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!
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.
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.
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.
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?