Monday, 8 March 2010

Mind over Matter

Manic Depression is perplexing.

Winston Churchill called it his 'Black Dog', a metaphor suggestive of 'Man's (or Woman's) best friend', a playful, loving companion, but with a propensity to plunge in it's teeth when least expected. That may be a little over-exaggerated but hopefully serves as a lucid description of what I myself have suffered for over twenty years, (much of the time without accurate diagnoses). Moods are erratic, often in rapid cycles which fluctuate between feelings verging on euphoric at one end of the spectrum and a paralysis of despair at the other. So what is the hope of maintaining a spiritual continuum within such unpredictable boundaries?

When my moods are high my whole being is in overdrive...mind racing, thoughts tripping one over another and words spilling from my mouth in an endless drawl. It inevitably becomes wearing very quickly and all though you would imagine surges in spiritual awareness and creative activity they tend to be fruitless.

When my mood slips into the hopelessness realm then I wallow in self hate, self absorption, inactivity. I stare at my simple alter unable to even bring myself to light a candle and if I do, my ritual seems empty, my thoughts and words appear automatic and lacking commitment. I live in a beautiful place both immediate and overall, yet during these times I enter into periods of reclusion, my cats lack the usual pampering, the hens appear merely as greedy scavengers, I hate the weather when I should rejoice in it's diversity. Furthermore I live at the very edge of a 'voe' (inlet of the sea) and often watch otters, Canada geese, heron, wading birds and seals which lie for hours on a pier at the end of my garden. Surely Spirit has blessed me. However when the 'black dog' pervades the abundance of animal, plant and minerals, water and air and the subtle changes in light count for little, and this saddens me knowing that I can so easily become numb to the richness that Mother Earth has placed within my sight.

And yet I persevere, longing for days where my mood allows glimpses into oneness with Gaia,...

"And in the love of all Existences, the love of Spirit and all Creation"

Over the past few years things have improved but still have elements of unpredictability. I don't take my Earth centred spirituality for granted, I work with it when I can in the hope of understanding. Believe me I don't merely dip in and out when my mood takes me, endeavoring to keep a consistent approach to Honouring, Celebration, Ritual and Earthly Respect. I involve myself in ecological and environmental issues, whether supporting international causes in the most effective way I can, or heading out with a bag to gather litter from my locality. And this is not done to gain brownie points to appease the Lord and Lady but to constantly re-affirm my commitment to my Spiritual beliefs despite the 'sticks' that my mind put into the spokes...!!


Bella Foxglove said...

I can deeply relate to this on a few levels. I am bi-polar and I have noticed that over the last few months I have been cycling more often than I usually do.

Normally I just roll with the flow, and ride the waves so to speak, but these last few months, while great in the personal home life front, have deeply attacked my sense of spirituality, and had led to some major redefining moments of who I am and who I no longer am as a spiritual being.

One one hand, I have been this way for all my life, so it is natural and almost a comfort in a way to cycle, I do not fight it, and I have learned to recognize the changes before they happen, but on the other hand it gets frustrating because I have those days where I think everything about my life is fake and not meaningful, and everyone I know do nothing but whine and complain...and then on the upswing they are the best people in the world.

Luckily those I call friends understand this about me lol.

I totally agree with the Churchill quote, and I find that description pretty accurate to be honest.

I guess I am sort of rambling at this point, but as I read this, I found myself nodding my head in understanding, and it was nice to know that there are others out there who feel the same way I do at times...

City Wiccan said...

I deal with depression as well. I think the hardest moments are those when you just sit there staring not sure what to do with yourself. People talk to you and try to get you to move but you cannot motivate yourself at all . . . you just feel heavy. Your line about staring at the altar not able to light a candle rang a bell for me. I hope things get better. I find St. John's Wort works well for me . . . sometimes.

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