This Season

By September 10, 2013Blog

My body is slowly falling into a pit. I look outside for encouragement and see only brown hills, clouds in the sky, and a low volume of water in the creek that runs by my house. I am comfortable hunched up in my chair. I don’t want to eat but my body is craving soup and grilled cheese. I will not give in to the grilled cheese but possibly the soup. Now is the time that the checkers at supermarkets notice their customers are loading up on soup and bread and red meat – all foods that go with this season. Fall.

Falling into depression, falling into a world of less light, falling falling away from the thick sunlight of summer. I don’t know how to suppress these symptoms of seasonally driven rhythms. In fact, there is nothing I can do about the planet spinning in and out of seasons.

A beautiful lime green bird just slammed into my kitchen window and broke its neck. Why now? Perhaps it was a kamikaze bird who didn’t want to give in to his flock flying south. Why do I always think I’m the only one who experiences these cyclical moods?  We who are driven by the rhythms of this earth are all affected.

International Bipolar Foundation is holding their free monthly mental health lecture with Dr. Michael McCarthy on Circadian Clocks in Bipolar Disorder in San Diego on September 12th, 2013, 5:45pm at Janssen R&D, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121. RSVP Required to:  [email protected]

If I was going to be in San Diego on the 12th I would be at that lecture. Fortunately, all IBF lectures are recorded and available to view on their website.

I have known for a very long time that I am affected by the seasons.  April and September have always brought me to my knees. I have a theory that the change in the earth’s axis is what undermines those of us who’s moods are sensitive to seasonal changes. I read, in Kay Redfield  Jamison’s book, NIGHT FALLS FAST, that the geographical location does not change the mood of those of us who are susceptible to seasonal mood changes. I would be depressed in the fall or manic in the spring even if I lived in the Bahamas instead of the Rocky Mountain West. This was comforting information as I have been tempted to move to a more temperate climate to escape seasonal mood changes.

On a more positive note, I have been privy to birds eating autumn berries off the bushes and the air is beginning to hold that snap of cool so welcomed after the oppressive heat of the summer.  I will now have to be careful when walking in the woods as bears like those berries too.  I have yet to come face to face with a bear but they leave scat in the path, just letting me know what’s what.  I saw coyotes playing in the sagebrush the other evening and the ranchers are bringing their cows down from the high meadows where they summer.  As long as I keep noticing the positive changes of autumn I’ll get a handle on this depressed mood.  When I sink and have a hard time pulling myself up I will remind myself that I’m not alone, that so many of you experience the same autumn falling. We can hold each other up. Thanks for being there.

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