wrapped an arm around me. We sat like that for a little bit. He said to me, "I like that your home is joyful. Even when you're depressed, there is still joy here. There is love too, so much potent love. It bleeds from the walls. It is very beautiful." He sounded so.. so tired when he said that.

He then said, "Not everyone is blessed like this. Not everyone knows how to create such joy and love. Not everyone has a home. They just have a place where they throw their things, eat, and sleep. You have made a home here. It insulates you. It protects you as much as you protect it." He closed his eyes with a pained expression and looked like he was on the verge of tears before he kissed me on the right temple. He then said, "Don't lose it. Keep this safe and sacred inside. Inside your heart, where it is secret. No one can take that away from you then."

I desperately wanted to do something to help him. I could see that his heart was breaking. He offered a tumble in bed. It was a pleasant tryst, but he still had that haunted, heart broken look in his eyes. I wish there was some way that I could ease his pain.

6/13/16

Because Love.

Because Someone nudged me and pointed this out.

Letters to Loki No. 38

Dear Loki,

I am tired. Physically, I suppose I am ok. But mentally, I am exhausted. It has been a very long couple of days. Looking around at Facebook and pretty much every other social platform, I am constantly finding things about tragedies. It doesn't do me much good when I'm not at a very healthy mental state to see that kind of stuff. I spent most of my day off of the computer. I wandered around the neighborhood and things felt oppressive.

The weather wasn't bad. It was kinda cloudy and cool, but that is welcome change from the high heat and humidity from last week. No, I don't know why I felt like the deck was stacked against me all day. I suppose it could be my having a bit of a mood hangover, for lack of a better expression, after yesterday's busyness and activity. I really didn't accomplish much today and I am disappointed with myself over that, which probably also contributes to this general sense of depression.

It is the last full week of school for the kids. I've been doing my best to not think about the stress that may come of it. It isn't working out that well for me. I don't know what I'm going to do about all this. I'm sure that something will be figured out.

6/11/16

A matter of Wine.

Waxing Strawberry Moon (Age: 6 Days)
Sign: Virgo
Weather: Sultry, possible rain in late night
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I was getting ready to pour out an offering of wine to the gods. As I got the bottle out of where it had been chilling, Ingvi and Loki say (almost in unison) "You should drink that." I wanted to ask why they didn't want it and they just ... smiled at me. I have a feeling that something is up. So, I am sitting here, waiting for my sons to fall asleep, drinking some red wine and trying to figure out what on Earth I am going to type. It has been such a long day. Tomorrow looks like it will prove longer. Maybe I will be lucky and it will not be to terribly humid.

6/8/16

A poem for Freyr

Waxing Strawberry Moon (Age: 3 days)
Sign: Leo
Weather: Cool, partly cloudy skies
~*~*~*~*~*~
Your love is like tender violence
Strip away my armor
Rip apart my walls
Brush away my defenses
Take me in your arms
Keep me as your own
I have been blind
Remove the gauze
Blind me with your light
My hands are bound
I can not fight this
Just as the tide rises
So too does this madness
Drown me in your love
And let me be reborn

6/6/16

Letters to Loki No. 37

Dear Loki,

I am pretty tired after the day I had today. I got a bunch of stuff done. I'm pleased with that and I'm glad that I made some serious headway on resolving some of my creative blocks. All that said, I am not entirely sure what to do about tomorrow. It is going to be another day of running errands around town. I want to try to get some time in for writing but I'm not sure how. I have a pile of housework that needs resolved so that I can get cracking on the few household projects I need done before the kids finish up with school for the year.

I'm a little nervous about how that is going to go. It didn't help matters much when the psych nurse who oversees my meds was voicing her 'concern' about if I am going to be overwhelmed with the kids when they're on break. She is decidedly of the opinion that my problems with depression are all sparked by my response to the stress of the kids being on break. I keep trying to show her that it isn't the case. She, however, has made up her mind as to how things are and pretty much ignores when I say something otherwise. It is very frustrating.

