It’s been a fast summer for me. My mom tells me that as you get older every year the seasons go by quicker than the year before, but at 32 I don’t like this idea. I don’t want to blink through seasons in the coming years. I want to appreciate long walks and longer days.
Fall is a fickle time. It is the darker months in which I become darker, at least that it what my past will tell you. The fall after I returned from a summer in New York City to Oklahoma at 19 was terrible. It was as though color fell away from my life with the falling leaves. That was the first time I saw a university counselor for my depression, the first time I was prescribed an antidepressant. In the following years, it wasn’t quite a pattern, but notable. Fall & winter = depressive symptoms.
A few years ago, under the advice of my psychiatrist, I bought a light box. A six inch square of artificial light that mimics the sun to help me feel less unwell. Fifteen minutes to half an hour a day I would set it on my desk so it would glow on my face. I even packed it and took it with me during my last hospitalization and it did help. If you experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I recommend getting one and using it regularly.
I didn’t have the need for it last year. I didn’t dip down uncontrollably for more than a couple of days here and there during daylight-savings time. Do you know in Stockholm there are light cafes – so you can get your morning coffee and your light fix to stave off depression? Last year they even started putting these special lights in bus stops in Sweden, a place with a notoriously dark winter.
Despite the coming darker months, I love fall. I love the colors, the weather, those damn pumpkin spice lattes. I love the pumpkin carving with my boyfriend’s kids, the Halloween costumes. And really, for someone who loves to bake, fall is like high season.
I don’t have SAD, I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder which sometimes cycles with the seasons, but I am always prepared when fall comes around. As I smile on my walks crunching leaves beneath my feet I am aware. I monitor myself. “Am I feeling low?” “Are there any ‘dark’ thoughts clouding my mind?” “Am I sleeping too much?” “Am I eating enough carbs for a family of ten?” I know my signs. You should learn yours.
I am excited about fall this year, as I was last. Lots to look forward to. And if I get depressed I have doctors and therapists and the best support system a Beautifully Bipolar girl could ask for to help me battle it.
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
Last reviewed: 18 Sep 2013