Summer Sadness, or Autumn Apathy?

Rory Bristol

Rory Bristol

Ah, Fall. Bright colors all over the world. Except here. I live in the desert. No pretty leaves for me. Also, shorter days, colder nights, and the dread ascension of the Christmas season. To say it shortly: Autumn beats me into submission for Winter. I find myself disconnecting slightly. I don’t want to be sad, so I disengage. I’ve been doing this for years. It gets dark before I eat dinner, so I feel like I wasted my day, despite many hours left in the evening. I feel my heart shrink up in its little parka, my emotions gladly packing up their bags to sun themselves in the warm world of denial.

Not this year. Not today, not tomorrow, not next week. Not this year.

What it comes down to is this: I’m not missing a minute of this autumn. My kids are growing up. I’m getting older, winters are getting hotter, and I’m just not willing to let any part of myself go. So, Jenny, my therapist, and the rest of my care team are on a mission.

I’m going to work every day to make sure I am all the way ‘Rory’ this year.

I’m excited, as I should be. Each day, I am practicing my mandolin. I spend time with my family. I work on my book (more on that soon), and getting paid. It’s great. I feel better when I’m working. I feel better when I spend time with the kids. I feel better when I try harder, so I’m trying harder. Wait—scratch that. That phrase NEVER WORKS.

I never feel better because I try to feel better. No. I feel better because I am working on a specific treatment plan designed for my needs. I take my medication faithfully, and I work on my specific needs. This addresses ONE aspect of my mental health. If anyone ever tells me to “try harder” so that I’ll “feel better”, I may smack them, so I’m glad we cleared that up.

Back to the book! I’m hoping to finish my manuscript in about 6 weeks. Then I’ll have a couple of weeks for Alpha readers to pick it apart, and then I will submit it. Fingers-crossed, I have no idea if it’ll be accepted. But to get a shot at this opportunity, I need to be ready on Dec 1, 2015. All I can do is try.

Bonus? Writing makes me break my heart out. It keeps my soul connected to the keyboard, securely anchored inside myself. Yay for feeling all-the-way happy this winter! (That’s optimism, folks, but it’s educated optimism, so there, ha!)

Share if it spoke to you!


  1. B

    This is something I spoke with my therapist about a few days ago. In December, the sun sets here at 4:15. It’s really hard for me. I start dreading it very early. Everyone else is excited about fall, and I’m all “DO YOU KNOW WHAT COMES AFTER FALL?! SHUT UP!” The days are getting shorter. It’s 50 degrees outside (which I still consider very cold). The snow is impending. Holidays away from my family are about to start. It’s just all around an awful time of year, and I’m in desperate need of an action plan. Step 1: Get a sun lamp.

    • Many of my friends use sun lamps, and love them. Jenny and I have discussed them many times, and we may buy one this season.

      But yeah, I’m with you on the “shut up” part.

  2. Rory….I totally understand the disconnect in Autumn. I do the same. Although a favorite season, it kicks me in the ass with rapid cycling depression bouts. I fucking hate it. Here’s to a better Fall for both of us. Hugs.

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