I have finally started work on my sister-in-law's bridal shower gift. It is somewhat funny how I kept finding things that were almost right. I have pretty much given up the idea of using an edging that someone else has designed. I am now in the beginning stages of crocheting an edging that is inspired by the Victorian pattern book I won at the spinning guild's silent auction last year. I started work on it a few hours ago. I have the first row of foundational crochet done along one side and a few inches on a second. I was suspicious that doing five stitches into the corner was going to weaken the fabric. I have discovered, however, it has quite the opposite effect. Cue a significant sense of relief.

I am a bit overwhelmed on how to proceed forward on the project that you've given me. I see a plethora of options before me. It makes things somewhat confusing and hard for me to pick one. A little direction would be greatly appreciated. This way I can figure out at least how to start on it all.

Bushels of Love,
Me

5/31/16

Luck Bringer Lopt!

Waning Crescent Flower Moon (Age: 24 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Partly cloudy, very dry, upper average to
above average temps.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I was stalled on making things happen in my life for a while. I had heaps of anxiety and I was generally running in circles going "OH GODS, WHAT DO I DO?!!?!elventyone" Loki nudged me forward. (Read that as he picked me up by the scruff of the neck and tossed me forward.) At his encouragement, I picked up a small pile of hard copies of Book One of the Umbrel Chronicles (a fantasy series that I am writing and blogging about). Again, at his encouragement, I brought them out to spinning guild this month. Now, I had one book that I sold before spinning guild because the gal up the road had seen me working on stuff and was curious.

I honestly thought that it was going to be the only one that I sold. At spinning guild, I gave my elevator pitch and had all of the copies I brought with me sold in less than five minutes. I was in shock and delighted. (Mostly amazed, to be honest. He and Ingvi were both amused with this. As was Beloved who said 'Who'd have thought you would be good at this? You've only been working on it for over twenty years.' Subtlety, it is optional in the sarcasm around this place.)

At Loki's encouragement, today, I stopped in at the bbq place up the street. This is where the gal who bought the first book off the pile works. The minute she saw me, she asked me when she can get book two and informed me that she was about a third of the way through the book and loving it. I was delighted. And then she said that she was going to buy me lunch. I attempted to protest and she laughed and said she was doing it anyways.

And the owner of the business is curious about possibly getting a copy of the book because his employee is so excited about it. I honestly did not anticipate this happening. But, it seems that Loki did and is exhorting me to do more things with this. I'm a little overwhelmed but that happens most of the time with Loki. He's a 'go big or go home' kinda guy.

Did I mention that Loki is very amused with my response to all of this? I wouldn't say he is gloating, but it is something similar. Ingvi is also highly amused. I have a feeling this is the beginning of plans they have for me. Just a suspicion with all of their chuckling and such. The last time they both were like this, life got very interesting in unexpected and pleasant ways.

5/20/16

Wut?

So, I sit here and I'm surrounded by the creative chaos that comes with being a SAHM with a couple of kids in school, with special education needs. I am feeling remarkably zen about it all (usually this is enough to set off a fair amount of anxiety for me). I try to make sense of what is going on and why I feel like this when I feel Him standing by me.

Suddenly, it all makes sense. The many, many things popping up on the internet that point back to Ingvi. The almost physical itch to get my hands in the dirt and grow stuff. The dreams of deer, trees, and tilled fields that I keep waking up with them almost before my eyes. The random stuff about bread and beer that flew across my Facebook wall.

Hello, Love, I've missed you. Damn my depression making things so hard. Thank you for being with me through it and being so patient with me as I stumble around trying to figure myself out. And thank you for helping me out of that dark hole.

5/19/16

Spawned by stupid memes on Facebook

random thoughts: there are reptilian species and amphibian species that can change gender as per environmental stressors. Loki can change gender (and apparent species) at will. what kind of reptile does that make him?

5/18/16

Letters to Loki No. 36

Dear Loptr,

Today has been a long day. I feel a bit disorganized but that seems to be how things are going right now. I'm doing my best to roll with it. I am really not good at that, but I am beginning to suspect that is precisely why things are like this. So, I'm working on letting go of expectations. I am tired, but it is a good sort of tired. I may not have a huge pile of things that I have done over the course of today, but what I did accomplish was done well and completely.

