Thursday, February 23, 2012

In the Darkness




In the darkness, the nightmares come. The things that scratch and chase, the feeling of unease and fear. The ghosts of the past, the pain and occasionally, death himself appear in the nightime carnivalesque horror show of black, grey and red. I fall and run and scream and yet I am never far ahead of my pursuers.

In the darkness, there is unfathomable sadness. I ride the waves of the dark seas, curled up and lonesome in my tiny vessel waiting the approach of an unseen shore. The cloak of depression wrapped tightly around myself, the only thing I know for sure to be real.

In the darkness, the bats fly through the blackened sky, silhouettes amongst the moon. Dogs bay in the distance, rustling in the bushes; a goblin or something worse lurks unseen and watching. And yet, when I look skywards, there among the all encompassing inky blackness of the sky; there are stars. Balls of burning gas light years away, bright beacons of hope.

In the darkness, I wind my way through the thorns and twisting paths to the land of the Crone and of the dark goddesses. Seeking wisdom and guidance. 'Do not fight the Dark', is all they say, 'for it has different lessons than those of Day.' I am comforted in this darkness and lean into in, letting it envelop me and breathing deeply, allow the truth of this place to overtake me.

In the darkness, there are dreams. I fly high above the Earth as a bird, swim deep beneath the seas and discover its mysteries without fear of suffocation. I find the strength to turn and face the things of my nightmares, to plant my feet firmly and hold my own ground. The colors of the world return, vivid blues and greens shining like gemstones. There are battles won in the darkness of my dreams.

In the darkness, the blackest seas end and I find there The Black Wolf waiting for me on the shore. The sadness doesn't dissipate, it shifts and changes broadening into something profound. Placing my hand on his warm fur, I allow the Black Wolf to lead me further inwards; into the grotto of myself. I surrender to the feelings and experience them without reservation until I become numb. Until the pain and the sadness has ended. The Black Wolf nudges me forward from my hibernation, wet nose bringing on the pins and needles of emotion. I emerge from the cave into the arms of the Torch Bearer, renewed and refreshed. In the darkness of depression I find solace in myself.

In the darkness, I watch the bats dance among the twinkling stars with childlike elation. These creatures of the night have always meant so much to me for reasons I cannot fully explain and my heart soars when I see them. The goblins rustle in the brush and I offer them beer and bread to keep their tricks to themselves. I sit quietly in the darkness, listening to Mother Night and her creatures. There are songs that are only sung here, in the darkness.

In the darkness, I am challenged.
In the darkness, I discover truth.
In the darkness, I am renewed.
In the darkness, I find hope.


******

I was diagnosed with depression in my teens after being dragged unwillingly to a hosital and beat myself up for a long time because I felt broken. I felt like there was something terribly wrong with not being care-free and happy all the time. Like the darkness was a blight and a mark of shame to be carried with my head down like a giant cross on my back. I self hurt for nearly a decade, letting the physical pain distract from the anguish of the fighting within myself. The years passed and I finally stopped fighting the cycles, I let myself be carried out to sea and allowed the black waters to wash over me. In time I dragged myself ashore, with battle scars aching, triumphant and finally able to accept the darkness within myself.

I find happiness and warmth in the light, I find comfort and renewal in the dark. They both reside inside of me and in all of us, each having a unique cycle of their own. Depression is a part of me, but I no longer suffer from it.



******

A gift of sorts to you, my loves. This song is like pure fucking magic and I belt it out while spinning 'round feeling weightless, dark and super nova beautiful.



ETA: Thank you for your concern dear ones. I no longer self hurt and right now I'm in a good place. This post started as me pondering over what to write for this week's Pagan Blog Project post for the letter 'D' and when I thought about doing a post on 'Darkness' the words just came tumbling out, like a confessional of sorts. I was initially going to write about 'Deity' or 'Diana', but as you can see, my heart had other intentions.

