Posts Tagged With: chronic pain

At The Feet Of The Dark Goddess

I have always been drawn to the Dark Goddess.
It is she who called to me, and in her arms is where I feel most at home.
Only lately, have I been really pondering why this is.

In my experience, many Witches are attracted to Her darkness.
Unlike the monotheistic religions, it is not the light we seek, but the comforting embrace of the Dark Mother.
It is darkness we find within ourselves, within our souls.
Darkness as peace, calm, rest and rebirth.

The Dark Goddess is rarely kind though.
Her ways are cruel and brutal to us.
She is Ereshkigal, hanging us upon her meathook, a rotting corpse in the shadowy realm of The Underworld.
She is indiffernet to our pleas, our cries, our screams.
She cares nothing for our suffering.
She cares not because she doesn’t feel for us, empathise with our suffering.
Indeed, she suffers her self, as she labors and gives birth, while Inanna hangs on that hook.
She cares not, because she knows suffering is the flame within which we are transformed, the coals upon which we are forged.
As Inanna is told repeatedly, as she makes her harsh and lonely descent to The Underworld,
‘The ways of The Underworld are perfect.’

Having been afflicted with chronic pain for the last seven years of my life, I have become well aquainted with the merciless face of the Dark Mother.
As the seasons turn to Autumn, and the temperatures drop, does my pain begin to flare up again.
At its worst, I suffer, tormented, lost in a world that is filled with hurt.
I cannot face the world, the noise of daily life, it overwhelems me completely.
My brain, my thoughts, just seem to short out, unable to compete with that constant hot pain that washes over my entire being.

During the early days, I was filled with raging anger.
I railed at the injustice of it, my life seemingly having come to a complete halt.
I could no longer work, I could no longer enjoy the things I previously had.
My world was constant pain, tempered only by the relief and dissociation of opiates.
I lost myself in this dream world for several years.

During the last few years, as my experience and wisdom of the Dark Goddess grew, I came to an understanding, a truce, with my pain.
When I first come across the story of Inanna and her descent to The underworld, I understood completely.
Inanna too, shed all that she was before, all that she loved was taken from her, one by one.
I understand the desperation and desolation of that loss all to well.
I know the shadows and dark caverns of The Underworld that she sort, and found.
I know what it is to come face to face with Ereshkigal, to hear her scream pierce through your very soul, to crumble before her in defeat.
I know what it is to be hung upon that meathook, rotting and putrescent, a corpse that has left light and life behind.
I know what it is to lay before the feet of Ereshkigal, to just give up, to welcome the shadowy peace of The Underworld into my soul.
Until I embraced the Dark Mother myself, this was all I knew.
Darkness, desperation, isolation and defeat.

But for Inanna, as for myself, even in that hopeless corporeal state, it was she that saved herself.
She had left her attendant to stand guard at the first gate, someone to raise the alarm in the event that she not return.
Inanna had left this tiny part of herself outside of her suffering and despair.
That tiny little piece of her soul that wanted to live, wanted to experience the light on her skin once more, was what saved Inanna from rotting away in The Underworld eternally.
I came to understand that there is hope, another chance to live, to emerge from the Underworld even stronger, brighter than when I descended.
Like Inanna, I too made my way back up toward the light, my own little spark of guardian calling to me.
I decided I wanted to live, to experience life again.
Emerging from the darkness of The Underworld, I realised that I too, had become someone other than who I was.
Old habits had been shed, old me had been shed.
Like a snake emerging from hibernation, I shed my skin and basked in the light.
But like Inanna, I too had been joined with that dark side of myself, we are now one.

After a glorious summer of very minor pain levels, I have again been plunged into The Underworld again.
My pain flares, and I pass by the gates, again, giving up all that I am.
The difference now, is that I no longer descend kicking and screaming.
I go down there, to Ereshkigal, to The Underworld, willingly.
I isolate myself, I lie in dark rooms, undisturbed.
I go with the pain, the dreamy wash of opiates, and welcome the embrace of the Dark Mother.

I have come to understand the value in my suffering.
I know now, that pain transforms.
That even though I may not yet understand why this has befell me, I know there is a reason.
Their is purpose in my descent, purpose in sitting at the feet of Ereshkigal the feared.
While my life, my very soul, has been irrevocably changed by chronic pain, I know now that these changes were, and are, essential.
My whole chronic pain experience has been necessary, it has brought me back to my true self, to my soul.
It has brought me to a respectful understanding of the Dark Mother and the ways of The Underworld.