I am struggling with the desire to run out and get a whole bunch of plants right now. We're not yet past the danger of frost. I have been feeling the powerful urge to get my hands in the dirt and grow things. It is a little bit maddening. But, I am working on being flexible there as well. I am not entirely enjoying this but I suppose it shall pass. I have been puttering around with my houseplants and I'm not sure if I am doing things right with them.

I suppose it would be something to natter on about with Ingvi, but I feel that you would have some interest in it as well. I have managed, somehow, to keep two very small plantlings alive. One is a miniature rosebush that is scarcely the size of my hand. I am pretty sure that I'll have to replant it soon if it keeps growing like it has been. I replanted it last week when the weather was super warm. Now, I'm not sure, but it looks like it has grown a full half inch in all directions. It sports a bright pink bloom. I think I saw another rose budding out today, but I'm not entirely sure. That bud is really small. The miniature rosebush that Beloved got me for Mother's Day is doing pretty well but I suspect that I am going to have to move it to a larger pot soon as well.

I'm really happy that these plants are doing well. The miniature rosebushes that I had in pots on the back deck last year died due to the winter. I am not sure what I'm going to do with those pots this year. I am waiting, however, for the 'three cold kings of May' to pass. I find myself curious as to why the old farmers around here call the 13th, 14th, and 15th of May that. I wish I could talk to my Grandparents about that and my gardening hopes. I miss them. I want to do something special to honor them but I can't think of what. Dedicating books to them is nice but it doesn't feel quite right.

I am finding my anxiety comes in waves of late. I'll have days like today where I am sort of alright. I still find myself anxious but it isn't utterly paralyzing. And then I'll have days like I had a few days ago where even the thought of going out of the house makes me feel like I should go hide. I don't like it but I have taken the anti-anxiety medication when I am really struggling with it. I find myself feeling grumpy about it, but the medication does seem to help. I guess that is all that matters, right?

5/6/16

Letter to Loki No. 35

Dear Loki,

I am not sure what to write anymore. I sit down at the keyboard and I just get this ball of anxiety knotted up in my stomach. Thus, I scroll through Facebook desperately wishing it would go away. I find myself afraid that my dream of writing as a career has gone away. And then I find myself struggling to organize my thoughts to just put to pen something in my notebooks and journals. I feel stuck and I'm not sure what to do about it.

I have found my self confidence has taken a pretty big hit of late. I don't have the slightest idea what has prompted this. I wish that it would go away. I have found my desire to do much of anything rather low. Still, I made myself get out of the house for a little bit this afternoon. I am making myself do the stuff that I need to get done. I don't know if this is where I say that I am depressed or if I am just tired.

I do think part of the problem is hormonal. After my menses not happening for two months, it arrived this week. I've been crampy, tired, and moody because of it, I'm sure. I keep trying not to expect ridiculous things out of myself. I last for about ten minutes, and then I find myself thinking of about fifteen to twenty things that I really should be doing right now, which I have zero energy for. This whole business of giving myself permission not to be perfect is really hard and pretty stressful.

Still, I am making the effort and doing what I can with what I have. I keep looking at that magnet you encouraged me to buy. The one that says "Do more of what makes you happy." I find myself at a loss for where to begin. I feel like there is nothing I can do to be happy. It feels as fickle as the weather. But, I don't know if this is my wonky brain chemistry due to hormones talking. It is very frustrating. I suspect that you have a pretty good feel for this kind of frustration.

4/18/16

Letters to Loki No. ???

Dear Loki,

I am entirely at a loss for what I should write at the moment. I've been indirectly watching the train wreck of politics going on all around me on the eve of primary day. Honestly, I am a bit nervous as to how all of this is going to shake out. The status quo is grinding things down into a massive mess. The proponents for change come in some very wild varieties with their own set of individual problems. And I feel like somebody is playing fast and loose with things because instead of a full day open for voting, it is from noon until nine pm. It stinks like something isn't right and I am pretty much powerless to do anything about it.

