I don’t like talking about this: I am an intensely private man, except when it comes to religion – and I dislike giving my enemies cause for celebration. But I should probably mention this as it’s been impacting my life in a lot of ways, including here.
I have been struggling with three chronic ailments, and atypical symptoms that indicated a fourth. About 6-8 weeks ago those symptoms intensified to the point where I’ve spent nearly every day in excruciating pain. We’ve been to several doctors, eventually leading to a specialist in lyme disease who diagnosed and is in the process of treating me. I was warned that this would make things worse before they got better and that has indeed been the case. Because of the current opioid hysteria I can’t get anything effective to help manage the pain (particularly my joints, which seem always to be on fire) and alternative methods such as stretching, meditation, herbs, etc. have brought only minimal and temporary relief. And while this may be the worst it’s only one of several ailments I’m currently dealing with.
As you can imagine this hasn’t been great for my interpersonal relationships or mental health. I’ve had some pretty down days. Even contemplated suicide at one point. It’s been challenging keeping up with my correspondence, even when it’s about important religious stuff. And not just because I’m down so many spoons.
This illness has revealed some of the weaknesses in my spiritual life and practices, and created some new ones as well. I’ve had to face shit I just never thought would be an issue for me.
And you know what? I’m thankful for that.
Don’t get me wrong. This process has sucked. I wouldn’t wish it on even my worst enemies.
But in addition to bringing to light areas I need to work on it also showed me that even at my lowest, most hopeless point I love Dionysos. I will hold to him. I will do everything in my power to serve him. Even when I’m so caught up in pain and despair that I can’t see, feel or hear him. There were times I wondered if he had stopped caring about me, or worse that our whole history together had been a lie, a delusion. And I just didn’t give a shit. Dionysos is fucking awesome, whether he exists or not. I prayed to him. Made offerings. Read about him. Did what I could for his people. And whatever else I was able to, as I was able to.
And he’s made himself known to me in a bunch of small ways, and even helped when it got really bad. The fact that he hasn’t done more, and some random kledones I’ve received – later confirmed through divination – led me to believe that this was something I needed to go through, that it was in some way initiatory and so he could not interfere.
And that excites me because I think I know where this is leading.