seasonal

19:58 28 April 2017

‘IT’S THE MIDDLE OF AUTUMN BUT IT FEELS LIKE THE START OF WINTER’

I always struggle with the changing seasons. It’s so sudden, one day the air becomes more crisp and the tiles on your bathroom floor are ice cold in the morning and the dew settles differently on the grass overnight.

I think that I carry around these imprints of my life during the seasons. And sometimes I forget how particular times felt until my toes touch the icy tiles or I inhale the scent of the heater downstairs. And then I remember what life was like one year ago.

And it’s so strange when this wave of nostalgia hits you all at once. As you peel back all the different versions of yourself you come to realise that the you that you are right now will soon just be another layer. Another imprint of a person locked away until the seasons change again. And soon replaced altogether.


 

My best friend in high school once described me as ‘the human embodiment of sleepy sweater weather’. All the things you’d associate with slow winter mornings and those hazy, half asleep days structured by nothing but cups of tea at every hour.

I love the poetry of winter. The idea of resting. Of slowing down. But winter is never how it appears to be for me.

Things come to a deafening halt. The sun seems to sleep earlier and earlier each night as the marrow in your bones grows heavier.

I find myself slowing down, but not to rest. This isn’t the gradual slope of a gentle mountain, but the eery stillness of a desert plateau. I’m in limbo. Always waiting for a sun that doesn’t seem to care. Rising every morning but unable to go anywhere.

 

It wasn’t until I found an entry from an old journal that I spotted a pattern in all of this. The middle of the year always seems so unreal for me yet I always thought it was something to do with the calendar and not something that grew from within me.

Or maybe I’m being biased because I’ve spent my whole life mourning the death of deciduous trees. Maybe it’s because it was June when I first saw my father cry. August when all my friends left without so much as a goodbye.

Maybe it’s the natural cycle of life and death. Cause we’re not destined to be evergreens but programmed to fall off like leaves at least once every year.

 

There’s this image embossed in my mind of a tall concrete building that almost reaches the corners of the sky. I spend three months designing it, and three building it to the clouds. It stands proud for another three, but then I must tear it down.

And this is how I console myself when I’m in any season but Spring (this is when I was born and will always be the time where my tower stands tallest). Because movement must always be interspersed with stillness. Magnitude with emptiness. Happiness with sad.

I think I need to get rid of this idea that plateauing equates to going backwards. That not actively moving forward means I’m being pulled back out into sea. Cause it’s natural to get lost from time to time and it’s natural to break apart in order to start again.

Like that quote you reblogged on tumblr in year nine: nothing blooms all year round, and you don’t have to either.

 


 

Poetic ramblings aside, I’m quite aware that this is probably Seasonal Affective Disorder (which has the most ironic acronym I’ve ever come across).

I’ve had depression in the past, which puts me more at risk, and though I’m on medication I can still feel the shifts. It’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be, just a subtle numbness but enough for me to notice. I think I’ll be fine.

It’s natural to feel a little off around the colder months, because we don’t get as much sun and it messes with our circadian rhythm and serotonin levels. But if you think it might be something more than just winter blues, please talk to your GP! Here are a few resources that might help

australian helplines: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/national-help-lines-and-websites

info about SAD: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder

info about types of depression: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/types-of-depression

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