I removed the last post for a few reasons. For one, I was alarmed and overwhelmed by everyone blowing up my phone, and I do thank you for your concern and reassurance. For another, I felt it didn’t necessarily belong here. This is a record of my religious and spiritual experiences, and to be honest, the depression and anxiety I deal with detract from that which is so vital to me. Even at my lowest of lows, when I’ve been crushed again by tangible circumstances and by my own brain, my faith has always remained firm and unshakable. I doubt myself all the damn time, but I’ve never doubted the gods. But instead of reaching out to them in my greatest need, I withdraw from them, the very same way I withdraw from the people I love. I always talk about how my gods, in Nordic tradition, are kin, friends, rather than distant, remote beings. The lore and sagas are full of stories of them walking among mortals in Midgard, and my own experience (and that of other heathens I’m privileged to know) speaks of the same. They’re not afraid to get down and dirty with humanity, experiencing what we experience, giving us a taste of what they experience. So I suppose it makes sense that when I’m ready to call it quits, I seclude myself from them as I do my parents and my friends. After all, my problems are so insignificant in the world. There’s better causes for them to dedicate their attention.
My mom called me last night. She’s worried and frustrated because I’m so afraid to ask for help. She lit into me a little bit, demanding to know where I got the idea that I’m supposed to get through things alone, without asking for the help that people want so badly to offer. She pointed out, as she has countless times before, that I’m creating impossible standards for myself, and I need to be kinder to myself and accept the help that’s being so readily given. No one is offering help out of obligation, everyone is reaching out because they want to, because I’m loved, and I should just accept it. “We love you. A lot of people love you. Deal with it.” Statler said the same over the last few days. So have others. So has Loki.
After that conversation, I was listening again. And boy, did he let me have it. Not in a scary, wrathy way. Shrill and screechy, yes, but out of frustration and worry. It’s a strange thing to, after weeks of feeling worthless and repulsive, to feel a god worry about you. I might have written it off as my brain playing more tricks, feeding me false hopes again, but I felt my grandpa Frank, too, pleading with me to listen to Loki. That’s what snapped me into full attention. Grandpa Frank, the only one of my father’s family who really loved me, the one I miss so dearly. My grandpa, whose house hosted the swarm of foxes in my dreams, the one who spoke to me of the gods he brought with him from Norway. He kept the gods close to us, and us close to the gods, and he was begging me to listen to them now.
Loki was on a tear. He ranted about my complaints of loneliness, my need for companionship. “We went over this last year!” he screeched. “After the blot, when you’d poured your heart out about your need for companionship, I came to you and I offered it! We oathed that we’d never leave one another’s sides! Haven’t I held true? I’ve always been there, even when you didn’t know it. How many times have you survived death? You’re obsessing over all of the times you almost died, all of the times you should have died, and I was always there. Do have any idea how fucking hard it is to keep you alive? Do you?! A ‘thank you’ would be nice.”
Do you have any idea how disorienting and overwhelming it is to be at the bottom of the pit, ready to give up completely, convinced of your own unworthiness, only to have a host of support come flooding toward you? I’m grateful, so grateful, but it’s still so very hard to accept. I don’t feel nearly worthy of the love of my family and friends, gods included. I feel as though I’ll only let everyone down. I feel like a fraud, the barest shadow of the person everyone thinks I am. And I have no idea how to wrap my mind around the idea of having a deity take such a keen and invested interest in my well being. I struggle with feelings of worthlessness and being a drain and burden, a failure in everything, so why the everloving fuck would an ancient, primordial energy give a shit about what I do? I’m no one. I’m nothing. I can understand my mom and stepdad worrying, and my friends, but a god? My family and friends are stuck with me, a god can do what s/he pleases. And there are hundreds of thousands of others who are more worthy and more deserving of such attention. It’s a little scary, to be honest.
“You’re not nothing,” Loki’s saying as he reads this over my shoulder. “You’re mine.”
My cats are flanking me again while I write, purring and snoring and happy I’m here to snuggle. “I can purr, too, if you want,” Loki smirks. No, thanks. Let’s not make this any fucking weirder than it needs to be.
But thanks are in order. Thank you to my friends and community who rallied with alarming speed last night. Thank you to my mom and stepdad, who yelled at me to accept the help being offered. Thank you, Grandpa, for begging me to listen. And thank you, Loki, for being here.
I’m not out of the woods yet. Far from it. But I know there’s a path somewhere ahead, and once I untangle myself from the brambles and undergrowth, I’ll be able to join all of you gathered up ahead. I hear you. I just have to follow the sound of your voices.