I want to see change. The way things are going right now isn't sustainable and it looks like bigger problems are awaiting on the horizon, regardless of how we end this election year. I try not to be anxious over stuff like this. You know that I have a laundry list of stuff that I get anxious over already, taking the political mess out of the picture. I am trying to take a pragmatic approach towards everything but I have a rather powerful sense of foreboding right now. I'm not sure if it is because of my apprehension about the political shenanigans in my country or of it is because of the mounting pile of evidence that humanity has really fucked over the planet.

I don't know how to make the changes that are going to be good for myself and my family happen. We're doing ok right now. I have relatively few complaints. But, as I look forward, I can't help but be concerned that if life goes sideways, we're going to have a tough row to hoe. And, honestly, I worry about how to handle my mental health problems. I feel like I'm not doing as well as I should be. I just can't identify what I can change to get myself to a place of greater health and wellness, though. It is probably going to take a great deal of thought and such. Breakthroughs almost always are like that.

I am frustrated with things. I guess that is the biggest challenge right now. I know that you have a talent for turning frustration into useful effort. I am working on emulating this. I think it is probably better for me to put that energy to work rather than self immolating via stress.

3/21/16

Letters to Loki no. 33

Dear Loki,

My head feels like it is thick with mud, but I know that is just because I'm so congested from Cuddle Bear's cold, which he so generously shared with me. I don't know what to write at the moment. My physical symptoms aside, I still don't feel well. I have more energy and stuff, but I still feel depressed. I still find myself having self destructive thoughts. 

I talked to my therapist about things. She got stuck on the concept of telling me that I have to ground myself in the present and 'tell all the cells in your body that it is in the past.' (I mentioned that I've been having problems with my c-PTSD and I guess she latched on to that.) I was... frustrated. The antipsychotic medication I'm on, apparently, is used as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar. If that is the case, it really isn't working out that well. I'm trying to give the new medication time to work. I'm trying to give everything the chance to work out on its own. But, honestly, I'm worried that it won't.

A part of me wants to just run up the proverbial white flag and say 'fuck it, I'm just going to be like this for the rest of my life. might as well deal.' And then there is the rest of me that is soul deep angry. I can't fully put into words what I'm angry with. I'm angry that my care isn't what I think it should be. I'm angry with the fact that I have to go do this stupid shit to begin with. I'm angry with how I wound up in this position. And I am so utterly angry with the fact that my anxiety has gotten in the way of resolving much of the problem.

Most of all, I'm tired. I'm tired of the emotional roller coaster. I'm tired of the memory problems. I am struggling between the feeling that I want my life back and the resignation that this is the new normal. I hate feeling like this.

~ me

3/16/16

Conversation

Waxing Gibbous Worm Moon (Age: 9 days)
Sign: Cancer
Weather: Seasonable, cloudy skies
Snow pack: 0 in
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Lopt: You're exhausted but you're still trying to force yourself to do more. You shouldn't do that. You know that, right?

me: I'm sick of not having the energy to do stuff. I'm a writer. I should be writing. Not staring at a wall trying to think up a simple sentence for hours on end.

Lopt: Patience never really has been your strong suit, has it?

me: Not really.

Lopt: Pushing yourself past your limitations is a good thing, except for when it's not. You can't keep doing this to yourself. Burning the candle at both ends does no one any favors and hurts you in the end.

me: But I have to do it or stuff doesn't get done. 

Lopt: Then things will not get done as quickly as you'd like. Patience is necessary. Especially when you're healing.

me: I'm not going to be fully healthy ever again. It's just not going to happen. I might as well accept it and press forward.

Lopt: Now you're not telling the truth.

me: What other way is there to look at it? I'm disabled. My brain is broken, chemically speaking. Drugs will only last so long before they fail and I have to start something new.

Lopt: What would you prefer?

me: To have my life back. To be able to keep my composure when I'm stressed out or anxious rather than shaking like a leaf and bursting into tears. To be able to function rather than freak out over mundane shit like paying bills or get so anxious that I am nearly sick over stupid shit like weather or not my friends truly like me.

