When Todd and I got married back in 1993, we lived near campus. Across the street from our place were two large ginkgo trees. The first November we lived there, we were amazed at how beautiful the trees were, such an intense yellow, thick with leaves. Then, one day, every single leaf was on the ground like a carpet of yellow. We soon learned that these beauties drop all their leaves in a day's time. The dropping of the ginkgo leaves became something for us to look forward to, something for us to catch in action. The times to enjoy the falling of the leaves went beyond the four years we lived there as we often drove by to try and guess when it would happen for years after we moved. We drove our girls down to share the experience with them. This week, on one of my hour breaks from work, I drove down to check the status of the gingko trees and to my surprise, I caught the day the leaves were falling.
Pictures from 1997
The change in seasons was often a topic of discussion during our 32 years together. The change not only gave us a chance to enjoy the outdoors, it was a time to reflect on how the change impacted our moods and mental health. The impact was big, even heavy at times.
As discussed in previous posts, the struggle with intense moods, feeling on top of the world, invincible, feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and more was a constant in our relationship. As it does for so many people, the change in seasons intensifies the change in moods. Whether it is warm sunny days turning to cold gray days or the change in the way we get used to the weather dependent things we can do, the change can create the need to address how moods impact our daily lives. There were times that I needed conventional medication to intervene, even though we tried to address things by adding interests, exercise, better diet, etc. There were times when Todd decided he didn't want his medical intervention which seemed to more often than not, coincide with the changes brought about in May and August. When we first recognized the pattern, we called it his "May Funk" or "August Funk."
Fast forward to now, and you might say I'm having my own "November Funk," although I continue with my medication :) I have experienced my own "funks" over time and I know that the increased darkness that comes with November impacts my own mental health. On top of that, increased thoughts of "this time last year" come often and this time last year was a hard time for our family. So...I am working on doing what has worked in the past and making sure I talk about it, not hold it inside, and get out and do things.
The journey can be rough and with the bad comes even more good ...if you intentionally look for the good. I focus on the positive, appreciate the ginkgo trees in life, and know I will be all right! I hope that this blog can be shared with anyone that is also impacted by the change in seasons, depression, or medication dilemmas. While writing and reflecting through this blog is a great therapy for me, I hope that others can connect and reflect as we all work together to become the best humans we can be. Feel free to comment in the blog, maybe your comment or shared feelings will support someone that is feeling like they need some ginkgo.
UP NEXT on the Blog:
by the way, nothing new for Bec's Travels-camping trip last weekend had to be cancelled, I just might be done camping until next season