I’m going to rant for a moment. Well, it will take far more than a moment, but I’m going to say something that has needed to be said for a long time. There will probably be profanity, there will be radical concepts for some pagans to grasp and it might just anger you. Which is fine, because maybe then you are thinking for yourself. I am going to put my foot down on this natural remedy/alternative medicine bullshit pagans cling to like it’s some kind of messiah and say: Stop it. Just, knock it off. If it works for you, great, but stop preaching it as gospel of being pagan.
Up until very recently, I tended to just take what people said with a grain of salt, maybe do a little research on what was recommended to me and discuss it with my doctor. But when I was amid a rather horrible bit of psychosis that had a dear friend from four states away had to talk me out of some very harmful behaviors over the internet, and a depression so bad it left me longing to cut ties with everything I loved in my life and just give up, I had an outpouring of advice from people not qualified to give me fucking advice.
Yes, I posted a bit too much about my day to day psychosis on my Facebook account and yes, I am aware that people genuinely mean well. But that doesn’t make it acceptable to shove your alternative remedies down my throat because you think it can cure me of all my ills.
In the span of three days I had a myriad of well-meaning pagans on my Facebook, pagans I know very well and some not so well, read through my medication and medical woes and offer their well-meaning, albeit stupid advice.
Last time I checked, folks, Reiki can’t cure Bipolar disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder so stop fucking assuring me that I should just let you do Reiki on me to make it all better. I don’t buy the notion of Reiki on most levels. I understand how energy and intent works, yes. But I think you have to have a connection with the individual you are working on for it to have any effect at all, and just offering it to some stranger you met in passing at a pagan event is not going to by any means help them when they are delusional and having hallucinations of all sorts. Just… no.
And to those of you who insisted that I should drop my pharmaceuticals altogether and try: an all natural all raw diet, or fish oil, or omega 3, or vitamin d (which I’m already taking, thanks so much for asking first, asshat), or St John’s Wort and the list goes on… Those of you who did that, go die in a fire. Seriously.
Do people even think about what they say for a second before they say it? If these ‘all natural remedies’ worked even in a miniscule measurable amount, don’t you think they would have been marketed as such these days or have some sort of historical documentation of it having been used in the past?
You know what they did with people with my disorder so much as less than 60 years ago even, they put us in institutions and did all kinds of crazy things to try to drown out the crazy. Earlier than that, people were put away and forgotten about. My father’s aunt spent six months in a mental hospital in the 50s and the family is so ashamed that no one will talk about it to this day. Mental Illness was something to be ashamed of in the past. There was no miracle remedy that grew out of the ground to fix us. We were locked up and forgotten about -if even given that much respect.
Herbs and oils and random energy work from strangers is NOT going to fix me.
Pharmaceuticals have saved my life on more than one occasion. And don’t preach to me that I must be cleansed of man-made medications in order to be closer to the divine. Fuck you. You have no place to tell me how I relate to the divine. Our bodies were gifts from the gods, it is our responsibility to take care of them the best that we can, and if that means using something that doesn’t fit into some hippy ‘pluck it from the earth’ only mantra, then so be it.
Because, really, in all honesty, your remedies might work… for a while. Because they aren’t really remedies. They are band-aids. Actually medications are just band-aids too, in most instances, for chronic conditions -but they have better track records of actually working. And a cocktail of tried and tested medications works more long term as a band-aid on my condition than, oh, I don’t know… grabbing the nearest leaf, stuffing some grass into your gaping maw with some lemongrass and whatever the hell else people are spouting as the wonder leaf these days, chomp on it until it’s a spit-ridden chewed up mess, and slapping it onto an open wound that wasn’t cleaned properly first to be topped with your first leaf like some weird barbaric poultice. Trust me. I know me better than you, oh well-meaning internet pagan, know me.
So stop it, all of you. Shopping at all natural stores or not taking medications does not make you better than me. Life is not a competition against your fellow man for who can live their life in the most superior sounding way possible. Life is a competition against nature for survival. And all be damned if someone is going to tell me how to save my life versus nature because I may have been dealt a few short straws to contend with. I’ll deal with them in the way that keeps me out of the hospital and alive, thank you very much. I’ll fight nature, my way. I’ll survive my way until I’m good and ready to die, dammit.
If that means taking 10 different pills a day, I’m going to do just that.
There’s a point where you mean well, and not always just with natural life choices but even when it comes down to spiritual or religious advice, and there’s a point where you come off like an uneducated asshat and more often than not, you come off as the latter. So if I have one request of the pagan masses, is to please stop it. Keep your life choices to yourself. You don’t like people preaching religion or politics or civil rights and things on you, well, I don’t like medical advice being preached on me by the uneducated.
Just… stop it.