I’ve been at the Almost Giving Up point since December 2017.
One of my cousins died the week before Christmas (his mom, my mom’s older sister, died the week before Christmas 2016, making his loss doubly painful.) His personal effects, and my aunt’s, still sit in our guest room, because I can’t reach anyone on his father’s side of the family who might want a few boxes containing baby shoes, hundreds of photos, photos from his wedding (I cannot remember his former wife’s maiden name) toys, Harley Davidson cards, all the little things that a person accumulates over fifty years. The thought of throwing them out is painful, but so is seeing them every time I go into that room.
It turns out that excising the toxic people from your life can leave you nearly alone. The people who remain in my life aren’t people who could accept the real Robin . . . pagan Robin, bisexual Robin . . . so I still nod and smile in order to fit in. I’m tired of nodding and smiling.
My mom requires increasing care but doesn’t want it. I have no help. Caring for her, managing her health and finances, is becoming a full-time job and taking my attention away from freelancing at a time when we desperately need more money.
My health? I cannot get the healthcare that I need. Not in North Carolina. A single medication that’s financially out of reach could turn my whole life around. My back pain makes me feel like a doll with a broken waist joint, just hanging, bent over, and no one can tape me back together clear packing tape. Every day, I read more lies about chronic pain patients and how if we would just do this, this, or this, we’d be pain-free.
I tried that, that, and that. I’m 45. I anticipate needing a cane or walker soon, and then a wheelchair, and then who will take care of my mother?
My writing and my hobbies . . . I’m surrounded by books, art supplies, cameras, yarn. I saw a beautiful afghan on Twitter, made of granny squares of random colors. The woman making it is making a square for each chronic pain patient who requests to be added. I thought of making a quilt like it just for the beauty of it. I have everything I need in this room, within reach.
But I don’t.
I put together two altars, one to The Morrigan, one to Rhiannon and nature and my childhood self. I made Wiccan mala beads out of a set of Buddhist mala beads. I haven’t touched them. I had routine, a practice, and I try to keep it up, but I started thinking, why bother? Things only get worse. Maybe it’s because I gave up on Christianity and embraced paganism. Maybe “God” is punishing me. Maybe I offended one of the Goddesses. Maybe I offended the Elementals. Maybe there is no deity.
The night before last, I read two articles on Twitter and got the sign I’ve been praying for, the sign that I am on the right path. The first article was about people having the impulse to give up on their practice at exactly the time they should focus on it. The other was an article about a devotee of The Morrigan and their experiences with Her over a few years, including fallow periods and times of “making up” with Her.
I’m still not feeling the closeness to Rhiannon that I did initially. Maybe this is a fallow period. Maybe The Morrigan is dominating this part of my life, because I always hear the crows, morning and evening.
It’s enough to keep me from giving up. I bear up under the weight of each day . . . and maybe that is Rhiannon’s message.