Lopt: Those problems were always there under the surface. Stuffing them down and shoving them aside lent you the appearance of composure but underneath, it was chaos. It always has been chaos. Now, at least, you can get the pain treated. You can learn to cope with the chaos rather than cutting your heart out to spite your past. Divorcing yourself from your emotions is not a solution. Forcing yourself to move on a broken limb breaks it even more and exacerbates the problem, leading to things such as blood poisoning. Think, what would you be doing to yourself with this? You're slowly killing yourself with this. With each time you push away your heart and try to quiet your mind by stuffing memories into a 'box'.

I will not stand idly by and watch it. There is no need for you to live as though under siege anymore. Now stop. Rest and recover.

2/11/16

God of trolling.

Waxing Crescent Ice Moon (Age: 3 Days)
Sign: Aries
Weather: Arctic cold, partly cloudy
Snow pack: > 1 in
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So, I was attempting to write some erotica earlier. As I got to the part of the scene where things are getting very intense, I was trolled by Loki. I had Spotify set on random shuffle through all of the albums and music that I had on my playlists. (This is over 1k songs.) I had these very cinematic soundtrack pieces I was listening to as I was writing. And then I hit this point in the scene and Crazy Frog's Axel F started playing. Stuff like this is why I insist he is the god of the internet and trolling. Hail Flame Hair.

2/4/16

Conversation

Waning Ice Moon (Age: 25 days)
Sign: Capricorn
Weather: Chilly but unseasonably warm
Snow pack: 0 in
~*~*~*~*~*~

Ingvi: You worry too much and too often.

me: We've had this conversation before.

Ingvi: Yes, and yet you don't listen.

me: I listen, I just don't know what to do about it.

Ingvi: I have given you a simple answer to that.

me: Getting angry all the time doesn't do me any good.

Ingvi: Don't be angry. I didn't say angry. I said reject it. Two very different things.

me: But you tell me not to reject my feelings. I don't understand.

Ingvi: I think you do understand but you can't see quite clearly how to do it, Love.

me: Maybe.

*He sits down beside me and runs a hand over my hair.*

Ingvi: You braided it too tight again. You need to stop doing that when you're anxious. It'll break your hair and give you split ends and headaches.

me: Hair advice instead of an argument?

Ingvi laughs.

Ingvi: I'm not going to argue with you. No matter how much you bait me. No matter how well Loki has taught you to bait me.

*Ingvi smiles. He wraps an arm around my shoulders.*

Ingvi: You've been sick. You're anxious and testy. It makes you feisty and snappish. It's kind of adorable.

*I give him a skeptical look. He chuckles.*

Ingvi: So suspicious. I suppose that is better than angry. *Smiles again.* Listen to me. You don't need to cut off your feelings to spite yourself. You don't need to apologize for them either. There is nothing wrong with feelings, even the bad ones. Though I would prefer if you stopped calling them 'bad,' to be honest. Because there is nothing morally wrong with unpleasant feelings. They're just unpleasant. They're morally neutral, like pain. It is the context that determines your opinion of the feeling and even that is subjective and not truly a moral component. So, if you could please stop calling them 'bad' feelings, I'd appreciate it.

Anyways. Unpleasant feelings happen. Life is frustrating and hard. Depression comes and goes, even for the most healthy of people. Sickness comes and goes for everyone. Even gods. I am not here to tell you that these things will magically go away when you reject them... No, not reject them. Hmm.. Better way to phrase it; these things will not magically go away when you reject the mental baggage that goes with them. Depression will still be there. You will still have asthma and colds will still suck. However, you will not be in as much agony when you reject the story that these things are signs of your moral failings (of which you have fairly few, dear, trust me). Weakness makes you human.

Your humanity is what I love about you. Weakness and all. Especially weakness. *He smiles slyly.* Not all weakness is a bad thing, my dear. But, you know that. You just tell yourself that it is the only acceptable time to be weak. *He shakes a finger at me, putting on a mock stern expression.* No weakness is acceptable. *He smiles.* Do you feel better for my having told you that? Does it make your narrative complete, I having told you the one and only lie I will ever say to you?

*I shrug.*

I didn't think so. Because you and I, we both know that is not true. Weakness is like gravity. It is a functional flaw of construction. You can build a mighty building but it will still have stress points and weaknesses. The question is how to compensate for them. You can't do that when you deny them or ignore them. You can do a great deal of damage to your building when you do that.

