First Quarter Wolf Moon (Age: 8 Days)
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.)