are words I have often heard from those kin in my life who have stayed and held fast through my manic depression tempests;
those who have seen me fully stand in the power after the build + destroy chapters; the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, the sabotage states, where tooth and claw came forward and rent careful tapestries asunder in feats of wild fury
i have this kind of beast within me always.
On the illuminative spectrum this is the force behind my artistic prowess.
I have harbored a love for werewolves and shapeshifter stories since I was young and this is an imaginative and relatable realm of mythos for me.
Manic Depression (later, an ADHD diagnosis) comes with a root system of historical associations / cognitive disassociations / spiritual destruction.
fortunately, I dove
headheartfirst into the arts.
arts for disguises, for armor, for pathways back to heart space, for translation, for safety, for functioning
to lead with the need for healing;
to touch the intuitive sense we’re needing;
And my mind is limitless and expansive –
I can mold and adapt and shift into any shape:
this: worthy of celebration
that what makes me different is necessary: deep sensitivity so finely steeped; more grounded, is more real, is more than this
is beautiful, is still beyond the defining
is a guardianship, is a way of protecting;
observe, reflect, and feel deeply what surrounds me
consciousness wholeheartedly embodied
as it is in all things, being, each / other
For most of my life I did not know that these words or identities were mine. Could not claim them. Never liked labels. Despised institutions. Had mostly negative experiences with doctors and, like my upbringing dictated, dwelled on the negative factors rather than holding close to those who did help ~ whose guidance was integral to the steady flow of arriving (and this is truth; this is a constant process of showing up)
Had not yet learned that owning up and giving in and trying again is a redemptive and healing path.
That I am still a strong person. That my willingness to lead makes me a Warrior. That I am still powerful. That I am a wild wombyn living. It is within my making.
I am a storyteller. A weaver of bridges. This is the distillation from the breadth of my mental expansion and talents.
I know this now.
I hone this now.
But i had a head trapped with deflated self-conscious narrative that often interrupted proper learning and pleasurable physical participation.
Couldn’t find the right language to answer to my aches in the world of detachment I was born in.
So I ran. I fought. I flew. From everyone, everything, myself. Went far. Went howling, went seeking.
Followed voices, my mystic mystery for sense, pulled through the world by the threads of the environmental webbing ~
the ecological communions reaching me through the lens as I am equipped to receive them ~
art, again, as the sacred channeling way of interpreting;
found joy and felt natural in that waywardness; that lone wolfing;
Held Fast to these fibers of feeling. Landed where the heart spun. Created. Conjured. Destroyed. Repeat. (destruction trailed shortly behind a blazing stride)
Always, always these places I want to be are spaces abundant with wilderness. Alaska. Wyoming. Remoteness. “Alone”-ness but not alone. Solitude from People but the Communities of People are Strong and well-tethered. I love and want to be where Wildlife are patron saints. My teachers, the elk and the aspen, the river and the rocks. These are wonders. These are what deserve enchantment. These are who I give my gifts to.
I struck out on my own / internalized safely in my moonlit world since I was young and was vaguely aware of my otherness – could read it in the expressions in social circumstances, but never understood, or never bothered to locate it: did not know how to find it. Developed a keen sense for masking and adapting in response to the unease in my gut. Shape-shifting.
My coping mechanisms are art and the outdoors. Anchors.
The land is my healer. The land needs our healing; needs us to love ourselves the way they love us.
I ritualized my life. My days. Made ceremony for my mind. I wasn’t always consistent, but learned, overtime, the craft of maintenance, have found, finally, the art of balancing ~
(and learning that the subtle but potent poisonous influences on an internal narrative was shaped by white supremacy / the ripples cast from language that normalized trauma and denied the worth of self care – as I was exposed to broadly over the past year ~ was a large missing clue to an otherwise anxious riddle that underlined my every thought on the especially tragic trenches of depression. Mired in the muck of their separatist / individualist illusions.)
the real unlearning began when I recognized this and it has been like a return to some core part of me that I didn’t know could be nurtured ~ I always knew, I always felt, I always sensed ~ but had not touched the source yet.
saw, overtime, that manic breakdowns especially within sexual relationships came from a dishonesty within myself and a cluttered heart stream so laden with false narrative that the way to the body and the feeling was confused.