*He cups my chin in his right hand and turns my face towards his.* You are not allowed to do intentional damage to yourself. That time has passed. Now we are going to be healthy. Yes you have your chronic illness and your disability, but that doesn't excuse you not being healthy. Thousands of people live lives that are healthy despite their illnesses. Health is more than a physical state of being and you know that.

Striving to be as healthy as you can be in the state you are in, that is all I ask of you. Progress, not perfection. When you are too sick to exercise, you rest. And you are as healthy as you can be at that time. You are not injuring yourself and making yourself sicker. The same goes for your mental health. Accept your limitations. Yes, push your boundaries but recognize there are limits. And some of those limits are fixed. And that has to be acceptable. You can not like it, but you must accept it.

*He gestures forward as though towards a scene before us.*

You don't have to like what you see. I'm not asking for that. But you can not torture yourself for seeing things you do not like. And you can not look away from them, because that is dangerous for you. Ignoring your weaknesses leads to you over exerting yourself and to you hurting yourself, which turns into a vicious cycle of this which is supposed to, in some strange, twisted way, compensate for the weakness. Cutting your hamstrings because you can not run and then trying to force yourself to walk with them cut is not going to help you or do you any good. It will only aggravate the problem, worsen your condition, and potentially render you completely incapable of what you're attempting to do.

me: I can't exactly help it.

*He frowns.*

Ingvi: Now don't lie to yourself like that. Or to me. You can help it, but it is very difficult for you. You have been trained to do this to yourself. You can break that training. You have broken much of that sort of training. Once, you wouldn't eat a proper meal. It took you years but you now eat when you are hungry, except for when you are not in your right mind. If you can break the conditioning to starve yourself, you can break the conditioning to tear yourself down when you are not feeling well.

You don't hate yourself. You love yourself very much but you act like you hate yourself because that was what you were taught to do as self love. You wouldn't do this to your children. You would take care of them when they didn't feel well and handle them gently when they were feeling fragile. You would nurse their injuries until they were well enough to go on. You must do this for yourself as well.

I love you. You love you. Now act like it.

1/21/16

A conversation.

Waxing Ice Moon (Age: 8 days)
Sign: Cancer
Weather: Partly cloudy, seasonable temps
Snow pack: 1 in. approx.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ingvi: You are refusing to do what relaxes you. This is part of what is wrong right now. Why do you insist on doing everything the hard way? What are you trying to prove?

Me: It's a habit. And I guess I'm trying to prove that I'm good enough.

Ingvi: Who are you trying to prove that to? How on Earth do you think you are going to accomplish this? What point is it good enough? Because from where I stand, there isn't an end point. It just keeps getting worse and more demanding with each hurdle you jump and river your cross.

Me: I don't know who I'm trying to prove it to. I don't know when it will be enough. It never is enough.

Ingvi: I can tell you who you're trying to prove your worth to. Someone who isn't here. Someone you have removed from the picture and doesn't see the torture you're putting yourself through. She can't see it. She never did see your worth. She saw a puppet. She saw someone to manipulate, to make jump through hoops for her amusement. You'd accomplish something and she'd set the bar higher. It wasn't to motivate you to do better. It was to try and make you fail. The fact that you rose to the challenge says more about you than it ever will about her.

Me: I don't know.

Ingvi: Trust me. You're far more competent, successful, and skilled than you realize. You need to stop punishing yourself when there is literally no reason for it. Your existence is not a curse or a blight on the world. It is a blessing. And you have never had anything to apologize for when it came to that. You never NEVER need to apologize for drawing breath.

Me: I know.

Ingvi: Do you? Do you really know? Do you understand that you are not a burden, something to be tolerated, or a mistake? Do you understand that you are a blessing in this world, someone to be embraced, and a glorious being who is needed in this world? Because I don't think you do. There's humility and then there is self rejection. What you do is not humility. And it needs to stop.

