Busy busy, no time to waste!

I have had a number of blog posts almost written this last week. One about the most marvelous wild raspberry jam I made, and one about a this year’s disastrous blackcurrant jelly (it didn’t set, so basically I have lots of sweet blackcurrant sauce). And a couple of cat posts for Katzenworld!

But alas, I have been unable to write properly since I got back from the Netherlands. The reason is no great unknown –  next week is Medieval Week in Visby and I am busy sewing. While navigating a chaotic world of panic and anxiety, as I’m still not really recovered since my last downfall. So basically my days at the moment look something like… this:

Breakfast -> short burst of sewing -> mini panic attack -> short burst of sewing ->anxiety attack -> short burst of sewing -> go outside to pick some berries in attempt at not panicking again -> panic anyway -> collapse, feeling like I just ran a marathon.

 

Yeeah, it’s not great! But it’ll be alright. I’m so far pleased with how the sewing project is coming along, and I think I’ll manage to finish it before Visby. (It’s that or go nekkid! I can’t fit in my old clothes at the moment. *sadface* )

 

So now, blogging will have to wait. Or well, I did manage this little update! That’s a success, I believe. Now I need to get back to sewing, wish me luck!

Blood of Man – Hypericum perforatum – St John’s wort

Hypericum perforatum, also known as perforate St John’s wort, is in many countries classified as a noxious weed. It surprises me! A noxious weed, now that sounds unpleasant and prickly, perhaps even painful. It certainly doesn’t sound like a beautiful flowering herb with well known medicinal properties! But that is just what it is.

In Swedish we know the herb as Johannesört, or as I recently learned, mannablod – an old name meaning ‘blood of man’. It grows in my garden on a sunny south-facing slope, not planted and by design but as a part of the wild and natural flora. In fact, it is not until recently that I have been entirely certain of it being the genuine Johannesört, as there are other varieties which look very, very similar. One in particular is common around here, called ‘square’ Johannesört. And with recently, I actually mean yesterday, as it wasn’t until then that I was entirely certain.

How do I know then?

The first clue is in the latin name – perforatum. If you pick a leaf of the genuine kind and hold it up against the light, you will see what looks like tiny pin prick holes through it. The other one doesn’t have this. The second clue is in the Swedish name of the variety – the ‘square’. It refers to the shape of the stem; the genuine Johannesört has two ridges, while the other one has four – giving a cross-section that looks (and feels) square.

Yesterday as I and the husband took a long walk around the area I took the time to properly look at the herbs we encountered, and interestingly it seems as though the genuine kind, the perforate St John’s herb, is rather rare while the square variety grows in abundance in the area. Which makes me properly motivated to care for the ones growing on our little plot of land!

Now why is this herb interesting in the first place? Oh, there are several reasons.

For starters it is, as I already mentioned, a well known medicinal plant with proven effect on treating depression. Helping a person to relax, it’s also used as a sleeping aid. It has also – in Sweden at least – traditionally been used to give flavour to brännvin, ‘schnaps’ (giving the very alcoholic drink a neat little anti-depressant side effect, yes!).

Now, before I go on, I need to mention that this is not a medicinal plant that you should ingest without proper research. Most importantly it may have a direct adverse effect in combination with other medicines, to the degree where it’s completely un-advisable if you are already on other medication. And that includes birth control pills, which the St John’s wort may screw up. Oh, and if you are bipolar you should also avoid it, as it may give an increased risk of mania. So, be careful. It is medicine, not to be taken lightly.

What else?

Magic. Oh yes. There is a long, long tradition of using this herb for things unacceptable for modern science. For one thing it’s been considered to have powerful protective abilities, and has been long used to ward off evil spirits.

There is much more to learn, but I am going to stop here for now. If you are curious I urge you to google ‘perforate St John’s wort’ or ‘Hypericum perforatum’, and see what you can find. And again, be careful with how you use this herb. It is useful and powerful, but not inherently safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rambling

I have not been posting often lately, but do not think I am gone. I’m here, still climbing up from this well of misery the latest failed ivf-attempt brought.

 

It’s silly really, how thin-skinned I get. A single word of critique or insult has me breaking down in tears. The slightest bit of stress makes my heart pound at double speed. I’m fragile, so damned fragile.

 

I hate being fragile.

 

I hate a great many things about me, really, but that’s one of the aspects that causes me the most trouble.

 

See now, this post wasn’t meant to be about such things, but here I am anyway. Falling right back into the well of self-pity that I detest so much.

 

Bloody hell.