I didn’t understand them. Didn’t know how to communicate in that place, or how to receive meaningful affection. Didn’t know how to trust my gut. Didn’t know what was real whenever intimacy was involved. I used to not want to be touched at all. Or struggled with it. I hope now to work out of that mode: to surrender into safe space for touch and intimacy and sacred connection, to teach my body how to let it in: make loving
(am i even capable of this?)
that, something says, is a sign of a lack of self-acceptance.
for a while, recently, I gave up. I drowned. I think many people who love me saw me suffering and swinging and knew not what to do, not what to say, knew not how to help. Were intimidated. Which is something else I hear and don’t understand.
and I never asked for it. Help, that is. How could they know, if i didn’t speak up? what room had I for self-analysis when I couldn’t accept myself? I didn’t even know that I needed help.
(so I did what I always did: I ran. I escaped. Went away, worked it out on the page, on a walk in the woods, told no one ~ and on this particular day, writing this, living in Wyoming right now, I abandoned my life in Alaska to return to these hills and do what I have always done to heal and navigate my familiar internal world: wander, wonder, and find my way back)
to find love language for roots: stability
after looking upon a trail of certain wreckage
this must be what accept yourself means
now, I fully see, I fully feel, I fully experience ~ that this is our generation’s greatest gift: our sensitivity, and our awareness, and our dismantling of spells and illusions that crafted the thought forms of unbelonging to begin with. This is our big medicine: our mapping of ourselves. Our sharing of ourselves. Our demything of ourselves. This medicine can then be given to our place; our community; our environment.
recently I am moving out of the cycle of silence as I open myself to the bravery of vulnerable generations: those people who own their diversities /
disabilities and take down the stigmas around mental illness health one honest collaborative revelation at a time. Empowerment in the community of connecting with others who are experiencing it too, and unveil the devastating causes that conjured these dis-eases.
Our health is the earth’s health.
How we treat ourselves is an impact on the environment.
We pull forward with our tools and resources to address and sit within the shadow realms of our dueling dualities.
Where we learn from being within these places of discomfort.
From where we grow: darkness, as it has been made to phrase
although darkness is indifferent to this: darkness just is
and that beast within me ~
they are quieter now. Present, but not prevalent.
My unity with it is my refusal to shame it.
My refusal to negotiate with my shadows.
My refusal to perform against it.
My refusal to deny it.
i was raised to ignore it, suppress it ~ wear a facade against the deeper vulnerabilities of its lesson; such a creature has something to say, something to give, something to offer ~ leans into the shadows and the grievances of the world ~ listens attentively, deeply, sincerely ~ draws nectar from this secret place where truths reside
and delivers through the gifts
of art, of heart
this beast became passive in the echo of stories that were meant to passify, nullify and destroy passion ~
underfed, contained, shamed
and out passion came, in brilliant flame, with pieces to pluck out of the ash after a full burn
how does one return from experiencing episodes of ‘psychosis’?
that has been my biggest question and journey of redemptive fulfillment. What was already estrangement on my end was further deepened after I experienced some catastrophic breakdowns when I lived in Alaska.
I will reveal that psychological cartography over time
in tandem with
this our return to our sensory perceptions within and around our environment
as I am still mapping the path back to my own mind heart before I lost it
gathering back into wholeness, conciseness, thought-full-ness that is not bewildered by bullshit belief systems
(I fell for them for so long)
day by day, and rooted in conscious, self-loving ways
that there can now be belonging even in the naming
accepting that this is a part of me, is an energy worth channeling, and loving it with common grounded understanding (that we are wild, wild, wild things living):
and from where did it come, and what is the method to lighten the burden of this knowing?
for a long time I never understood what the declaration of accept yourself was founding; accepting myself or loving myself, only to later recognize that there is a certain stasis to the word that I couldn’t find a footing with ~
love love is a verb, love is a doing word
and what I am doing today, is writing in love:
writing this from a functional, balanced, clear landscape
I am choosing to trust and to nurture transparency
Real authenticity, to ask the right questions, lovingly / nurturing
fearless – emboldened to reclaim
and stepping forward on being seen
this is my own forming on rewilding
Here is where I give back what is not mine to carry any further:
what wounds imprinted and pressed upon my body, inherited from a system, from a family, from a story passed down ~
My catholic mother raised on a dairy farm, drawn from a long bloodline of farmers, ranchers, laborers, immigrants from Holland
My militant father from a broken home, drawn along a threadbare canvas of intelligent poets with mental ‘disorders’, Irish / Celtic / German eccentrics
here now is my gift of lifting spells cast before I was born
passed through womb portals, my mother’s mother’s mother
my father’s father father seeding, an internal code kneading;
their blueprint, what they did not know, what wounds they internalized became mine before they knew the tools to speak of them: and what I can now bring to fold forward
in our revolution
as many times as we need renewing
never stagnant, always moving
to open myself is an opening for them, too