November 1st. All Saints’ Day. Dios de los Muertos. A beautiful celebration of the life that we find, even in death. A time to remember those who have passed. To celebrate and honor those who came before.
Recognized as the Pagan New Year, Hallows (or Samhain) is the entrance into the Dark Time. “Caldron Time," I've heard some call it. When days grow shorter and nights grow longer, we are supposed to use that quiet night to drop deeper into ourselves, slow things down, and reflect. We are the seed under the snow, waiting for the return of the light to give us strength and energy to grow.
However, for me, it can also be a dark time in other ways. My cyclical depression raises its ugly head, and makes daily life challenging. I was diagnosed way back in the day (when I was 15), before it was a commonplace diagnosis. Chucked into therapy and eventually put on Prozac (which only made things MUCH worse), depression became the albatross around my neck.
For many years, I have fought it and worked with it. I have used yoga, meditation, herbs, spirituality and just plain stubbornness to win my life back from the condition. Most of the time, I do ok. But every few years, the situation goes beyond my ability to deal with, and I have to seek medical help. I don’t like the chemicals and the side effects, but the other option is just as unpleasant. The moods are starting to negatively affect the quality of my life. It’s getting past the point where I can function normally.
This most recent bout of numbness has also been fraught with anxiety. Panic attacks wake me in the middle of the night. Unreasonable fears assault me when I’m out in the open. The other night, I was celebrating the holiday with friends, when suddenly I thought I was going to throw up, right there in the park. My head was spinning. My heart was pounding. All I wanted to do was rage and scream and run home and hide. I continued to breathe, and slowly it passed… but the time it took to do so was oddly distorted, like watching a movie slightly out of focus, in which I am starring, but have no control over the action. It was terrifying.
Needless to say, living with someone like this is a laugh a minute riot, and poor Tag is struggling. This is a man who picks up on my PMS and gets moody with me. Therefore, you can only imagine how his sensitivity is reacting to the screaming banshee that is currently inhabiting his girlfriend. My decision to go back on meds is as much for him as it is for me. I’d like to better the quality of both our lives, bring a little peace and happiness back to our home.
It is scary to be lost like this, to feel the growing fear gnawing on me each day. It is how I would imagine it feels to be eaten slowly by a giant invisible monster. I shall take with me many tools into the belly of that beast, and hope it doesn’t all turn to crap on the other side.
And so the wheel turns.