 

 

 

Actually I meant to write something about faith, and of the path I am called to walk down. I meant to tell you more of She that is the Night Sky, of what She has taught me, of what I see in Her. But I can’t. As I sit down by the computer to write I feel it with overwhelming clarity: This I am not to speak of. You learn it yourself, or you don’t.

 

It’s surprisingly difficult not to speak of. I suppose there is still a childish part of me that wants to run up to mum and shout “look what I found!” It’s the same impulse now, only in a more adult context. Wanting to share what I’ve seen and learned.

 

But no.

 

Ghraourgh.  Enough. It is time for bed, the dreams await. Good night!

I’m only sleeping

A few days ago, on Monday morning, I crashed. The night before I was crying myself to sleep after some unwelcome news and in the morning everything felt dark and dull. I poured myself a cup of  tea and sat down on the couch. Had a sip and looked out the window. And everything just stopped.

Couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. Just sat there.

My husband got worried of course. I wanted to tell him it was alright, but I couldn’t get the words out. It was difficult enough just to move my eyes to look at him. Stuck, I felt stuck in my own head.

He drove me to the hospital, to this emergency psychiatric place. Thoughts kept spinning in my mind, it may have looked like I was half asleep but it was quite the opposite. I was aware, fully aware, painfully aware of every little detail. My uncombed hair. My husband’s concern. The chatter of others in the waiting room.

There was a woman there, waiting for her turn, who started talking of babies. On and on she went, describing her previous pregnancies and how giving birth was the best thing ever, the best, the best. Husband told me not to listen but I couldn’t stop it. I listened, and felt close to blacking out. My head was about to explode it seemed, I couldn’t breathe and everything hurt. I hurt, the world hurt, the woman’s words hurt.

I couldn’t sit there listening. In a full panic I fled into the nearest bathroom and sat down on the floor, in a corner, crying.

We were at the hospital for half a day. I talked to doctors – or rather they talked to me while I merely managed to whisper a few stray words in return – and got pills.

Once home I slept.

The day after I slept.

And the day after that.

Despite sleeping all day I’ve also been able to sleep all night, so my waking hours have dwindled to barely more than a handful per day. I’m exhausted, absolutely exhausted. All I want to do is sleep.

I wish I could just make it stop. I wish I could be normal. I wish I wouldn’t hurt my husband like this. I wish the pain would stop.

 

They call me from the hospital every day now, to check on me. They keep asking if I want to kill myself. Every day they ask. I keep saying no. They don’t seem to believe me. But I keep saying no. I won’t. Even though I feel worthless, even though I’m sure my husband would be better off without me, I won’t. I want to live. I want to grow old. And I want to see this hell through and come out victorious on the other side.

Hurting

I  am not doing great. It is Friday and I should be happy for the upcoming weekend, for the summer warmth and for the chance to simply hang out with my husband. To enjoy the garden, cuddle the cats, keep writing, keep working on that embroidery too that I’m so proud of.

 

Instead I just hurt. I cry. I do my job but without pleasure, with every minute stretching out to last an hour.

 

By necessity I am trying to face and accept the possibility that we won’t ever have a child. Wondering when to say stop, when to give up, when to decide that it won’t happen. But that acceptance does not come easy. The questions hover over me like a dark cloud, blocking out the sun.

 

I’m not doing great. It hurts, badly.

Still here, still waiting

I woke up in the darkness of night with a funny feeling. A funny wet feeling. SHIT, I thought, I’ve started bleeding.

So I hopped up to the bathroom to check. No blood. The wetness, I don’t know what that was, something clear/white. Perhaps remnants of the pills I shove up there three times a day, hormone stuff to make things uh, better? I really don’t know what it does. The clinic never really said. They just gave pills and said here, use these. And I’m a good girl who does as she is told, at least in this context.

My lower abdomen aches as it so often does right before I start menstruating.

I don’t think I’m pregnant this time either.

 

 

On a brighter note, remember the blade I mentioned buying? I held a little ceremony last night to symbolically tie it to myself, make it mine and only mine. Even beforehand I felt energy rising, and once it was time I was just in the right mindset.

It wasn’t dramatic. But it was beautiful. Even though I was a little clumsy in certain aspects of the procedure, it went well and left me with a feeling of calm certainty and strength.

It also made it clear to me how much I have to learn. Not through books and articles, but through doing. I learn the most there, at the shrine or during meditation and ritual. Not merely trial and error in a practical sense, but in a spiritual one too. Each experience allowing for a step forward. I  am curious to see where it will lead.