September has come and so has our descent into cooler weather. I’m resolute in that Summer is by far the best season. Though Autumn might be my second favorite, I’d prefer if we cycled from June to October and then back again. November is too harshly connected to winter, and winter is a dark damp and dismal time of dismay. True I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD (yes you can laugh, it’s hilarious) or seasonal depression, which only bothers about 10% of the population. The majority may be perfectly content and cozy in the colder months with the shorter days, but to me it feels like an endless dark tunnel. My brain doesn’t make enough of it’s own Serotonin and Melatonin without a little help from sunlight. Obviously that means I would make a terrible vampire, but also that I dread Winter coming around every year. This is a real thing that I go through.
Fall and winter seasonal affective disorder (winter depression)
Winter-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include:
- Loss of energy
- Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may disrupt your body’s internal clock, which lets you know when you should sleep or be awake. This disruption of your circadian rhythm may lead to feelings of depression.
- Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in seasonal affective disorder. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
- Melatonin levels. The change in season can disrupt the balance of the natural hormone melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.
I’m frantic looking ahead and calculating how much time I have left until the lack of sunlight overwhelms me. I’m researching different methods to counteract it. Aside from supplements, bananas and walnuts supposedly increase Serotonin. This may explain why I unwittingly have taken to eating three bananas a day. I crave them but I’m not a huge fan of the taste.
September also means a multitude of apples. I have two apple trees and each year they give me more fruit than I know what to do with. This inspires a lot of creativity in the kitchen, putting an apple spin in every dish. After all there’s only so much apple butter a person can make.
More challenge comes when I’m resolved to make everything healthy, but it’s a challenge I accept. I created a pretty lovely recipe I call Apple Butter Bars that everyone in the house went for. They’re a bit like apple blondies and they taste like they’re bad for you, but they’re made without wheat, butter, and with
minimal processed sugar. Recipe will be available soon to those who are interested.
My birthday and the beginning of school are the first things that come to mind when I think of September. It’s a time of transitions, and this year I’m turning 18 and going into my senior year of high school. There are many obvious transitions, as well as the transitions occurring in my mind and my heart. Most of my previous birthdays when asked if I felt any older I would laugh. “Not since yesterday!” I’d say. This one is different. I feel the added years in my soul. I feel on the brink of something, at the edge of childhood, at the start of a journey. At this point in my life I’m practically limitless. I haven’t done anything substantial yet that calls for responsibility. I’m looking at a clean canvas wondering how I will fill it. Like any artist knows, the first stroke is the hardest and the most important. The first stroke decides the direction and the character of the portrait. Though it can be morphed into something else later, what’s first will always be there. I am both too old and too young. I know too much, and too little. I’ve learned enough that I need to know more, but not enough to make me wise. It seems the more I understand the more I am silent. There is less need to make my mind known because I am small in the universe. I am only a distraction and my words hold little meaning, yet have great power.
New King James Version (NKJV)
3 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed,[a] we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both saltwater and fresh.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) (medindia.net)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: Fighting Winter Depression with Sleep (plushbeds.com)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: Tips on How to Overcome (fatwallet.com)
- Autumn Recipes (victrocious.wordpress.com)
- First Autumn Colour (alvecotewood.wordpress.com)
- 33 Autumn Photographs That Will Remind You How Beautiful The World Is (thoughtcatalog.com)
- Bright Side of autumn (drowninmelancholy.wordpress.com)