1/19/16

Letters to Loki No. 32

Dear Loki,

I am sitting here dreading the moment my kids get home. I feel badly that I slept so much today. I know that I had a lot of problems sleeping last night. I don't know why I woke up so many times through the night, but I really hope that tonight is not like that. I also don't want to deal with temper tantrums like I was yesterday. I know that the kids need to get some outside play time. At the same time, though, it is in the low 20s (F) and the wind is screaming out there. Even fifteen minutes may be too long for me out there.

I have a huge pile of magazines regarding crochet and spinning to read. I flipped through the one regarding silk spinning. As I did so, I couldn't help thinking that this is something that you would enjoy. I know that some people associate spiders with you because of the similarity between one of your heiti and the name of spiders in Norwegian. (I think? It may be Swedish, I'm not sure anymore.) I will be honest, I have joined the club of people who associate you with spiders but not because of questionable games regarding semantics (which I believe you find hilarious. Just a suspicion, but I have a feeling you find the word games really funny). No, I've come to associate you with spiders because of late, spiders have become one of the ways you've been pointing things out to me.

All this stuff about silk spinning put me to mind of spider silk, which then brought to mind your creative efforts. Long story short, I saw something about mugga silk (which is a naturally gold colored silk) and said to myself, "I know Loki would LOVE this stuff." I am thinking about some how acquiring some and making something for you. I'm just not sure how I am going to go about doing it because it is incredibly expensive. Still, if and when I manage to get my hands on some, I'm going to make something for you. It may wind up being something like a tiny spiderweb doily, but I'm still going to make something.

My box of offerings is beginning to get somewhat full and I'm not sure what to do with them. I can't exactly burn them in a fire. I am loath to throw them away, because that feels horribly, horribly wrong to do. If you have any suggestions for what I can do with these, I would really appreciate it. Because I honestly don't know what should happen to them to make room for more offerings. I know that the perishable food offerings can go. You've made it clear on that front how you wanted me to approach it. But these things that are not food, I have no idea what I should be doing. So, give me some guidance on how to approach this, please.

1/17/16

Thinky thoughts.

First Quarter Wolf Moon (Age: 8 Days)
Sign: Taurus
Weather: Cold, light breeze and snow
Snow pack: < 1 in.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I sit here at the computer unsure what to write. A part of me says I should be composing something dramatic for a ritual or detailing a spell for use. Another part of me says that I should be focusing on writing for the gods. And then there is the part of me that says that all of this writing I've been doing here and on my other blog is a fool's errand. I'm striving to ignore that pessimistic, hyper-critical voice at the back of my head. It puts me in the mind of considering the intersection between my disability and my witchery.

At one point, I worried that hearing the gods and the dead meant that I truly was insane. I worried that I was going to find myself in a position where I am institutionalized for my own good and the safety of the people around me. It was a little fear that came up each time I had a spiritual experience and I questioned all of it through the lens of 'am I going insane?' It was a rather awful thing to do and experience. I don't recommend it to anyone.

Then I really did start hearing voices. It was ... alarming. At first, I thought that I was hearing the neighbors screaming. It was indistinct and female screaming something but it sounded muffled. Then we moved. Suddenly, I didn't have neighbors who fought like cats and dogs next door. I didn't have the plausible reason for the screaming that I heard. And I had to horrifying realization that the indistinct voice was becoming progressively more distinct and easier to understand. It was, however, completely different from when I hear the gods or the dead. Still, I had that lingering worry that what I was hearing from the spiritual elements were manifestations of the hallucinations.

Then I was put on antipsychotic medication. It took a little while for it to start working. One day, I was hearing the voice of my mother screaming horrible, horrible things at me. The next, it was gone. There was no muffled noise. It was as though someone flipped a switch. When I hallucinate, it is as though I am hearing someone speaking (or screaming) from about a foot behind me on my right side. I hear it in my ears like I would the ambient noise in the room. If it weren't for the fact that I knew that she wasn't there, I would have thought it was someone speaking to me. (One of my reality tests when I hear something now is to look for a speaker or source of sound. I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that my hallucinations are strictly auditory. I honestly don't know what I would do if they were visual as well. That is an idea that terrifies me.)

