This August, my life hit a patch of turbulence, started spewing black smoke, heeled over on its side for a bit, and then nosedived into a crash. It wasn’t an unexpected event – I’ve been watching it come for a while now and knew that it would hit right about then, but there’s a big difference between anticipating a catastrophe and living through it. My spiritual practices disappeared abruptly around then, for reasons I think quite similar to what Evn describes here – that post was actually very timely for me and helped a lot with perspective (and hm, maybe I ought to thank him for that in his comments). My Stupendous Magical Powers were busy holding me together in one piece and making sure that my cats got fed and I met my deadlines at work, with nothing left over for anything else.
But there’s a point where “giving yourself time out to deal with something” turns into “melancholic self-indulgence” and I realized last night, as I settled in to an evening on the couch with a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s, a whiskey sour, a couple of cats, and a video game, that I was inching over that line. I was apathetically amused with myself for combining so many bad habits in one place and had this vision of myself transforming slowly into an enormously fat drunken cat lady with an MMO addiction. I started to become alarmed when I realized that this image didn’t actually bother me all that much. Anyone who has been through depression knows what I’m talking about, and I’ve been through enough depressive episodes to know the symptoms. I thought of my stash of Welbutrin in the cupboard and my sympathetic doctor who will recharge my prescription with a phone call, but while it’s never been anything but helpful to me, I don’t like the idea of being dependent on a pharmaceutical for my well-being. What I did instead was pencil “Exercise” into my morning to-do list. This morning, despite really not wanting to do so, I made myself go through a simple and gentle core workout on the floor.As I unrolled my mat on the living room floor, one of the cats produced a large hairball right next to my spot. So I stopped to clean that up, and even though I cleaned it up thoroughly I still felt kind of icky about lying down next to the place where the cat had just puked. I got out a stick of incense to freshen things up. The nearest incense burner is on the Hekate altar, and it’s just not possible for me to light incense on an altar without saying a prayer. So suddenly, without intending to at all, I was making an offering and saying a devotional prayer in the morning. (Thanks, kitty! Who would’ve thought a hairball could actually be good for something.…)
Between the prayer and the exercise, I feel like I have a chance of maybe becoming myself again in a while as long as I remember to keep it up and don’t get sucked in by the apathy monster. That’s part of the reason I’m blogging about this – if it’s out here in public I’m less likely to fall off that particular wagon.
I’m also putting the intention out there that I am going to start writing here regularly again. I don’t think posts of the “stuff I happen to be thinking about at the moment” kind will be all that helpful to me or anyone else right now, so I’ve decided to do some book-blogging. I want to read one of those wonderful densely-packed books on spiritual practice and go over what I’m reading and post something after each chapter. That gives me some motivation, gets me thinking about things beyond my immediate mundane problems, and gives me some structure so I don’t have to think of stuff to write about.
The question is which book? I was thinking either “Faery Teachings,” by Orion Foxwood, which I’ve read a bazillion times but is so packed full of stuff that I get new things from it every time I read it, or “Kissing the Limitless,” by T. Thorn Coyle, which I have not read at all yet but intend to. The advantage of the first is that I already know what I’ll be getting and I know for sure that it will be good for me in lots of ways. The advantage of the second is that it’s new to me and comes highly recommended. Comment, please, and pick one – I will take the first suggestion I get and go with it.