I do not want to write this post. It is not an easy post to write, and I suspect it will not be an easy post to read, so full disclosure from the start: I am going to be talking about suicide.
I have been suicidal for a long time. Before I knew Cernunnos, I wanted to die, and since I found Him I have still wanted to die. It might have been kinder for Him to never have come to me. Life might have been easier if I had not fallen in love with a god of dying things. But He did come, and I did fall, and I want to talk about coping with it.
Sometimes He can help me cope. I love your life He tells me when the going gets tough and sometimes it is enough that He loves it even though I don’t. Sometimes He whispers me through the sleepless nights and we meet dawn together and I can feel grateful to Him for helping me through another horror. Sometimes He drags me through the nights and come morning I hate Him for it.
Increasingly He puts people in my way when I would not cope alone. There are times, though, when I need to step away from Him and I need Him to step back from me; in the moment I struggle to reconcile this with loving Him, and with the idea in my head of what a ‘good devotee’ looks like.
I adore Him. I know this. I yearn for Him, as I have spent many years yearning for dark things. I ache with the lack of Him and that is when I need to step back, because the journey closer to Him ends in something which I must try not to do.
I stepped back for some time following my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. With hindsight I can say that it was the right choice for me to have made, though not necessarily made in the right way. I needed to learn how much of my darkness was for Him and through Him and from Him. The answer, as it turned out, is – less than I had thought.
I am now learning how to do this in a way that is safer for me. Not by ignoring His darkness, or my own, but by incorporating the skills I am learning in therapy into my devotional practice. I can love the god of dying, and long for death, and remain alive. It just takes work.