Autumn is my favourite season.
Yes, I’m a cliche.
I’m not talking about pumpkin spice lattes and chunky knits, though. Well, not the former, anyway (yuck). I’m talking crisp-but-clear mornings, soggy walks, dark and cosy evenings inside, the excuse to just stay in and read, cinnamon everything, and the colours.
Oh, the colours. Even grey gets a big yes from me.
But with the best season sometimes comes the worst feelings. Those struggling with their mental health already can find these darkening months harder. Those who are usually pretty constant with their mental wellbeing often find themselves slipping, too. With the gloomier weather comes a gloomier mindset; often under the guise of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
This year, it’s going to be a whole lot harder, with the prospect of more time inside, the uncertainty of moving tiers, less human contact, and a very different Christmas period staring us in the face. It’s been a long and dark year already, and it’s about to feel even longer and darker.
Despite these negatives that come with they greyer months, I still love this time of year. I think it’s a metaphor for life, or even mental health itself: sometimes the bad stuff can feel overwhelming, but there is always something beautiful shining through, and always light at the end of the tunnel. I’m determined to keep this mindset in 2020.
I’ve tried to capture a combination of all of this – the brilliance and bitterness of autumn and its mimicry of mental health – in a somewhat slightly makeshift poem.
It’s not a work of art, but hopefully it might speak to someone. Hopefully, that someone is you.
Surviving Autumn Days, or SAD
At first glance, there is only grey up ahead: a denseness, a drizzle, an overcast sky. A damp chill in the air cooling you from your core; the kind that creeps up and takes hours to thaw. What beauty is there in the dark closing in? Why fawn over dawns that make days hard to wake to? When the instinct to hide and hibernate reappears, and the shadows grow longer with heartache and fears. These edges are gilded with orange and bronze; the world is on fire, still bleeding with life. While it feels like the end, there’s a case not to dwell – There are warmth and beginnings and stories to tell. This isn’t the end; there’s more to be done; the sun may be pale, but it’s not gone for good. Escape to the warmth; find peace in the plain; what’s approaching will pass and spring will breeze in again.