Pagan Federation: New Poetry Book!

I’m very excited to announce that The Pagan Federation Anthology of Pagan Poetry (Volume 1) has been published and is available to buy on Amazon.

I have two poems in the anthology, plus there’s poetry from Dan Coultas (who brought the anthology together), Eleanor Rose, Krystal Holmes, Jenny Luddington, and The Bee- plus loads more amazing pagan poets.

All proceeds from the book go to fund the Pagan Federation, the organisation supporting the rights of Pagans right across the U.K.

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pagan-Federation-Anthology-Poetry/dp/171032693X/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Pagan+poetry&qid=1575569591&sr=8-2

In a pickle…

…But some of these fruits and vegetables

Are still good

A little soft

A little wobbly

A little less sweet

Just add some sugar

And soak it in

vinegar

Let the sharp bubbles

Oxymoronically float…

Read the rest on my Patreon, available for all paying tiers from £1/$1 a month.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/31835033

Poem snippet!

…I tip my head and a golden god

Pours amber over my face and neck

Glowing honey

Apple-light and pebble smooth

Like the stones beneath my feet…

A snippet of a poem written for an upcoming project, I can’t say much right now but it’s very exciting!

November

Find out what I’ve been up to in November over at Patreon.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/31811481

This post is public, but if you become my Patron you get access to exclusive poetry and music not available anywhere else. Thank you for all your support!

You Know it’s Samhain When…

Your husband can’t get out of the house because things keep randomly falling over, mostly on him.

Stuff keeps disappearing and then turning up in odd places.

You go into a room and something scuttles away into the corners, My Neighbor Totoro style.

You mournfully wish our loud that your lost slipper would appear and it does, where you already checked, several times.

The volume on the telly seemed to shoot up for no apparent reason.

The spirit world is supposedly closer at this time of year- we’re certainly feeling it today!

Enjoy today, however you’re celebrating.

Curry Night

Stepping back into my kitchen

Which smells of

Fenugreek

Curry leaf

Happiness

A potato heavy

Vegan affair

That does surprisingly little

To soak up

Two shots of whiskey

And a glass of homemade

Cherry wine.

Step out again,

Wobble around the house

Check for the moon

Check for the fox

What does it say

Only the shrill wheeze

Of my own breath.

World Mental Health Day

Trigger warning: suicide.

It’s World Mental Health Day 2019. The focus this year is preventing suicide, and the scary fact is that someone loses their life to suicide approximately every 40 seconds.

The campaign encourages everyone to take 40 seconds of their time, to raise awareness, speak to a loved one who might be struggling, or to speak to someone yourself if you’re the one that’s struggling.

This last point is one I find challenging. I’ve often had my mental health conditions belittled and mocked, by employers and medical professionals, but also by friends and family.

The way I explain it to my nine-year-old is, “You wouldn’t see someone with a leg in a plaster cast and go kick them, would you? So with someone with mental health issues, you have to listen and pay attention to their needs.”

My concern has always been that my needs weren’t as important as the needs of others. There are reasons for this low self-worth, and I’ve recently hashed it out with an incredible and patient therapist. I’m now starting to put my own needs first. It’s difficult, especially when those who have always been able to “rely on you” suddenly find you saying “No” or not being available.

Here are a few ways I’ve changed how I deal with my mental health:

  • If I need to take time for myself, I take it and try not to feel guilty
  • I say “No” if I’m unable to do something
  • I don’t judge if I’m able to do something by the amount of time I have available but by my own energy levels and capacity to deal with things
  • I rest when I need to rest
  • I give myself lots of extra time if I need to leave the house, especially when going somewhere new, to avoid panic attacks
  • When I notice my mood dipping, I try and do something positive like writing, singing, making music, playing with the kids
  • When this doesn’t work, I confide in my husband

I’m definitely not anywhere close to recovery. I still struggle with many of these points, and am considering discussing with my GP going back onto anti-depressants for a while, as things have been tough recently.

The main thing I struggle with is how well I “mask” my problems. I am excellent at putting a brave face on and just getting on with stuff. It’s worth remembering that many people you know might also do this. Just because someone seems fine, it doesn’t mean they are. A quick message or call can make the difference between someone feeling entirely alone and knowing someone cares.

Losing someone to suicide is shattering. It can come out of the blue, or it can feel like something that’s been looming for years. If you know someone has had suicidal thoughts, no matter how flippantly they may have mentioned it, check in with them. The Black Dog Institute has advice on looking out for warning signs of suicidal tendencies here.

And if you’re the one struggling, don’t let your mental health problems trick you into believing no one cares. You absolutely matter, and the world is a better place for having you in it.

Find information on World Mental Health Day 2019 here and support hotlines from mental health charity Mind here.

There’s always someone to talk to at The Samaritans too.