Mabon, balance, and bipolar

Mabon is normally one of my favorite sabbats.  It signifies a turning toward the dark half of the year, which I love.   The weather is slightly cooler, and it’s thrilling to think of the beautiful Autumn and Winter to come.  I start thinking about apples and grapes and all the soups and chili I’ll make as it gets cooler.  It’s this time of perfect balance, where the light half and the dark half of the year hang in the balance, shifting from one to the other.

It’s usually a time of balance for me too.  I take stock of what I’ve done so far in the year, and what I have left to do before Yule.  I think about my goals, and whether I’m working towards them.  I find that as the year turns from the light half to the dark half, I go within and begin doing more inner work, and my creativity goes wild too.

So this year, I was all set.  I was watching my mom’s house as she was out of town, and I brought a candle, incense, my tarot cards, and I planned on doing a very small ritual, making myself something nice to eat, and just generally enjoying some spiritual solitude.

However, I was off my meds.  For various reasons, mostly that I forgot to get my ‘scrip filled due to DragonCon, and then I thought I was doing fine.  I was doing fine.  Until I wasn’t.

So I got to Mom’s house, did a few things around the house, and began to read my cards.  I did two readings that weren’t very optimistic, and began dwelling on all the little problems and issues I have in my life.  I began staring into space, frowning, worrying about all the daily BS.  My third reading (a Celtic cross, asking about my life in general until Yule) was equally vaguely pessimistic.

So I fell into a bit of a funk.  Which got worse and worse until that night, I had fallen into a full-on depression, chock full of auditory hallucinations and irrational fear.  Have you ever laid in bed, shivering, thinking that if you could just claw your skin away, you could let the darkness out with all the blood?  It’s really not the best feeling.  Self harm seemed like the best way to cope.  But instead of succumbing, I just kept listing all my reasons for living until I began to believe my rational voice instead of the raging voices.  The struggle lasted all night.  I was exhausted the next day, but I made it.

Mom came home early, which was good.  I knew I couldn’t stay another night in that house by myself, not if I was going to try and survive it.  I knew that being home with my little routines and my little doggies and a rare glance of my husbear now and again would be much healthier for me.

So I began to think about balance.  I had really fooled myself into thinking that I was doing OK without the meds.  I was SO wrong.  The struggle with bipolar is not finding a balance, but not going to such extremes in mood.  There’s a center point, and the closer you can stay to that, the better.  That’s what my meds do for me, and as such, they are sacred.  They keep me from the wild swings, the irrationality, the terror, and the hallucinations.  They are a sacrament, a spiritual gift I give to myself.

So my Mabon was essentially shot.  But sometimes I think there’s a deeper spiritual message that comes along with things like this.  This was not a Mabon to celebrate and have fun, this was a Mabon to learn a lesson about taking care of myself.  This was a Mabon where I felt the sacrifice of the harvest in a real, terrifying way.  And I am grateful.

Faerie circle
Faerie circle


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