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Resting is hard, have some links

Resting is hard, have some links

I’ve been staring at this screen for at least an hour now, trying to decide how to start and what to say.

The truth is, I’m in pain. I’ve been caught by another days-long headache—one that doesn’t respond to even my prescription painkillers, seems like. It’s been off and on for about a week and a half now, so I’ve been able to do some things on the off days. Since yesterday morning the headache has been decidedly On, and I’m spending most of my energy taking care of myself and not giving depression an opening to stir up bad feelings.

It’s agonising to not be able to do the things I want to do because my body won’t cooperate. I have ideas and plans and dreams to implement! Words to write, but I can’t seem to reach them behind the fog of pain. I’m just watching time pass me by and getting more anxious about the things that need to be done that I can’t get doing.

An aloe plant perched on a windowsill looking out to a street.

But you know what? This is my experience. I fight the mindset that experiences are less valid when not accompanied by productivity. I fight that I am defined by what I am able to do. Why do I say that to other people, and then let myself beat myself up when I have days that I can’t breathe or can’t think for pain? Why do I hold myself to a different standard?

Those are questions to let myself sit with for a while. For you, some links to articles that are helping me pass the time during this headache.

On Barrenness and Lying Fallow: Esme Wang talks about damaging cultural beliefs about productivity and doing too much and navigating it and chronic illness. My chronic illnesses are different from hers, but they still define my day to day life—and I still have trouble recognising and accepting that.

To even categorize these days is a kind of self-punishment, because I can’t control how they happen. There is no magic formula for having a “good day” versus a “bad day.” I have a chronic illness. It doesn’t answer to me; I answer to it.

Slow Cooking Your Dreams: I have an idea I’m working on with a friend, and I told myself at the very beginning that it’s okay if it takes six months—or longer—just for us to decide on a domain name and what kind of content we want and who we’ll have to contribute. But let my Tarot dreams unfold in their own time? Never. Until I read this post. If I’m disrupting capitalism, I need to disrupt this myth within myself that I have to be productive to be getting somewhere.

We’ve been sold on the idea that what we desire must happen immediately, and that the longer it takes to arrive, the more of a reason we have to feel bad.

This is the premise we have collectively hooked into: things taking long is a perfectly legitimate reason to feel bad about our lives.

5 Productivity Hacks You Need Now: Not that we need more productivity hacks. This link was chosen for this acknowledgement that’s said so rarely:

This obsession with productivity defeats the purpose of a productivity hack. The purpose of a productivity “hack” is not to produce more but rather, to get better at what you’re producing so you actually have time to have coffee with a friend or read a comic.

Enjoy the links, help distract me by talking to me on Twitter, and talk to you again soon!

And I dropped off the face of the earth again

And I dropped off the face of the earth again

My priorities the last couple of weeks (and the weeks coming up) are to get my health care in order so that I don’t crash and burn as often as I have over the last four years. Which means that I’ve spent a LOT of time resting and thinking, and having emotions, and freaking out, and oh yeah, having weird pain everywhere. (I’m afraid if I go to a doctor about my wrists, they’ll tell me to stay off the computer for a week. NOOOOOO!)

So today I am sharing a lot of the links I’ve been pondering.

  • This nail polish hits me right in the feels. It’s from a Doctor Who episode with a character with depression, and it reminds me so much of the pain and agony I’ve gone through. It’s fascinating to look at it through someone else’s eyes, someone who doesn’t understand it, because that’s the point of view you have in the episode. That’s how people don’t understand ME when I’m feeling the brain weasels. But I also know exactly what the depressed character is going through, because I’ve been there. It’s powerful.
  • So, did anyone else experience any fallout from the emotional apocalypse of the Super Full Moon in Pisces? It hit me extremely hard, messed with a couple of my relationships, but hopefully now I’m in a better place.
  • Why the strong, sharp suite of Swords reveal your strength and courage. I only recently realized how much the Swords are about cutting things apart and destroying things, since I haven’t done enough study of the Minor Arcana, and I identify with the Swords: as a symbol of the element of Air, they cut to the truth of the matter, like I do. So now it’s fascinating to work with the interpretation that the Swords are going to reveal harsh truths, but they will be necessary for you to keep going.
  • I’ve been attempting to do a lot more research into chronic illnesses that apply or may apply to me, thanks to this post on how self-diagnosis is vital. I never thought of it that way, but this post is one of my inspirations right now to keep fighting for my right to live mostly pain-free and with people understanding my conditions and how to care for me.
  • I can’t wait to dig in to the Dark Magic Books Library, a collection of books about magic, witchcraft, and all sorts of fun stuff, mostly in the public domain. I love reading about magic and witchcraft and I definitely need to finish some of the books I have so I can start in on it!

That’s it for now! I’ll be back on Monday, Labor Day, for a Looking Forward reading.

Taking our selves back

Taking our selves back

Last night, a friend emailed me a wonderful article entitled Why Women Aren’t Crazy. It made me reflect on how I quiet down in a group, how I defer to others to make decisions, and how NONE of those things are the embodiment of witchyness.

Part of being a witch is embracing strength and our own individuality, not letting someone else dictate how we think or feel. So when I read this article and found myself nodding along in places, it broke my heart to realize that in some ways this meant I am not embracing witchyness as fully as I want to be. So here is my confession, and my promise to keep vigilant to making sure I am a whole person who isn’t afraid to speak.

Whether gaslighting is conscious or not, it produces the same result: it renders some women emotionally mute.

These women aren’t able to clearly express to their spouses that what is said or done to them is hurtful. They can’t tell their boss that his behavior is disrespectful and prevents them from doing their best work. They can’t tell their parents that, when they are being critical, they are doing more harm than good.

When these women receive any sort of push back to their reactions, they often brush it off by saying, “Forget it, it’s okay.”

That “forget it” isn’t just about dismissing a thought, it is about self-dismissal. It’s heartbreaking.

(Emphasis mine.)

When we’re told we’re weak, frail, emotional creatures, we stop being emotional – because maybe that’s the only thing that’s true of that statement, and the only thing we can change so that we can be strong again. So we become “emotionally mute”, afraid to so much as hint at the possibility of having emotions of any kind, despite women supposedly being the Keepers of Emotions™. I’ve spent many years hiding my emotions because I thought I would be stronger; turns out that just fed my depression, because I was denying and dismissing parts of myself.

I can also absolutely relate to the “forget it” act of dismissing myself. “Forget it, [what I think doesn’t matter],” and going on to make someone else’s idea/emotions more important than my own. With gaslighting, I’m told that my feelings are contradictory and my fears are irrational, therefore I should shut up and let someone else dictate what I should feel. After a long time, this makes you feel small, then you stop letting yourself be who you are, emotions and all.

This is anathema to the point of Luminous Emporium, and it hurts that I can relate so much to it right now. But relating to it, realizing that it’s a problem, means I am on my way to a solution. Understanding the problem is the right first step. Taking back my Witchyness is the second. I am a full and complete being, and I am in control of I do and how I feel. It will take practice to own my emotions, but I’m on the path, and that’s exactly where I need to be.