13 comments:

  1. This is truly beautiful, Danni. It has to be hard to find beauty in the darkness, but you obviously have.

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  2. I think learning to ride the waves out in the darkness is the key... sometimes the most beautiful work/words comes from the dark :) the darkness sometimes comes out of the blue and hits like a tidal wave, but sometimes its a gentle slow lapping around the feet slowly rising up around you. Your dark place its truly inspirational to me i too suffer with the dark times, altough not my favourite place to be some of my most tresured thoughts have come from there. I do hope you find your sunshine soon dear one x x x ty for such a beautiful post blessed be x x x

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  3. Beautiful Danni. I could drink these words forever. I get you girl, and I know you get me.

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  4. A really courageous and spiritual post Danni. I have Bipolar II disorder and identify with the pain and utter loneliness that happens because of my illness and the darkness of my own soul drags me down everytime. I've never self harmed but I understand the ritual and self destructive motivations. I'm so glad you're in a healthier place even though the dark wolf lingers near by. Our angels of light sure have a hard time protecting us, don't they? And I love your bright, cheery and beautiful new blog look to counteract your darkness.

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  5. Depression and Darkness are both familiar personas in this family. And it takes a lot of courage to both acknowledge and accept them. I feel that the true creative genius of a person lies in both the 'light and dark' - many creative geniuses throughout history have had to deal with depression or one of its many 'friends'. And learning to cope with the cycles of darkness takes an inner strength. Many Blessings to you!

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  6. There is something amazing about the darkness, isn't it? All the things the world reveals when the light is not too bright; the things we discover about ourselves.

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  7. so truly beautiful.. and so much what I needed to read... the darkness is not always something to be feared... so many times our best lessons are learned right there when we see nothing...

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  8. Danni, if there was ever any question about how special you are (which I never doubted), this post confirms it. I love the sketch (perhaps more than any of yours, which is saying a lot!) and there's so much in the text I'm going to have to read it a few more times to take it all in. I immediately forwarded it to a friend who's struggled with the same sort of darkness in her own life. Thanks so much for this, and for being who you are.

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  9. I am always amazed when someone else "confesses" to have the same darkness....cycles....as I do....and how many MORE people have the same darkness and cycles. It's such a lonely place to be and sometimes it's easy to forget that we're not as alone as we think we are.....thank you for this beautiful reminder.

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  10. Such a brave post. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  11. Hello Danni,
    I too suffer from depression and have since my teen years. For a long time I thought it was a weakness that I needed to learn how to control and just get over it.
    My husband is a pharmacist who worked for a major drug company ( he has since retired) and when we learned that depression is a physical ailment and can be inherited, I went on medication and my mood and life changed. I've been 100% better since.
    I suggest you go and talk to a Doctor who knows about depression. I had one Doctor give me religious pamphlets.
    I know how you suffer and I'm saying with love that you don't have to.

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  12. Accepting the darker parts of ourselves can be hardest of all. Our culture/society teaches that light = good & dark = bad. The balance is thrown off (or out the window all together), leaving people feeling incomplete & lost, but not knowing what they're missing. It took me a while to accept that it was OK for me to sink down into the abyss that sometimes comes knocking at my door. I'd always let the darkness take me when it wanted, but never learned anything from myself or thought to renew myself in any way. After starting down my Pagan path, it's been different. I still get depressed, but I'm also taking meds so the depression isn't debilitating. Like you, I let myself be pulled under, no longer terrified I might drown.
    I've learned the Darkness has it's own lessons & it's own way of caring for us (and teaching us to care for ourselves).
    I love what you've said above. It's as if you've plucked it from my heart as well as yours & all our sisters who live with depression, but hopefully have learned ways to accept it & no longer "suffer" from it. Love & hugs dearie. ^-^

    XOXO

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  13. btw... Florence + the Machine is all I've been listening to for days now... ^-^ I'm madly in love with her.

    XOXO

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