Monday, September 04, 2006

Afraid of fall

I've been thinking about this post for a long time, and I'm really scared to post it. But I think I need to, and maybe it will help someone else going through a similar thing feel less alone.

Afraid of fall
For the last 8 years, I've loved this time of year. Brian and I started dating on Sept. 7, 1998, and since then the crispness of fall air and the taste of apples has brought me back to that magical place of falling in love. You know, that place where you can't imagine what your life was like before this person came into it, and where you walk down the street smiling for no good reason. Plus, as true New Englanders, his family is obsessed with anything fall-related, so every September is filled with apple picking and apple baking and apple cider-drinking. Another list of reasons to love this season.

But last year, around this time, I started to feel really anxious. Not anxious about anything in particular, just anxious. Anxiety runs in my family, and I've experienced it before, but this one was different. For the first time ever, it spiraled into depression--a state where I cried just about every day and couldn't think of much I'd rather do than sleep, or eat. I managed to get myself to work and fake my way through interactions with other people. And there were good days where I felt fine. I found that yoga helped a lot, as did journaling, and going out and talking to people about anything other than myself.

But sadly, this lasted for quite some time--finally abating at the end of June during my MFA residency. I think having something so meaningful to focus on, and interacting with a group of caring, smart people, did it.

Now that I feel that familiar chill in the air, and notice the daylight fading earlier and earlier, I can't help but be afraid that this monster will appear again. I'm going to blog like crazy these next few weeks, since I've found doing so really uplifting. I'm also going to do yoga a lot and try to plan some fun things for the winter months to give me something to look forward to. I'll plant bulbs that will bloom in early spring, plan a weekend yoga retreat in the Berkshires, and take on some challenging knitting projects. And of course, there's always my writing. When I get scared or frustrated about my writing progress, I try to focus on how much it's already brought to me--how it pulled me up from a place I hope to never return to. Even if I never publish another thing, I'm so grateful I discovered the joy of stringing words together. Best Blogger Tips

12 comments:

TI said...

Bug, that is such an honest post. Between yoga, blogging, knitting, and writing (not necessarily in that order), and with Brian and others (count me in) willing to help hold you up, I hope that your fall will be as lovely as ever.

FatCharlatan said...

I second what TI says.

And I think half the battle (maybe more than half?) is admitting our fears out loud (or on paper).

Remember when we walked to the Porter Square T stop that rainy Friday night, and I confessed about my fear of that damn 45-degree angled escalator and you chimed in with your fears about it??? And then remember how the next day I said, "Hey, I wasn't so scared today," and you said, "Me either!" I truly, truly believe that getting our worst fears and secrets off our chests is the first (and biggest) step in healing and dealing with things.

Of course, another thing we can do is go out in the middle of November for pitchers of sangria while wearing leis and hula skirts (then you'd definitely have something to write about). Screw whatever the thermometer says!

Thanks for sharing such a brave post.

Peace,
FC

Bug said...

Thank you both so much for your kind messages. I will probably take you both up on your offers for help and sangria. :)

January said...

Top 5 Reasons Why We Should Hang Out More

5. This mama wants some “me” time.
4. Need support getting through the rest of the Red Sox’s baseball season.
3. Movies! Movies! Movies!
2. Great way to meet FC.
1. Need photo of you, me and Boston Erin for our blogs!

Bug said...

LOL Jan! As if we need reasons! But yes, let's def get together. I'll forward FC that Ploughshares invite now. That'd be a fun way to kill 2 (maybe 3, if Erin comes) birds with one stone!

DonPare said...

First of all, I want in on that November sangria night!
Can't promise that I'll wear a hula skirt though :)

Bug, my dear friend, I think (dime store psychology) that you really need to figure out what it was that brought you to that level last year...It may be hard to find, but be really honest with yourself and find it.

If it is extremely hard to figure out, or takes a long time, you at least have a big support (friend) group to work through it with you when needed, and take your mind off of it when needed!

DonPare said...

First of all, I want in on that November sangria night!
Can't promise that I'll wear a hula skirt though :)

Bug, my dear friend, I think (dime store psychology) that you really need to figure out what it was that brought you to that level last year...It may be hard to find, but be really honest with yourself and find it.

If it is extremely hard to figure out, or takes a long time, you at least have a big support (friend) group to work through it with you when needed, and take your mind off of it when needed!

bostonerin said...

Dear Brave Bug,

Embrace the things, people and moments you love, every day. Find one thing to look forward to each morning, and be thankful for it each night. And blog, blog, blog away!

Bug said...

Thank you all so much. It's so nice to get such wonderful e-support. DJ--if there's anything that will bring a smile to my face, it's you in a hula skirt! Maybe we should have a summer in Novemeber party? I can host it! We can turn the heat up and wear summer clothes.

DonPare said...

For you, babe, I'll wear one.

Berlinbound said...

Just writing it down makes a huge difference ... takes the sting out of the bite.

Repeater said...

Hey Bug- Listen, thanks for publishing that. I'm not one for self-help, but I would recommend a book called "The Places that Scare You" by Pema Chodron. I think of her as a Buddhist Joseph Campbell. I second fatcharlatan. Talking about the fears is half of it- I'll be joining you all with that- sending you a link tomorrow for my new blog T

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