Rest & Recovery
Last month we talked about action. In this month’s walk through the Door, we are walking to our campsite, blowing up our air mattress, and climbing into our sleeping bags, in the company of our Family.
There are two things to remember about community action – 1. Always work FOR something, and 2. never do more than you can, which includes resting up. If you have pagan Family or good friends to rest up with, you get a double recharge over doing it alone.
I’m writing this on a tiny Netbook in my tent. My closest friend is getting handfasted tomorrow, and I’m “best man”. The Drum Circle is sounding great; our best drummer, Greyfix, is back after a long absence. The crickets and tree frogs are adding their music. There are probably over 100 people here, it’s Friday night, and more are coming in tomorrow. I’ve given-and-gotten more good hugs in the past 8 hours than in the previous 5 months. (I haven’t been to a Gathering since Litha.)
Each time I come to a Gathering, my Family comments on how much better (more well) I look than when they last saw me, which is needed feedback; each time I return, my local friends comment on how much more relaxed and recharged I seem. It’s a great cycle to have going. I think I’ve mentioned before how this Family has stood by me through times when it was all I could do to lay in my tent and whimper. By contrast, I am now working two of my own non-profits, putting in time on a third, writing several websites, doing this article, and working professionally as an editor. This is not being said to puff myself up, but to show you how much improvement is possible, to give you hope in dealing with your own recovery if it is needed. It was not a rapid recovery – I came to SerpentStone in 1996 after years of mixed rejection and acceptance elsewhere.
There are lots of good Families out there, and lots of local and regional Pagan Festivals. I recommend finding the “family” gatherings over the “whoopie Wicca” festivals, but that is my choice. (There is a lower chance of long-term rejection among people who want to be together, rather than those who are looking for a good time.)
Every step along then path was magick. The magick involved asking for help, finding it, and accepting it. Wanting to change is the first step, being willing to change comes next, and then accepting the opportunities to change,,, and accepting the length of time it takes to walk the path. I found my Family 12 years ago; found the people who wanted to start the ALT-therapies4bipolar Yahoogroup 7 years ago; started taking some supplements 6 years ago… and got totally off psych drugs November 5, 2003, almost 5 years ago. Each step was an act of magick, each step required some amount of faith on my part, and I was not taking these steps alone… but having Family would not have helped a bit if I were not willing to take the risks, to do the magick.
It wasn’t a straight path lined with constant successes; probably far more failures than successes. I took offense many times when none was intended, and gave offense often when that was not my intention. Most of the time I was sure nobody could screw up as badly as I was doing… (Ever feel like that? Then you’re probably bipolar.) Some people helped me feel like that, but it’s not like I needed a lot of help. But I knew I didn’t want to feel that way, and kept trying to do better.
There were a lot of setbacks. I didn’t give up, but I sure took some long breaks before getting my resolve up to try again. It will likely be just about as hard for you. (I truly hope some of my readers are ahead of me, and can pat themselves on the back for doing it better than I did.) “Try, fail. Try, fail. Try, succeed.” – A. Low, M.D.
“She changes everything She touches, and everything She touches changes.” Nobody has the power to prevent Goddess from helping you, and even the power you have to keep Her from helping you is limited. As the Hindu teachings state, Grace (Anugraha) is unlimited and always available; the only thing you need do is believe yourself worthy of asking for it – and then ask.
I’m aware that perhaps not everyone’s path involves totally discontinuing psych drugs, but be aware that it can be not only possible but quite safe, with help and support. Part of that support will come straight from Goddess, but it won’t happen if your love of yourself does not eventually catch up with your love of Goddess. Don’t be hard on yourself along the way, but give yourself a huge pat on the back for each step you take, no matter how small you think it was. Every step adds up.
And soon you will join me walking through yet another Door: The door to freedom and mental health. I will see you next month.