When I hear the gods or the dead, it is something that sounds 'inside' my head. It has a different feeling and timbre to it than the hallucinations. I didn't fully realize the difference until the day that I had to take Haldol because of my hallucination problems (I was hospitalized at this time.) and the silence came from the hallucination. And then Loki spoke up and said "Yep, I'm here." Relief is not a strong enough word to describe what I felt. I literally got tears in my eyes over that reassurance. The hospital staff were confused when I suddenly started tearing up but I managed to get them to stop prodding me to 'talk about it' after a few minutes.

Sometimes, I hear what is in someone else's head. Again, I thought it was a manifestation of auditory hallucination. And then, while I have been on this medication, I heard something Beloved was thinking. It sounded like he was saying it quietly in my left ear. I, thinking he was actually saying something to me, answered the question just as he was about to ask it. It doesn't happen very often. I think that is because telepathy is fickle. There are a lot of distractions and it takes a good deal of concentration to intentionally pick up on something. 

I am a bit worried how things are going to go over the next few months. My psychiatric provider is going to be starting the process of lowering my dosage of the antipsychotic. I talk to the gods about it. The general consensus has been that this is actually going to be a good thing. And if I respond well to it, I may be able to eventually come off of the antipsychotic. I don't know about that. I am a bit scared. But, I am going to trust them and myself. I know the difference between the different voices that I hear. (I've even managed to identify the way that the auditory hallucinations are different from actual sounds. Apparently this is something *really* uncommon for people who have problems with psychosis or psychotic features to their illness. I credit the years I spent attempting to distinguish the difference between my thoughts and the psychic input.)

1/12/16

Letters to Loki # 31

Dear Lopt,

I am feeling much better since the depressive episode started lifting Saturday. Now, however, I can't seem to get away from back aches and joint issues. I am heavily inclined to blame this wonky weather we've been having. As much as I am tempted to throw magic at it to make it less intense, I recognize that lil' ol' me versus El Nino isn't going to do much. I've been feeling old injuries and my arthritis a great deal. It seems strangely appropriate, to be honest.

This time of year is when I have a lot of anniversary dates that come up with my PTSD, so I'm feeling old psychological injuries too. I'm trying to just be patient and bear it as best I can. It is, however, exhausting and difficult. I have so much that I want to do but so little energy with which to do it. It really is irritating.

I am making progress on restraining the urge to be hyper critical of myself. It has involved a lot of biting my tongue. I am, however, reaching a point where I stop and consider the thought and determine if it even fits the situation and is legitimate. It's taken a few extra steps in the process of everything, but I think it makes me move in the right direction.

I'm still working at it, so there's that. Maybe I'll actually get this change made this year after all.

1/7/16

Depression sucks.

I'm not even sure what the moon phase or sign are right now. I don't really know what the weather is doing. I've been hiding in my apartment desperately wishing I could wave a wand and feel better. I just feel tired and hopeless. I tried doing some writing today and nothing came out. I tried to get myself the energy to do household tasks and I wound up taking a nap on the couch.

I want to hide from everything. My heart feels like it is a mass of raw wounds and that I'm losing my mind. My thoughts have been muddied or so full of anger that I caught myself screaming with it. I don't know what to do with myself. I just don't know what to do.

The gods and the dead tell me to not give up. They tell me that just getting up and making sure that I am fed and the kids needs are met is enough. Meanwhile the kitchen sink piles up with dishes and I can't think straight long enough to really help my eldest with his homework. I feel like crying but the tears wont come. I want to feel better. I go to bed every night hoping that I'll wake up feeling even a little bit better. And I just feel worse the next day.

I'm scared that I am getting sicker again. I don't know what to do right now. I feel like I need to do something but my mind is blank. I'm so tired of fighting. I'm so tired of falling. I'm so tired of failing. If I don't fight, I fail. If I don't fight, I fall deeper. If I do fight, I may still fall but I at least don't fail so hard. I at least get something done.

But this time, the fight is just ... not there. I'm not angry with it all, not in the way that powers me through my worst days. I just feel defeated and exhausted. And I question what the point to it all is.

Freyja said the next step in healing is surrender. What do I do when I have so much counting on me and I don't have the energy to do it?