Ereshkigal dragged me down into the darkness and fear of her realm, and she introduced me to the darkest parts of myself, my biggest fears.
In embracing that feared part of myself, I found my whole, my power, my purpose.
Ereshkigal grabbed a tight hold of me and she taught me her ways and her wisdom.
She has initiated me and set me upon this darkened path.
Where it leads. I do not yet know.
Yet, I hold the understanding that many do not;

The Ways Of The Underworld Are Perfect.

Advertisements
Categories: Life, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Walking The Road To Success

image

One of things I have really looked forward to during my weight loss journey, is changing the body shape of my Bitstrips avatar.
It has taken several months, but today I realized that my avatar is too fat and made the necessary adjustments.
Doesn’t she look so much better?

During the last week I have really begun to notice the changes in my body.
Clothes that were too tight are now becoming too big.
The number on the scales keeps steadily dropping.

Yesterday, while buying a top online, I automatically went to the largest size, a 2xl.
Looking at the measurements, it dawned on me that this size was probably too big.
Grabbing my tape measure, I retook my measurements, then took them again, just to be sure.
I found I had lost 10cm around both my hips and bust.
I even have a waist again.

It surprises me constantly how easy losing weight has been for me this time around.
Having struggled with my weight for years, I am finding that it is now falling off me with ease.
It turns out that losing weight is very simple.
I no longer eat fast food.
I eat as little processed food as possible.
I only drink water, plus a coffee or two a day.
I walk most every day.
That is it.
Simple.

I think, this time, that taking the time to learn about food, had been my secret weapon.
Understanding that that burger and fries from McDonalds, is impossible to burn off.
That nightly chips and chocolate, puts my daily calorie allowance over its limit.
That my body only requires small portions of food on a regular basis throughout the day.
I eat far less than I am burning off and I am losing weight.

Walking every day is something I now look forward to.
I have chronic pain in my knees, but have retrained my brain to deal with the pain, no longer letting it defeat me.
Losing weight is only going to help my pain levels, as the less weight my knees have to bear, the better.
I have progressed from a limping shuffle down to the corner, to walking 5 kilometer stretches.
Yesterday I broke my record, setting the bar at 6km.

What seemed impossible a few months back, I am now achieving every day.
I now have a new long term goal of walking a 10km stretch.
I know now anything is possible.
Losing weight has not only been good for my body and health, it had improved my mind.
I feel stronger, more resilient and capable.
For the first time in a long time, I have faith in my body, in my ability.
I finally have confidence in my self again.
That alone has made my efforts worth every step.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Perilous Pathway To Inner Quiet

Q is for Quiet.

Quiet.

Quiet is that intangible thing that took me a great many years to embrace and appreciate.
A younger me hated stillness, the silence of being by oneself.
I would go to great lengths to avoid being by myself, much prefering the noise and chatter of being surrounded by action and people.
As I grew older, nothing much changed on that front, until solitude was enforced upon me.

I have written before about my struggle with chronic pain, it was an awful time for me.
Yet, as I emerge from the other end of that hell, having gained some perspective, I can see how something so drastically transformitive needed to happen.
Previously, I had lived a life that was unsustainable.
Too many drugs, drinks and late nights were just an everyday thing for me.
I loved people, needed to be surrounded by them, even better if this was in the setting of a wild party.

Chronic pain put an end to all that.
I went from being a wild and free party girl, to a tortured, depressed, pain wracked mess.
I blamed everyone and everything.
I hated, with a vengence, what I had become.
At the worst stage, I was bedridden, in constant severe pain, and dangerously depressed.
Out of the many friends I had had, only two of them bothered to even give me a call at intervals.
I could see no way out of the mess my life had become, and I was sincerely ready to end my life, what was left of it anyway.

It wasn’t until my doctor referred me to the pain clinic, that things began to improve, though only marginally.
First thing, pain relief.
Opiates have been the only thing that have helped me to get on top of my pain, and though addiction is the trade off, this way is better for me.
I wasn’t entirely pain free, but the pain was no longer all consuming.

When one of the pain doctors tried to talk to me about managing my pain with my mind, I was really pissed off.
It wasn’t until much later that I understood.
He wasn’t suggesting that the pain wasn’t real, but that my attitude to that pain, could make all the difference to my quality of life.
I wish then that I had gave some thought as to what he was trying to say to me.
But, at that point, drugs were all that had even remotely helped me, and that was all I wanted, narcotic bliss.

