for the love of autumn

photography, personal by

leaf with patchy orange and yellow

might seem a bit random in a post about autumn, but i must disclaim i talk about suicide briefly in this post, so consider this a trigger warning if you wish to skip this post. also there’s a spider.

since i was a child, autumn has always been my favourite time of year. obviously my birthday being at the end of october gives me a bit of a bias, but mostly it’s because of all of the colour around, and memories associated with it. i didn’t have the happiest of childhoods and so autumn became something i really cherished. most of my childhood was spent in surrey and hampshire, and i loved walking around the hilly parts of guildford and kicking up leaves, and don’t even get me started on newlands corner. ah, memories!

yellow and red autumn leaves

pink fading hydrangea

another reason that autumn is important/resonant to me is that it pretty much (in a slightly roundabout but poignant way) saved my life. in 2005 i was incredibly depressed. i was before then and i have been since, but that year and those later months in particular were a very, very low point for me.

wow this is really hard to actually type in a public space.

okay.

i tried to commit suicide. truth be told, i have considered it and thought about it since then a few times, but this was the only time i really came close to actually doing something. i was right there on the edge. i was seconds away.

and then i looked up. fog was rolling over. leaves were falling and the trees were painted in their autumn hues. the sky was grey but tinted a faint lilac. it felt special and in that moment my life changed. i stepped back and took in my surroundings.

this is a large part of the reason that the small things and colour are so important to me. they save me and they are part of my soul and my spirit.

spider on web

black and white leaves

so, when i recently went on an autumnal walk it kind of filled me with a strange mix of happiness and melancholy. mostly happiness to be honest. all the beautiful colour! this time of year is often described as transitional, and for me it is because it marks one of a few particular moments that my life kind of has a specific before and after, and i have to tread that delicate balance between being happy that i’m alive and knowing that i will probably always suffer from depression.

sometimes a little self help can help with depressive episodes, but sometimes you need a little more help, or to talk to someone that can help. sites and organisations like mind and papyrus can be a good starting point.

feet standing on yellow leaves

red berries on the ground

pink and purple hydrangea

black and white photo of tree underside

yellow leaves on pavement

although autumn is kind of tinged with a particular kind of sadness for me, it’s also a reminder to be extra mindful and grateful, a time to remember to take care of myself and to indulge in little happinesses. despite everything, happy or sad, autumn will always have a place in my heart.

what does autumn mean to you?

for the love of autumn was last modified: November 1st, 2016 by laura redburn
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7 Comments

  • Reply Lori 02/11/2016 at 11:47

    This is such a beautiful and brave post, so many people have private struggles and think they are alone in them. Thank you for sharing your story and the beauty of autumn. xxx

  • Reply Slummy single mummy 02/11/2016 at 11:50

    I thought it was very brave of you to write about something so personal, but it’s so important that we share stories like this. I think we underestimate the power of nature to change our mood, and although I know it will never be a ‘cure’, there is something valuable to being more aware of our surroundings, and using nature to life us. I love autumn, as it feels like the season that puts me most in touch with nature. You can’t help but LOOK when the colours are clamouring for our attention in such a dramatic way.

  • Reply Bryony 02/11/2016 at 14:36

    Wow Laura, how incredibly brave of you to share this. I find autumn to be a very transitional for me too – big life changing events always seem to happen at this time of year. I hope the colour and crisp air can help to carry you through these bittersweet months xx

  • Reply Penny Alexander 02/11/2016 at 14:36

    Well done for sharing, I can’t imagine how hard this must have been to write, I can feel it in your phrasing and your words. Seasons do carry so much weight don’t they, a weight we sometimes don’t even fully understand, yours is very conscious and I love how you have embraced it and sounds like it has been a healing process too. Sending a big hug and a big big shower of Autumn leaves too, love the descriptions of you having fun in them as a kid x

  • Reply Gill C 02/11/2016 at 15:42

    I think so many people struggle with things in private and they’re often more tormenting because they think it’s just them, and it never is. As Lori says, this is beautiful and brave and will hopefully help others. I don’t think you’re quite aware of how brilliant you are xx

  • Reply Kathryn 02/11/2016 at 17:34

    I’m so glad you shared this experience and these wonderful photos – I’m sure they will give hope and comfort to whoever sees them. Sending love and strength, K xx

  • Reply Polly Davies 03/11/2016 at 14:19

    big loves Laura. I’m a big believer in talking about mental health. I’ve been there before, i’ve tried more than once to commit suicide, and there have been other times I’ve thought about it but not acted on teh impulse. I’m not in teh best place right now, and what’s REALLY helping is being open and honest, and talking to my friends. Making myself accountable, asking for help and admitting that it’s not all ok. xxx

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