First I want to thank you all for your kind support regarding my last post. You guys are amazing and I really appreciate it.
To update you on that specifically, I have been to the doctor, I have been given pills, and I am feeling better already. They do take about a month to six weeks to really settle in, because they have a cumulative effect, or something. In some ways it's bizarre to realise how your brain has been malfunctioning and just how much that affects how you feel on an emotional level. Basically, the pills I'm taking stop the chemical serotonin from being sucked back up by my brain cells before the next brain cell across the synaptic cleft has time to realise it's there. There are side effects, but those are getting better as my body gets used to the pills.
I'm very pleased with how things are going so far. I avoided the idea of pills for a long, long time, because I've heard real horror-stories from people regarding them not working, the terrible side effects, feeling worse rather than better. But I reached a point where I really needed them, physically, in order to feel better. And I do feel better. I have so much more energy and concentration to devote to things I want to do. I'm amazed now at how much of my energy every day was going towards just living. No wonder I was unmotivated; I didn't have any space in my mind to spare on anything. It feels good to get back to actually being alive, even though I still have a long way to go.
So I haven't held ritual for the last holiday. I feel bad for not doing so, but I also recognise that I need to spend time looking after myself and getting better. It's a shame to miss it, but I know I'm better off for it, taking the pressure off myself and so on.
Baby steps. But things are getting better.
In other news, omg, the Pope resigned! I take a lot of interest in the Catholic church because of its focus on ritual (which I find interesting and appealing) and because of its long and fascinating history. The history of Europe is tied into the history of the Catholic church; learning things like "the last Pope to resign was nearly 600 years ago" is just beyond amazing. That history is so long, and things are remembered so well, and I love that. On the other hand no one in the Vatican seems to know what to do about this situation, which is also fascinating: in an institution where so much is ritualised, so much is traditional, having a situation where no one knows what comes next is such a rarity, and that in itself makes this situation special and incredibly interesting.
For us as Pagans, the choice of the next Pope is pretty interesting. I don't feel like we as a group are under any sort of threat from a Pope or from Catholicism as a whole; for some reason that concept strikes me as a bit silly, but then again I am lucky to live in a peaceful, relatively secular country. But it's still nice to be respected. I'm not sure Benedict commented on Neo-Paganism much - if he did, I wasn't paying attention - but he wasn't very nice to traditional and animist African believers, with whom many of us feel a sort of religious kinship on the basis of being animists or similar ourselves (although calling them Pagan? not sure I would.... on the basis that they'd probably reject the label themselves and fair enough too).
So the Pope not being a dick, that'd be keen. Turkson seems like a decent chap, or at least less of a dick than most of the others, although I've not made much of a study of cardinals and wouldn't know, really. Still, if I had a vote, I think I'd vote for him.
Or Stephen Fry.
Much love, you guys!