I know a thing or two about spirituality since I've been practicing as a witch and pagan since my middle school youth. I'm currently in my sophomore year of college, so in short I've been practicing for about 7 years
And before you say it, in case you were thinking it, no I'm not "crazy" for having my beliefs.
But I am "crazy" for having this mental illness called bipolar 1.
As someone who's deeply in tuned with the natural world, cycles, and mysticism, coping with bi polar has been rough.
Especially surrounded in a community where there's a crystal and a herb for every ailment.
That leads me to the first truth of being mentally ill while being spiritual...
You can't always cure your mental illness and that's okay!
That doesn't mean you're broken. That doesn't mean you're possessed, or there's something inherently wrong or broken with your soul. It doesn't mean you deserve what's happpening to you, or that you did some terriable crime in a past life.
You're soul is still beautiful and pure.
You're human. You're a spiritual being experiencing a human existence, and apart of that human existence is strife. We all have obstacles, we all have demons. Some of our darkness is mental illness, and that's okay.
Sure, there's things we can all do to cope with ailments. We can sleep better, or eat healthier, or exercise more. We can pray or do tarot, or do spells. We can takes meds and go to therapy. We can do a lot for ourselves. Just be pataint and understanding of yourself. Embrace yourself.
Embracing yourself comes to another point. This is more for the fluffy bunnies of witchcraft, as witchery is a board spectum...
Embracing yourself means learning to accept your light AND your dark.
As someone who struggles mentally, I know first hand about being your own worst enemy. We all have toxic traits of some sort, mentall illness or not, spiritual or not. There's this thing in witchcraft called shadow work designed to help us identify our toxic traits, embrace them, cope with them, and become a better version of ourselves.
Just because your spiritual doesn't mean you're not without darkness or without a mental illness.
This also isn't meant to be an excuse for any crappy behavior. Apart of identifying these parts of ourselves is to become a better version of ourselves.
Moving forward, another harsh truth I've learned first hand and quite personally is this...
Sometimes the lines between your spirituality and your mental illness may be blurred.
Who's right? Who's wrong? The psychiatrist or the shaman?
Are your hallucinations secretly demons? Are you destined to save the human race, or is that just another delusion of grandiose?
Now, I'm not writing the article because I have the answers. Personally, I believe there's truth to them both, but that's for me to wrestle with and not to impose on you.
What I will do is enlighten you with my experience.
I'll be the first to say it, one of the darker sides of mania is hallucinations and delusions. Really intense and acute mania can have moments, or longer, where ties to the collective reality are strained or severed.
I've had such a mania.
I've hallucinated demons, voices, bugs, and shadows. I've had delusions of demons.
Yet, a part of me is convinced that it was more then just a delusion, that what my senses felt was real.
Certainly, in some senses it was very real to me. Still is.
Apart of being spiritual is having faith. Faith in yourself, the universe, or whatever gods, or goddesses, or spirits you may have.
Sometimes, even that faith can be toxic.
A harsh truth about being spiritual is that sometimes our spirituality can lead us astray. That doesn't mean we should abanddon all our faith, althougth maybe for some thats healthy.
In another sense, sometimes the medical system is unhealthy with all the drugs and stuff they put in our system to maximize our profit. Yet, those same drugs that inhibit one person, is the same reason another person can finally live and not just survive
It's a mixed system with no easy nor right answer. The only right answer for yourself personally is found through yourself, generally through trial and error.
These are some of the harsh truths I've discovered since being both spiritual and mentally ill.
Mentally ill or not, I firmly believe
We are the universe experiencing itself.