Quiet in Your Absence

In my last entry, I mentioned that I have not felt the presence of my gods for the last several weeks. That remains true today and I have spent much of the last week thinking on that. Am I sad that my gods have been silent or, rather, that I have not heard them? Of course. I adore my gods and having them be missing in my life is difficult. But unlike the events of Anubis’s abandonment years ago, I am not a broken shell with them gone. I do not sob and lay curled on the floor of my bedroom, weeping as I clutch at my throat where my pendant once lay. I do not mourn the loss and beg forgiveness for whatever slight I performed that offended them. Instead, I quietly continue about my days and hope they will return soon.

But, additionally, I admit that the gods have not been the forefront of my mind of late.

Since early December, my main goal has to better myself and to get healthy, mostly in mind but in body as well. I began taking medication to help with my anxiety and my depression, things that have haunted me and made life difficult for the last year; my anxiety has been around for most, if not all, my life and only got worse a year ago, sending me into a dark depression. But I made the decision to go on medication finally, having refused the idea for years. This idea of taking a pill that could make me better scared me. On the one hand, it made me feel weak. Wasn’t I good enough on my own? I’m a survivor, a fighter. I know my limits and I know how I can bend them and break past them. On the other hand, it felt like I would no longer be myself, something I’ve heard others voice as well. The idea of taking a pill and experiencing “false” emotions, something I was being chemically altered to feel versus how my body naturally experienced its life and reactions. That scared me, more than I can say.

Finally, I sat down with myself and thought hard on the idea of medication. What ultimately ended up changing my mind was a two-parter: I saw how much my anxiety and depression were harming The Boyfriend and the detriment it was doing to our relationship; and I knew that I was broken but that the pills would help fix me. So I spoke with my therapist and set up a physical with primary care that a friend referred me to. The doctor and I hashed out the issue and she had me fill out one of those questionnaires they have you do to see where your emotional state is. She gave me a prescription and directions on how to adjust my doses, warned me about the side effects that I might deal with and how to counteract them (e.g. eat shortly after I take the pill or take it with food to alleviate the nausea; my anxiety might get worse for a bit but it will balance out in a few days). I went to the pharmacy and filled the prescription and set the pills on the table. I did not take them for a few days, still weighing the thought of them in my mind. Finally, after putting it off as long as I dared, I took the first dose.

And that first week was bliss. I felt stronger, mentally, than I had in awhile. My confidence in myself boosted and I just felt better overall. The second week was rougher. I had to up to a full pill after six days and my anxiety got worse at times, but I realized quickly that though the anxiety was bad, I bounced back quicker. After three weeks, I upped to a pill and a half instead of the two pills she had suggested, not wanting to double the dose suddenly (checking with my doctor at the follow-up, she said that was fine and understood my caution since I had experienced a rough patch when I went from half a pill to a full pill). And then, with her say-so, I upped to two pills. That is where I am at now. And honestly? I feel pretty good. This week has been a little rough, but my hormones are a little out of whack this week and I think it’s reacting to the meds in that way.

My health had to come first. I set aside many things to work towards my own happiness, such as quitting a job that caused more stress, as much as I enjoyed walking dogs and seeing them every day. I’ve taken up writing again, both here and personal works. I find joy again in the little things, like a good mug of cider and the smell of the air after a rainfall or getting the chance to open the windows in the winter to let fresh air into the apartment. The scent of clean laundry and a fresh blanket for bed. It’s little things and I have very far to go, but I am slowly getting better. I can see the strength in my hands and feel it in my limbs. Going outside, I am more confident and I’ve been able to do things the last week or so that I have been unable to do for almost a year. I can go longer periods of time without washing my hands or feeling the compulsory need to do so. It’s been pretty great, actually.

I’ve always believed that the gods will help me if I help myself. I am capable and sometimes I will fall or falter or even fail. But my intent is true and my goals are set and they will guide me in the darkness.

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