Back home again, at least now I had some mobility, even if it wasn’t much.
Not being able to take care of your own basic needs is very demeaning and humiliating, so at least now I could do those things.
But now, I found that my nemesis was the deafening quiet that engulfed me.
I was alone all the time.
My Husband worked, my Daughter went to school, I sat at home, alone, all day.
My sleep patterns were a mess, so I was also sitting up for the majority of the night, as usual, alone.

It was at this time that my depression worsened, until I had a complete break down.
The constant silence drove me mad, literally.
I had nothing to focus my mind on, no hobbies, no parties, no friends, no job, I was so desperately alone and lonely.
Worst of all, I hated my own company.
I hated myself and all that I had become, which was everything I had spent my life fighting against.

This was the point I hit my bottom.
If it hadn’t have been for my husband, being so vigilant, I likely would have committed suicide at this point.
I had even convinced myself that I would be doing my family, my daughter, a favor, better that she not have to watch me wilt and waste away like I was.

Then, at the worst of all possible times, my dog, Sid, died.
I had had her for ten years, but she left me suddenly.
Left me with no companionship at all.
Her death rocked me to my core.

My daughter had then decided she wanted her own dog.
We ended up adopting a little white Staffy, who was having a hard time trying to find a fur-ever home.
He came to us, and my life was never the same again.
I love this dog, Leo, like my own flesh and blood child.
It was this dog that saved me, pulled me up and out of the black pit I was entombed in.
It is very difficult to be depressed, with those little brown eyes looking at you.
He at least got me up and outside, in the sunlight and fresh air.

From there, things improved.
Yet, quiet, peace and stillness still frightened me.
Until one day, when I found an old pack of tarot cards, that had been given to me years ago, in the back of a drawer.
I took them out and flicking through them, they kindled something in me that they hadn’t before.
I felt no particular connection to this deck, but felt the urge to find one that I did connect with.
I found the Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot.

This deck is more of an artdeck, a display of the author’s art, than a ‘proper’ deck.
Only the Major Arcana cards are illustrated.
But this was perfect for me at the time, as I became determined to learn the meanings of these cards so I could put them to use.
I have since moved on to other decks, but I keep that deck in a beautiful, ornate box.
It is still so very special to me, as it changed my life.

It was through my Tarot studies that I Iearnt the art of meditation, and this opened so many doors for me, not just physically, but spiritually as well.
Meditation helped me to quiet my mind, control the negative spiral of my thoughts.
But it also helped me to relax and to sleep, getting my sleeping habits back to more workable hours.
A good night’s sleep certainly brightens one’s perspective!

It was around this time that I had the urge to construct an altar, something I had not had for many years.
I found the perfect table and set it up in my room.
At first it was more of an elemental altar, then I added God and Goddess, but it still didn’t feel quite right.
Then, Hekate came sweeping into my life.

Hekate taught me to heal myself, to heal my mind, to remarkable result.
But she also taught me to value stillness, quiet and solitude.
Quiet is something that I am thankful for these days.
In the solitude of my days, the peace of my nights, I use this time to meditate, to read my cards, to write, to journey, to let my visions grow and take form.
I have a daily meditative practice and work my growing Shamanistic skills often.

In this quiet, that is now like an old friend, I have sought the root of my pain problems and found many ways around it.
I still have pain, but have many skills to cope with it.
Amazingly, I have even began to walk two kilometers a day.
This amazes me, every day, as I set out on my route, and I give my thanks to my Goddess as I pass by the crossroads.

In quiet and solitude, I have opened my mind, my hidden abilities, my creativity, I have begun the lifetimes work of ‘Know Thyself”.
I have learnt to accept what happened to me as a positive thing, it has changed my life for the better.
I am, for the first time in my life, genuinely happy.
I have lost many ‘friends’ and so-called ‘family, but this too, is a good thing.
I now know who my real friends are.
They may not be many, but I know they will be there through good and bad times.

Best of all, I no longer need people to be happy.
I am most content being alone.
In the quiet of my life, I have found my happiness, my purpose, my destiny, my ‘will’.

Chronic Pain is an awful thing, but in perspective I can see the purpose it has served.
If you struggle with it at present, listen to those wise doctors who try to tell you that the ‘pain is in your head’.
He is not trying to belittle you and trivialize what you are going through, he is trying to give you a key, a key that unlocks the mysteries of the mind, the soul, and the healing powers that you hold within yourself.

