I am usually one to think and write in metaphors and symbolism to keep the reality of my inner demons somewhat out of the public domain. Today really isn't much different except I am willing to name a few of those demons for what they are. Expose them to the light. Rob them of some of their power. The last few months have been a brutal, painful, arduous, revealing self-exploration. I truely feel as if I have been through a trial by fire. Fortunately, my nature is Fire, and so despite the flames licking, scorching and burning, I did come out mostly unscathed, though a tad singed. But I have been forced to deal with inner demons. Forced to come face to face with truths about myself that are undeniable, and that shape my personality, the very core of my Self.
As my difficult trial by fire reached a chaotic crescendo last month (or dark, frozen abyss depending on the perspective) I found that I could no longer fight the good fight without allies. Not just the casual alliances of friendship, but the strong, well-trained alliance of professionals. My professional demon hunters, if you will. I sat through several different assessments, defeated and exhausted, choking out my tale, hearing words of sympathy and understanding. More than once I saw that flicker in their eyes that made me fear I would not walk out under my own power, or be allowed to leave at all. I know it was my willingness to speak truths, listen and understand words of advice, and prove the mettle of my fight, that convinced all involved that I was safe to unleash back into the world. I have long known I struggle with demons, my own personal little beasts that possess me from time to time. But through the years I have managed to keep them caged, pacified, somewhat controlled, or at the very least, maintained. But now I had reached that hellmouth dimension where they were ruling my life, unleashing thier raging power, wresting control from me. I fought with every fiber of my being, every trick, every ploy, trying to recage and restrain. Nothing worked for more than a brief moment, then they would return more powerful and chaotic than before.
Chaos seemed to be the ruling force. As we all know, demons thrive on and dispense chaos as their favorite habitat. They live for and within chaos, and so will feed it, nurture it and release it out upon their chosen victims. I was their Chosen One.
Forced to seek out allies to ensure my own survival also forced me to confront these demons head on. There was no other way. I have long known I am borderline bipolar, the only thing making it borderline is that during manic episodes I never do anything harmful or destructive (I guess that is a silver lining). And during the depressive state I would never have thoughts of self-destruction (Suicide? Never! Homicide? Well, now...). I walk a fine line most of the time, balancing health, nutrition, fitness, self analysis, self exploration, meditation, and stress management. It is a very fine line, and a difficult one. This line was finally crossed, my balancing act shot to hell, my life tumbled into the hellmouth. My demonspawn were unleashed upon my world. The only way to limit the damage was to come to terms with the realities of being a Demon Keeper.
A proven way to gain control over demons is to know their true Name. I know I have limited my control by not knowing or refusing to name the demons that inhabit me. I know the strongest by name now: Introvert, Bipolar, Social Anxiety, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Introjective Depression. Some I have known and battled with religious fervor. Others, I could feel the weight of their presence, but did not know what lurked in the shadows. I have Named. I have pulled them into the Light. I have weakened their powers.
The hard reality of being a Keeper of Demons, is just that, I am a Keeper. The demons are mine. They are mine to tame, control, leash. But they are truely mine, a part of my psyche, and will always be a part of the multitude of facets that make me unique. I am striving to develop a working relationship with these demons of mine, for they are not Evil, they are Fire and Chaos. As one who has always had an empathy for beasts, both wild and domestic, and had the ability to tame with love even the most irrascible, I know I can conquer these demons of mine. I will harness their powers for my own use. Channel their energies and use them to restore mine. I will allow myself to revel in the Fire of Chaos when it is unavoidable as it is a stimulating alternative to stagnation and apathy. I will accept, love and cherish them, these Fire Demons of mine. I will learn to understand their nature, as I am understanding mine. For they are part of me, part of my nature, part of the Fire.