Signal Clarity

There’s no devotional poetry this time, or insightful intuitions, or philosophical theorising. Just one small observation i’ve made, that seems worth sharing.

I have anxiety and depression. I struggled alone with this for many years—i used to joke that i was the only person in my family not seeing a therapist. Which was true; but my pride in that truth was woefully misplaced. I come from a long line of broken, wounded, angry people—several lines of them, actually. But somehow i thought if i just pretended i myself wasn’t broken, it would be so. I didn’t seek help until it got so bad that one night i realised, if i didn’t get better, i was going to die. So i swallowed that misplaced pride, and sought help. I’m not ‘better’—often with mental illnesses you never get better; you simply…manage the symptoms. So that’s what i do. I manage the symptoms.

Like many Bothered folks, i’ve found my ‘godphone’ goes on the fritz when my anxiety or depression acts up. In the past, i used to think They were abandoning me—that They couldn’t stand to be connected to someone so pitiful and weak and broken. Which, i suppose goes without saying, didn’t help my situation any. I know now that i was mistaken; it’s not that They leave, but simply that my own mental fog makes a clear connection impossible. I know now that They would not abandon me, and that’s some comfort, even though i cannot feel or hear any of the Powers through the mental gunk.

Any but one.

For reasons i neither know nor understand, i can still connect to one of the Powers, no matter how deeply mired in my own mind-swamp i get. I can always feel my connection with Loki. Even though Odin seems now to have assumed the role of my ‘primary’ deity, His voice gets lost in the fog. Loki’s doesn’t.

I don’t know what i am to Them; i have no name for the ties that bind me to each of the Blood Brothers. It feels right to say that i ‘belong’ to Odin—that i am in some sense His—but there is something that i am to Loki as well, something that He is to me. I have no name for it, but i know that it…is. I know from experience that i can sink far enough down in the dark that i can neither feel nor hear Odin, nor any other Power i know. But there is no despair black enough that Loki cannot pierce through it. As i said, i don’t know why it’s so; but it’s so.

I’m writing this because today is one of those anxiety-depression days, one of those mired-in-the-mental-muck days when working for more than a few minutes at a time is exhausting, when it takes a momentous effort even to move, when i have to be reminded that the sensation of my stomach gnawing on my insides means i need to eat. And Loki is here. He speaks very little on days like this: My discernment is fuzzy at best, so it’s not a good time for any Deep Conversations. But He’s still there, a quiet presence that gently nudges and encourages, that sifts through the mind-silt, picks up the pieces of me, and presses them back into place, and holds them until the glue dries. Until i’m something-like-myself again.

Hail Loki, the Light in Dark Places
Hail Loki, Who Puts the Pieces Back Together
Hail Loki, Who Mends the Broken With Gold


6 responses to “Signal Clarity

  • moonfire2012

    I come from a similar line of people, myself being one of them. When Im super stressed or something upsets/disappoints me, activity with Loki, at least dreamwise, dies down, which of course makes me abandoned for the same reason. I feel weak, pitiful and like a lost cause when He has others who are happy and well adjusted, pleasant company He can go to. I can still hear His voice and feel Him, but lately He has seemed to hold back on certain things He used to do. My depression and anxiety can be caused by mundane human problems, but also spiritual. I used to hurt myself when I went through that but not anymore. But I still get angry and despairing to where I dont feel like taking care of myself anymore, or doing much of anything that isnt necessary to get through the day. So ive been through something similar, just for different reasons. And like you, try to pretend Im not broken to be strong in the world. Ive also been taught unless youre happy and confident you wont get love, including from the Gods. Which makes it worse. Anyway know youre not alone and I really do believe it gets better someday. No pain lasts forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Magpie Mason

      Learning that it won’t last forever is /so/ important, i think. My anxiety and depression used to turn into runaway cycles that got worse and worse, and the only way to ‘escape’ for me was self-injury. Thankfully i’ve learned better coping mechanisms, and i haven’t self-harmed in years. The impulse is still there, though. It’s possible it always will be.

      I see less of Them in my dreams when i’m in a funk, too—although to be honest i don’t see Them in my dreams very often to begin with. But i find that if i take a few moments to talk to Them before i go to sleep—whether i can sense Them or not—it helps me sleep easier.

      I think most people try to put on an everything’s-okay mask when we’re out in public; we’re taught from an early age that it isn’t safe to be vulnerable in front of other people. But the mask is /exhausting/; i’ve learned the hard way that i need to have s/Someone in my life that i can take the mask off around, and feel safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  • dayhawk68

    I know what you mean. Sometimes I wonder if I was just born depressed. Often I feel like just a pawn to the Gods and Goddesses. I know it’s not true, but I can’t help feeling that way. Most of the time I don’t let anyone help me with my anxiety or depression. I just put my boots on and continue on. Recently, though, I felt like I should talk about it with people and with People. But…idk I hate it when people compare problems and then mine get buried as if they don’t matter. I have a spirit boyfriend and stuff, but I probably tell him the least.

    Point of all this is, you’re not alone.I’m glad Loki is there for you and that he cares. Having just one person care is better than several just listening…if that made any sense. I hope things look up for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Magpie Mason

      When i’m depressed it affects how i perceive my relationship with Them, too. For me, it’s less that i feel like a pawn and more that doubt creeps in—doubt that i could be worthy of the relationships i think i have, doubt that any of it is real at all.

      I’ve found talking to other people about it helps, but before i could do that i had to acknowledge what i was feeling in the first place—that, for me, was hard.

      It’s gotten easier since i learned better ways of coping; the mental funk doesn’t sink as deep or last as long as it used to. Even if i feel lousy today, i know it will pass before too long. Thank you for commenting, and for sharing your own story. I hope when /you’re/ having a rough time, you have the support that you need.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Angela

    I’ve recently had to up my depression meds, which made me feel like a failure. I’ve not been in steady therapy, and I’m not very good at coping. It takes a while for me to realize I need help. Its been so quiet. I’ve needed a lot of reassurance lately because I get the “I’m too tired to do a,b,c, etc” and I felt like I was going to be left because I never do what I’m supposed to. Its super hard to believe in yourself and and the love They have for you at times like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Magpie Mason

      I definitely understand the need for reassurance. When the anxiety and depression makes simple, everyday stuff seem insurmountably difficult, i constantly question whether the difficulty i’m facing is ‘normal’ for someone in my situation, or if i’m just lazy. It’s hard. And yes, it can be hard to believe s/Someone loves you so much, when you’re having a hard time even remotely liking yourself.

      I feel compelled to say that upping your meds is by no means a failure. Making the effort and doing what you need to do to take care of yourself doesn’t mean you’re weak, or giving up, or taking the ‘easy’ path, or anything of that sort; sometimes it’s the absolute /hardest/ thing. So good on you for doing what you need to do, even if you don’t like doing it. Even if you feel that increasing your meds means you’re backsliding (or something to that effect), i would remind you that three steps forward and two steps back is still progress. It’s maddening when we don’t ‘get better’ as quickly or as easily as we think we should be able to. But keep putting one foot in front of the other.

      Liked by 1 person

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