Categories: Life, Pagan Blog Project | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Daily Tarot

image

Sorry I am late today, but slept in this morning, then spent a lazy day catching up on my favorite shows. Which is where these two cards come in.

This combinaton was one that had me stumped, until a fellow tarot enthusiast suggested balance. As the Knights represent action and movement, balance seems to fit here.

Sometimes my pain levels get the better of me, and the energy of the Knight of Pentacles takes over. Looking at this card, you can see he has come to a halt. He is slow, heavy and steady. This suits my activity levels of the last few days, I haven’t felt like doing much of anything.

The Knight of Wands is fast, agile and energetic, this guy can’t sit still!

Put these cards together and we strike a balance. For me, this would be being sure to get in some gentle exercise everday. Not overdoing it, but avoiding a totally sedentary lifestyle. Even though it sometimes hurts and the medications make me tired, I always feel better after I have made the effort to include some movement in my day. With the appearance of these two Knights, the tarot would seem to agree.

Categories: Daily Card | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Tarot

image

The Eight of Swords is a card of self-imprisonment and isolation. I can’t help but think of the early stages of chronic pain, when this card comes up. To read my take on this relationship, click here.

Today, I see in the Eight of Swords, the need for gratitude, to appreciate the things we do have. If you are struggling with health issues, it can be easy to lose sight of these positives. This can easily spiral into a vicious cycle. Negative thought patterns adversely affect our bodies and the more our health deteriorates, the more depressive our thoughts become. The key here, is breaking that cycle.

Take some time each day to list the things in your life that you are grateful for. Recognise that there is always someone worse off than ourselves. Even just giving thanks for life itself is a start.

I have many things in my life I am thankful for and keeping these in mind helps me keep a positive attitude, it has also helped me to heal and be happy again.

Life can be so very hard, but focusing on the good, instead of the negatives, can see us through the most trying of times and prevent us becoming trapped in a desperate, depressive prison of our own making.

Categories: Daily Card | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leo

I love my dog. I love him as a child, as a best friend.

Leo came to me as a rescue dog. At the time, I was struggling with a recent diagnosis of chronic pain. Trying to accept that the disabling pain in my knee was here to stay is another story, but I can say, I was not coping.

Then my dog died, a friendly old Pit Bull by the name of Sid. I had rescued her ten years previously, from what would have been, a miserable life as a pig dog. I took it hard. Having to put your best mate down is an awful thing to have to do. I was in pain, physically and emotionally and lonely without my old mate.

Drew and Sid

Drew and Sid

My Daughter, having grown up with our two dogs, both now passed, wanted another dog badly. I have rescued every animal I have ever owned, so our next pet would be no different, and so our search began.

It is surprisingly hard to find a rescue dog through the adoption agencies. This is a good thing, I understand they need to be certain the dog will be going to a good home, but it can be quite a task finding the right dog. We ended up feeling quite discouraged after several dead-end enquiries.  It was then we got a call from a foster mum, would we take a Staffy?

I had never owned a Staffy before, but was keen to give it a go. This particular Staffy had been a bit of a problem, through no fault of his own. One look at his profile picture on the rescue site and we fell in love. He was so cute!

Leo's profile picture on the rescue site.

Leo’s profile picture on the rescue site.

At the time we became aware of him, he was staying with a family on a trial basis, it wasn’t working out. It seemed they couldn’t keep him contained. As they were living in the city, with virtually no yard, I knew we had just what this ‘problem dog’ needed.

Our future dog was located two hours drive away, so we made the arrangements to go and pick him up. The night before we were due to leave, we get a call, he has vanished. We were devastated! We had bought him all the things he would need, and looking at them made me feel such loss and regret for what could have been.

Late that night, we get another call, He’s back! We were overjoyed and couldn’t leave early enough the next day, before anything else happened and our dog-to-be vanished again.

Leo loves relaxing in the sun

Leo loves relaxing in the sun

We loved him on site. I have known a lot of great dogs in my lifetime, but this dog had so much character and charisma, it was impossible not to love him. Both the temporary family and his foster family had a real soft spot for him, though the former had to admit they just couldn’t keep him. Their loss proved to be our gain.

I took to this spotty little dog immediately, but over time I grew to love him. My family all agree that he was, quite possibly, human in a previous life. He has the character of a mischievous little kid.

