I had been feeling upset with the difficulty I have been having in organizing my thought to post. As I was juggling the household chores, bills, and caring for a sick child today, I told myself that I really couldn’t make myself try to write up blog entries on top of it all. It has been a long, tiring, and trying day today. (Any one with suggestions for how to prevent earwax build up issues for children, please let me know. Irrigation and drops work only so well. And wiggly kids don’t do a good job of holding still for either.)
About dinner time, I hit the point where I was ready to have a melt down of my own. My youngest was screaming and crying about how he didn’t want dinner (after nearly throwing a fit over the idea that he wasn’t getting his peanut butter and jelly sandwich because he thought I was giving him his brother’s ham sandwich). I discovered that the pork ribs I had planned to make for Beloved and I to have for dinner had spoiled. And I was somewhere between cranky because I was hungry and ready to scream from frustration. It always scares me when I hit this mental point because I feel like there is a jumble of pure chaos in my head and I can’t think clearly. It is even worse when I’m hypomanic (which was a few days ago).
Fortunately, Beloved got home from work just in time to manage the kids as I attempted to broil some hamburgers and make myself some macaroni and cheese. As I was dealing with food stuff, it struck me that this feeling like there is a howling storm inside my head hits me on a bunch of different levels. There’s the obvious sense of anxiety and frustration that comes from such a tense mental state. And there is the obvious short temper that comes with it. But, at the same time, I find myself feeling like I’m screaming into the howling wind on a spiritual level with no resolution to what has me screaming. I find myself feeling like the gods and spirits are all just beyond my reach, circling around me in the storm. It is a nerve wracking feeling because my anxiety tells me that I’m being judged.
After I got some food in me and I had some time to calm down, I looked at that storm analogy and tried to figure out if there was some way to make that into something more user friendly. To be honest, when you feel like you’re on the verge of screaming insanity, it is hard to channel it into something useful. Usually, when I hit that point, I dissociate some to give myself some breathing room. Otherwise, I start stammering, trembling, and becoming more prone to shrieking over the stupidest things. It is a horrible feeling of helplessness to have that chaos in my head taking over everything. Thus, I escape it by turning off some of my responses to it. My therapist says this is not the healthiest option for how I can handle it. I’ve yet to find something that works better, to be honest.
But, sometimes I actually can manage to channel that storm into something. Sometimes, that sense of howling chaos in my head comes with an eerie clarity that allows me to see an action that needs to be taken to resolve the problem that lead to it arising. Usually, it happens in cases where I have been stoked to rage over some injustice and I channel all of that energy into solving the problem. It is not a comfortable place to be at. It scares me some after the fact. But when I have a place for that storm to go, it is amazing to watch it unfurl rather than try to tear me apart. Because when I ‘ride’ that storm, I will not rest until my mission is completed. It is a dizzying sensation and I find myself caught in a measure of ecstasy when it happens, only to have it go out like a blown out candle when it is complete.
Odin is the god of wisdom. He is also a god of madness. And of fury. I think all these things are tied together. And I think that when we manage to take the madness and turn it into something we can use, his hand is there aiding us. He’s claimed me as a daughter. At first, I found myself uncomfortable with the idea. The Hanged God is not known for being a gentle deity, nor for being one to keep his people on easy paths and to coddle them. Then it struck me today, Odin is the god of the storm. This storm inside me is as much from him as it is a product of the constellation of suck that is my history. And I wasn’t angry with this, which seems a bit odd. No, I’m actually thankful for it. Because it is a sign that Odin is always with me. It is a weapon he has put in my hands so that I may break down barriers before me and crush my opposition, even when it is my own illness.
Anger is like a firestorm in my head. I feel like everything speeds up and I am going to start screaming and throwing stuff. It scares me sometimes. Well, more often than sometimes, but it is also perhaps one of the most powerful weapons in my arsenal. Because sometimes scorched earth tactics is the only appropriate answer to the problem and sometimes you need to scream with the voice of a hurricane to get heard. Wisdom lies in recognizing when those are the correct response to the situation and I think that each time I hit this mental/emotional/spiritual storm inside me, I am learning more about how to deploy it to my advantage.