Yesterday, I found myself inexplicably triggered (by a TV-show of all things!) into a tiny mental breakdown. I spent most of last night crying while huddled up in a blanket, sipping tea and eating chocolate. April is a month of many dark anniversaries, and I always struggle a little throughout it. That said, it had been years since I'd been triggered to this excess. I've told you all a little about my childhood before, and I won't go further into it today, but all of this did inspired today's post, which I will come back to once I have the spoons to do so.

Mental illness in ancient Hellas was often considered as sent by the Gods, either in punishment, as a lesson, or even a reward. It depended on the illness. I don't have a mental illness; I have a complicated past, like most people, honestly. Still, I believe the Gods put us through what we went through for a reason, and I have come to accept my childhood, as I have come to accept that every once in a while, it comes rushing up from whatever chasm of your mind you hid the really dark parts of it in. I've learned to slow down when it happens, to not fight it, and to open up to as any people as possible once I get overwhelmed, because it's an area of my life I don't talk about much or easily, and there are people in my life who deserve to know about it.

I will write more about mental health and the ancient Hellenes soon, I can't put in the research required today. What I can do is share some of the Gods and Goddesses especially willing to assist when you are suffering from mental illness or a dangerously low level of mental health spoons like I am today. I'm sure it won't surprise you that many of Them also take care of the body--the two are intrinsically linked, after all.

Asklēpiós and Hygeia
The most obvious deities associated with any form of health are Asklēpiós and His daughter Hygeia. the ancient Hellenes didn't really distinguish between mental and physical health, and so both came to be petitioned for both, although Hygeia seemed especially receptive to lending aid in the mental department.

For neither Apollon, nor Dionysos who follows, I have 'from the top of my head'-sources, so file this one under UPG for today. I'll get back to it. Apollon is a healing God, and the father of Asklēpiós. By extension alone, He can also be petitioned for mental health aid, and UPG-wise, it makes sense to me; as a God of Light, that tends to be exactly what is missing in my head when I trigger; light. Hope. All I can see is what happened over and over again, and I get sad, and guilty, and dark. Apollon can burn that darkness away and offer relief to an aching head and heart.

Again, file under UPG for now, but Dionysos can bring madness, and take it away as well. He is a God whose main influence is felt on the mind, and His influence can be both positive and negative. Until I get the research in, let me tell you a story; sometimes I can feel the darkness coming on. It used to happen a lot when I was still a teen and in my early twenties, although it's been blissfully stable the last few years. Whenever I would feel that, I would dance to the loudest music I could find--uplifting music that I put on high volume on my speakers or headphones, and then I would just dance. I'd dance until I was out of breath and my feet hurt, and my back hurt, and I would pray to Dionysos to lift my burdens from me all the while. I'd dance until I collapsed, and I would always, always, feel better. That is the kind of relief Dionysos offers--the one you need to work for, the one that hurts, but also the one that is so very rewarding in the end.

I'm going back to eat healthy foods today, drink plenty of water, and I'll sleep. Tomorrow, I'll feel a lot better, and I might revisit this. I'll be praying to these Gods today, for help and in gratitude for getting me through yesterday, and hopefully, They will listen.