We had to learn to contain him to our property and keep him safe, through a bit of trial and error. On one of his earlier attempts, he took off over the fence and was gone. We all flew into action, driving up and down the lane, frantically calling his name. No sign of him. It wasn’t till the next door neighbour returned from walking his dog, that we see Leo, running along beside him, having the time of his life. The neighbour had found him a few paddocks away, swimming in a farmers dam!

Covered in mud, yet again.

Covered in mud, yet again.

He loves to be with us. Whether this is playing with his favorite toys, going for a drive, or snuggling up on the lounge for a cuddle, it’s all right by him. His favorite time of the day would have to be bedtime. No dogs on beds rule went out the window upon the arrival of Leo. That right there is the problem, I look into those expressive, big brown eyes and don’t have the will to refuse him. Besides, he makes the best ever teddy bear.

Leo is constantly by my side. We spend our days together, he sleeps on my bed at night, he always comes on holidays with us. Even if this means we end up staying in a dump, because it’s the only place that will allow dogs. Yes, he is spoilt, spoilt rotten. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. He deserves a good life, with a family that love him as a valued member of the family. He helped pull me out of the debilitating depression that often accompanies chronic pain. He helped me begin to enjoy life again. It is impossible to be sad when you have those little eyes looking at you,saying, come on, let’s go for a drive!

Leo loves the car

Leo loves the car

He is well-known at our local vet clinic, probably as one of the more difficult customers. He gets so excited when he walks in the door, especially if there are other animals in the waiting room. By the time he gets seen to in the exam room, it takes a lot of wrestling and, literally, pinning him down so that the vet can examine him.

He was also the best man at our wedding. My Husband and I eloped, settling for a small wedding on the coast. It was just us, my Daughter, and my Dad and Kay. We had a lovely day. Leo was so well-behaved and looked so very handsome in his specially ordered tuxedo.

Leo was even best man at our wedding

Leo was even best man at our wedding

So thank you Leo. For being my baby, my best friend, my personal trainer, my teddy bear, my side-kick. I feel lucky to have you in my life and truly blessed that you found us. It is a privilege to be a part of your life.

 Leo.

Leo.

 

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Tarot

image

The Ten of Wands is a burden. That drained, tired feeling we get when it just all becomes to much.

This rings very true for me today. My burden is chronic pain. Sometimes it wears me down, leaves me weary to the bone. The constant pain, the inability to do the things I enjoy, the side effects of strong pain medication. I need a break from all of it. Unfortunately, this card tells me I have a fair bit more ahead of me.

It can be a warning that you are taking on too much. That this level of excertion is unsustainable. Try not to expect so much from yourself. Share the responsibility, let others take some of the weight. Or just slow down, don’t take on so much. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy life. A balanced life is so much healthier in the long run.

Categories: Daily Card | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eight of Swords

Eight of Swords is a card I can personally relate to, I have overcome its restrictive energies.

I have posted before about my battle with chronic pain, this card is how I beat it. Well, not quite, I still have it, and still struggle with it at times. But on the whole, I now live a relatively normal life. It took me a long time to get to this point, to realize I held the key all along.

Eight of Swords - From the Witches Tarot.

Eight of Swords – From the Witches Tarot.

Chronic pain is pretty well summed up in the Eight of Swords. She is bound, blind and helpless. If she moves, she will be cut and experience terrible pain. Here she has two choices: She can stand, frozen, frightened, and remain trapped, stuck in place among the Swords. Or, she can gather her wits, unlock the powers of her mind and find a way out. Notice behind her, there is a gap in the Swords, that seemingly surround her. It might take a long time to work herself free of the ropes that bind her, but even so, it is better than being frozen in place.

The rope represents the mind. It is the way that you think about your circumstances, that decides how bad it will be for you. To remind yourself of those that are so much worse off than you is a good start. Someone, right now, is breathing their last. Little kids with terminal cancer, but still with a positive attitude and a smile on their face. Children in third world countries that are starving, but are still so happy to receive the smallest of things. There are plenty more examples. Take a look at these things, and you realize that maybe, just maybe, things really could be worse.

The blindfold represents willful blindness. She refuses to see a path out, a future for herself. Behind her is a castle, shrouded in fog. If only she can find release, the castle, no doubt, will be hers. The castle here, is all her wishes and wildest dreams for herself. But she doesn’t see this, nor the gap in the Swords. She doesn’t want to. She is too busy feeling sorry for herself and blaming others for her predicament. She could also be using drugs or drinking heavily to numb her pain, but this is only helping to distort her predicament.  We also see a lake in the background, it is calm and clear. It symbolizes the emotions, and the emotional state she needs to reach. Only then can she achieve the mental clarity she needs to be able to see her way out. When your emotions are in turmoil, everything seems so much worse than it truly is and it is impossible to think clearly and decide the way forward.

Meditation is a big step now. Focusing the mind, clearing it of all the negativity and defeatist thinking. This is what helped me gain control over my pain levels. I can now tune out, relax, and actually get some sleep. Being sleep deprived is no help at all, it all just becomes a vicious cycle.

If our heroine can achieve these things, find some faith in herself, her ability and her body, which has seemingly turned on her;  she will then find she is able to slip her bonds and walk away from the restrictions of these eight swords.

Only then can she begin her journey towards her castle.

Her castle, her healing.

Categories: Minor Arcana | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Devil

Devil

The Devil is ‘one of those cards’.

It has the potential to strike fear in the hearts of those it chooses.

Along with The Tower and Death, it is one we wish to avoid.

I can see the positive in both the Tower and Death cards, the chance for renewal, change, a new phase of life.

I have lived through them both and emerged for the better.

But, for me, the card that I am truly fearful of is The Devil.

Not the Devil himself, I am not a christian, I don’t believe in a “devil”, but the Devil of our inner most wants and desires, that all-consuming “need”.

 

For me, The Devil is addiction.

Alcoholics and addicts know The Devil all too well.

It is that screaming need inside, the constant drive for oblivion, the more, more, more that drives every addict.

I know this, because I am one.

I am a drug addict.

Prescription pills.

Hillbilly Heroin.

Oxycontin.

Oxy is my poison and my love.

I can no longer do without it, and the thought of running out makes me sick with dread.

 

You probably judge me, condemn me from your ivory tower, safe from addictive substance.

But you are only an accident, a painful illness, an injury away from being in my shoes.

I did not choose this, I really had no choice.

 

I have chronic pain, unusually, in my knee.

For most it starts in their back, but I have always had bad knees.

As a child, a simple fall could plunge me into agony.

When I tore my ligaments as a young teenager, they were never properly repaired.

My knees have been an ongoing problem and source of pain and disability throughout my whole life.

 

Several years back, I had found a job I loved.

I was one year away from being a qualified Metal fabricator.

Unusual for a woman, but I’m not your ordinary woman.

I built rock crushers, heavy fabrication.

I loved it and I was good at it.

Then the knee pain started.

I was forced to take a year off work, stuck in bed, in constant pain.

You soon find out who your friends are in times like that, and I found I had no one.

If it wasn’t for my Husband, I know I wouldn’t have gotten through that dark time.

 

It took me years to accept that I would have to live with this pain, probably for the rest of my life.

The Doctors couldn’t help me, I was passed around between departments, round and round in circles, half mad with the constant daily struggle of living with strong pain.

It wasn’t till I came to the pain clinic that I found a Doctor that knew what was happening.

This non-stop, unexplained pain had ruined my life.

The solution? Drugs. Hard drugs.

I was not naive, I knew what that meant.

But the constant driving pain, I would sell my soul to be rid of, and that is what I did.

 

I don’t take massive amounts, but it is high.

I don’t abuse it, I stick to my prescribed limits.

Of course, the temptation is always there, but I’m well aware what that leads to.

An extra pill here and there is so easy to justify, I’m in pain!

But that is a very slippery slope.

 

It could be argued that the real devil, when it comes to addiction, is tolerance.

The constant need for more.

The body will always want more.

You have to understand that this kind of addiction, opiates, is so very physical.

It annoys me when I hear people flippantly speak of addiction, they have no idea.

That merciless pull.

The monster that rears up inside you, roaring for more.

So take a bit more, it’s all good.

But that never lasts, it’s not long before you need a bit more.

And on and on this will go.

It is truly chasing your tail, chasing the dragon.

The more you take the more you need.

When it comes to pain, that is a pretty horrifying concept, that one day, it won’t work.

That the doses get so high, but do nothing to dull the pain, or the physical need.

Taking amounts of drugs that would kill normal people and still being in pain, still feeling dope sick.

 

The other side to this is that pain feeds of this stuff.

Being so physical, the body wants those drugs.

It will manufacture pain to get them.

These are the awful facts you have to live with when you take this kind of medication.

Doctors give this stuff over so flippantly.

Some get caught up in this, totally unaware of what they are in for, which would be so much worse.

They don’t tell you the awful bare facts of addiction.

That some mornings you will wake raw, cramped, weak and flayed alive.

Laying there waiting, desperately, for the opiate to soak into your cells, your blood, your bones, Sick with longing, with need.

Your body constantly metering the level of medication in your system.

It is such a desperate, awful and lonely feeling.

 

I could never face coming off these drugs.

Though my life has been significantly reduced because of them.

All of this has left me with very little trust in people.

I still have problems with the pain, which can recur at any time.

I can’t leave the house without my days worth of pills.

Anything could happen.

I have lost all trust in people, in the universe.

 

My Witches Tarot depicts The Devil as The Shadow Side, and that fits.

The monster they cower from, is themselves.

But they also cower from the flash of light, illumination in the darkness.

Of course, they don’t want to get out, don’t want to help themselves.

They are happy down there in the darkness, with their monsters lurking around them.

They will always shy away from the light.

And that is the truth of it.

Shadow SideYou can see the fear on her face, but still she cowers from the light.

I don’t think it is the reaper figure they are afraid of, they have learnt to live with him, to love him, even.

They are now afraid of the light.

Afraid of illuminating their souls, of looking too closely at themselves and the wreckage of their lives.

This is what The Devil brings to my mind whenever I see it appear in a spread.

It is the only card in the deck I genuinely fear.

I have even heard of people removing it from their decks, and I understand that.

But I’d rather have some warning, because if warnings were ever to be heeded, it would be the warnings that this card gives.

Beware.

Categories: Life, Major Arcana | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nine of Swords

wpid-PhotoGrid_1381128300076.jpg

Like a lot of cards within the suit of Swords, the Nine is not a pleasant card.

Here are those sleepless nights, filled with endless worry about things you cannot do anything about at three o’clock in the morning.

Those nights when your mind won’t let you rest.

You lie in bed, the release of sleep eludes you.

Unable to settle and still your mind, which runs amok with negative thought, even to the extent of clinical depression.

You are filled with a deep, black despair and feel utterly helpless, unable to better your circumstances.

Any sleep you do manage to snatch is rife with nightmares.

Your nights are filled with endless and excessive worry.

You become caught in a vicious cycle, anguish and depression leads to insomnia.

In turn, chronic insomnia amplifies the anguish.

Every night becomes a hell to be endured.

You feel isolated and alone.

 

Only you can break this cycle, you need to regain control over your thoughts.

Understand that your mind is creating this grief, anger and fear.

You are likely being very hard on yourself.

If your best friend was in this situation, what would you say to them?

 

Look at your worries objectively, try to put them into perspective.

Will any of this matter in ten years time?

Or my favorite, go outside and look up at the stars.

Our concerns seem so small in the face of such vastness, such timelessness.

Learn to appreciate the small things in life, the everyday things we take for granted.

 

Swords are symbolic of thought and communication.

So try talking to a trusted friend, get it all off your chest.

If that isn’t possible, start a journal.

Any way in which you can unburden yourself will help.

 

I have chronic knee pain.

I have lived this card and know it’s energies all to well.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it, and a long time to learn to deal with it.

I am in a good place with it now.

Pain medication helps, but more so does positive thinking.

 

I was in a really bad space.

I had gone from a healthy young woman with lots of friends and a job I loved, to being completely isolated and bed bound.

I was in unrelenting pain.

It got to the point that I wanted out.

I wanted to die.

I could see no other way through, I had no quality of life, nothing to live for.

I had convinced myself my Husband and Daughter would be better off without me.

 

Then something happened.

I was on the phone to an old friend.

He is addicted to Meth, and has a very hard and sad life.

He told me how depressed and alone he was.

I asked him what kept him going.

His answer was so simple, I didn’t really understand it till later, what it really meant.

“We just have to be happy we are alive. Just be happy to be breathing. Every morning I wake up is something to be happy for. “

Those words were the beginning of my turn around.

Once I had begun to think like that, everything started to improve for me.

Eventually I realised that my negativity and self-pity were making the pain worse.

 

The power of positive thinking, it really does change things.

I also learnt to meditate.

Meditation is learning to control your thoughts.

Being able to shut off the endless chatter of the mind.

If you are in the midst of the Nine of Swords, learning this art will be of  immense help.

 

Categories: Minor Arcana | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: