Breath of Autumn

I felt the first breath of Autumn the other day. It stank.

No it didn’t, not really. I actually really enjoy Autumn. The colors are beautiful, the air is crisp, the season for sweaters is starting; all around good things. The first time I held hands with someone was during Autumn. It was Halloween and I was fifteen. Her hands were cold.

I always looked forward to Halloween. Dressing up and getting candy; what could be better? Now it isn’t such a big deal to me. There’s no reason for it to be.

The Autumn air carries something in it that excites me, but also a stunning stillness. It’s the stirring of something new amid the end of Summer. The feeling is enchanting.

Autumn also scares me; it means Winter isn’t far. The beauty and color of trees in Autumn come from the death of the leaves. They die and shrivel and fall and we call it beautiful. Sad is somehow happy.

Autumn almost makes it okay to be sad, to be depressed. As if I’m just shutting down with the rest of the world. It makes it okay to stay home and wrap myself up in a blanket or two. But sometimes it’s still possible to leave homely comforts behind and explore, which is why it’s better than Winter, which is just wet and cold.

Winter is hard for me. My depression consistently gets worse during Winter and anticipating the downward spiral is what scares me about Autumn. It’s like standing on the tracks, watching the train hurtle towards you, and knowing there is no way to dodge it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) influences many people, and has an influence in my life as well. It helps describe the patterns of my depression. Summers are easier; Winters are harder. Spring and Autumn have bits of both.

At the beginning of last Winter semester I was having a hard time. I felt like I couldn’t move. Instead of normal blood in my veins I had a thick jelly dragging me down. Every day seemed pointless. Repetitive. Getting out of bed was hard enough, let alone getting to class. The best part of the day was the part where I got back into bed so that I wouldn’t have to think for a bit. I wouldn’t have to exist. But it was also the worst because it reminded me of the solitude to which I seemed doomed. Only sharing my life and bed with pillows and blankets.

Things were similar when I was on my mission (January 2012ish). My apartment at the time had a closet that you had to walk through to get to the bathroom. I had a small chair in that closet (and a dresser, it was a big closet). I would go in there and disappear. There were times I would pass hours in the closet, trying to not exist. This was shortly after I came out to my parents, and no, the irony of me hiding in the closet was not lost on me.

Generally speaking, things improved when Winter ended. Not everything, but some things did. In sharing this I’m not looking to be melodramatic or for pity, but for understanding and patience because I am scared.

Now with the breath of Autumn on my neck it feels as though I’m stuck on the tracks, waiting for the train.

-Daniel

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3 thoughts on “Breath of Autumn

  1. Hey dan, I’ve been reading through you’re blog and I just have to say that I appreciate your honesty and openness. I can’t relate with everything you are going through and have gone through, but I want you to know that you will forever be one of my best friends and a brother to me. I haven’t spoken to many about some of the struggles I went through coming home from my mission, but they included and continue to include a battle with depression and dependant anxiety disorder. They have diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder too, but they keep going back and forth between diagnoses, so it’s a little confusing. I have been in that deep dark hole, and I even tried to take my life at one point and was institutionalized for a week because of it. It was sheer hell being in that facility, and has been one of the hardest trials in my life so far. As I have read the posts on your blog, I have found myself tearing up and wanting to let you know that you are not alone. I know what it’s like to feel that unrelenting despair, a feeling that I don’t deserve to live or that I’m a burden to others because of the way I am. I still struggle with these feelings from time to time, in fact I struggle with it yesterday. But one thing I am now learning and still trying to learn is that my life and everything I do is important has a purpose. You and I deserve to be happy. I’ve had a problem punishing myself for feeling happy when my anxious, depressed mind convinces me that I don’t have the right to be. You have the right to be happy and nobody, not even yourself, has the right to take that from you. If you ever need to talk, let me know, or you can just messag We can share tips or something on how to keep from getting too down through the winter months. Love ya brotha, know that no matter who you are, or what you do, you’ll always have a constant friend out of me.

    Jayson

    • Thank you my friend. It means a lot to me to know that I have friends that I can rely on. We definitely have the right to be happy, what I worry about is if I can have the opportunity or means to achieve it. Love you too and hope you’re doing well, especially through these Winter months. Let me know if you need anything or just want to talk. Hope to see you soon my friend.
      -Daniel

  2. Hey Daniel, Hey Jayson~ You guys!!! I’ve TOTALLY BEEN THROUGH EVERYTHING UR GOING THROUGH~^^ And trust me… THINGS GET SOOOO BETTER!!! I cant even tell you how much my life has changed around for the GOOD. I was so depressed… things were sooo horrible… I served a mission from 2009-2011 to japan… came back and came out to my entire family and my whole ward friends and congregation and bishop and everything! It was AWFUL~ It HURT and it SUCKED… Actually much of what Jayson described is EXACTLY what I went through LOL. 😉 So it was kinda crazy reading his comment to you and sharing some of the things he went through cuz honestly his response very much so resembles my own haha… it was a VERY dark time… I too was institutionalized over 8 times!!! a few times my sister or one of my brothers called the cops on me because they were scared for me because of my depression or because they were afraid I was going to end my life… most of the time they got my parents immediately and my parents handled it from there… alot of times I would immediately be taken to the ER and then after a nights stay there they would transfer me to an institution for a few days , usually roughly about a week… I would be on medication that they would constantly be changing or switching up… they would constantly lower or raise my dosages on a whim and would never bother to notify me (which honestly kinda bothered me ugh… lol ) … also it goes without saying that I would be supervised at all times, and it was mandatory that I had therapy and even had therapy classes that were to help with our emotions and our patter habits and our actions and trying to teach us how to change our mental outlook or at least learn how to ask for help.

    Anyway… what I am trying to say, lol, is that even with all of that … nothing worked!!! I would get out, and then I would be back in again within the month! I would relapse or scratch my arms with my nails or something sharp or worse… I would want only to desire to die and wish for nothing more than to just NOT EXIST… to be of ENDLESS NOTHINGNESS… NONEXISTENT.

    The only thing that worked in the end … was TIME… TIME and the right MEDICATION… and even with the medication, alot of times until the right dosage and brand and type of pill could be discovered I still had to somehow survive until all of that was figured out… I felt like time was not on my side and just couldnt imagine getting my life back!!! The worse was that for me during that time I was so vulnerable and on such a low that I seriously needed therapy AT LEAST ONCE A DAY… and that just DIDNT HAPPEN. They werent gonna provide that for me and they always said there was nothing they could do for me… they couldnt even provide me with a once a week kind of thing lol, not even twice a month!!!! LOL, all they could do was a lousy ONCE A MONTH. THAT WAS IT… dang…

    So basically everything I had learned or came up with were things that I slowly had to come up with by myself or on my own because at least in my experience, they weren’t gonna help anyone unless you were standing infront of them and telling them to their face that you were gonna die because you were gonna in that moment kill yourself… and even then! all that would get you would be hand cuffs, a re-admission BACK to the institution, and in the meantime they would just pump you full of drugs and make you completely drowsy and too TIRED to even want to kill yourself let alone have the energy to do it heh heh… My worst moment that has now become my worst memory and my biggest fear after having went through it personally… is being restrained and then being injected held down on the floor as I scream out and cry in a panic as people pummel me to the ground and cover my face and mouth so that I cant breathe as they then hoist me up into one of those crazy hospital beds with restrains and proceed to put you in restraints in front of everybody in the room, and you’re looking out at over 15 people, men and women, and nobody even lifts a finger to help or says anything or is concerned about the fact that one of the guys restrained my arm in the wrong position and did the restraints too tight… I was then left like that for hours crying until the following morning when a doctor came in and made a comment about how I deserved being put in them and how maybe if I acted better I wouldn’t have been put in them in the first place… he then left without another word and left them on… finally later in the day a woman came in and she released me from them… thank god for people like her because I was such a wreck after that… I just bawled for 30 minutes straight…

    Dang it~ I did it AGAIN~~~ ACK~~~ I keep missing the point lolz, SORRY, haha… The point is … and I guess with all that I shared with you so far… is that I TOTALLY GET IT. And I TOTALLY understand what its like feeling that way and having a REALLY HARD TIME. I didn’t recover from the mormon church and being excommunicated after my mission and coming out as gay for a LONG TIME. The bishop dragged it out for 6 months!!! And from 2011 to 2013 I was suicidal almost the ENTIRE TIME… My mother got ZERO SLEEP during that time… my family and I have been through HELL. All of us suffered a great deal because of it… it was the worse experience of our lives…. BUT WE CAME OUT OF IT AS SO MUCH BETTER PEOPLE BECAUSE OF IT.

    It started out that I had lost all of my friends (because at the time all my friends that I had had were all mormon or friends that I had made while on my mission) , I had been shunned at church and was not welcome. I felt like my whole world had been taken from me… they had taken my identity… I lost everything. And so… I had to personally get it back… I had to learn how to do things I never had to really learn before… I had to learn to be vocal. I had to learn to speak up. I had to learn to be honest with myself and to be not afraid of sharing my opinions or my honest feelings with others… I had to also become outgoing… I had to somehow get active and find meaningful activities for me to participate in… I had to relearn how to make friends… I never had to really do that when all I had to do before was just show up at the WARD or go the church activities lol… Now I found I had to create my own activities and I had to search for my own friends … In essence I had to rebuild my entire life… and I had to re-decide what it was I felt was important enough to have within it… did I still want to remain friends with those old ones I used to know from church? Did I want to cut them loose and never talk to them again etc… I also had to learn about what I truly believed and I had to see how on earth I could even have a faith in god again… and for about a whole year and a half or so I DIDNT. I HAD NO FAITH IN GOD. I HATED HIM. AND YET… it was ‘because’ of him and his love for me as one of his sons that I got up the courage to come out at home and at church the moment I returned home from my mission… btw I also had a scholarship that was given to me for BYU HAWAII and once everything went down the church notified the school and my scholarship was removed and my acceptance was rejected… I lost my schooling opportunity. They took that away. I now had to struggle on my own and figure out how on earth I was going to continue and afford to go to school and I could only go to community college…

    But guess what?! I DID IT!!! I CAN SUCCEED!!! I CAN BE SUCCESSFUL!!! I AM WORTH IT!!! AND YOU ARE WORTH IT!!! GOD DOES LOVE ME AND HE LOVES YOU JUST AS MUCH AND WANTS THE BEST FOR YOU AND WANTS YOU TO BE HAPPY!!!! ❤ GOD WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED!!! HE CARES!!!

    It isn't gonna happen over night, and it wont be as fast as you would like it to be… but one day you will wake up and realize you no longer have the problems that you may have right now… and you will find yourself at a different place of mind and your heart will be at a different level than what it currently is … When I started out I told myself I would never again go back to the mormon church… now I find myself actually going to the activities!!! even have a few mormon friends in the area! I originally decided I didn't like god or that I didn't want to believe in him anymore because I couldn't stand going through what I already went through and I didn't want any other church because I had really enjoyed being in the mormon church and enjoyed the doctrines and values taught for the most part… Now my faith in him is stronger than ever! I can now pick up the scriptures and read as a happy gay man and not feel total fear or pain like I did… I no longer feel anxiety or shame… I no longer hurt like I once did… Its all peace…

    And PEACE comes with PATIENCE… and PATIENCE comes with TIME… REMEMBER THAT… So just know that you can get through this and that all you need to tell yourself when you wake up in the morning is that your only goal should be that you ONLY NEED TO GET THROUGH TODAY and tomarrow will come when it comes… Let the stresses that fall tomorrow remain in the 'morrow and focus on what you can do for the day and leave the rest for another time… 😉

    I will say for me the best on hand medication that helped in times of immediate need was 'ativan' which helped when ever I started to get worked up or started getting emotional or having really bad anxiety or felt suicidal… it was meant as an anxiety medication to help immediately in the moment and it served me extremely well until I was able to get a hold of things better and was able to make the necessary changes to better my life…

    I also made up for the lack of therapy available to me by doing my own therapy and purchasing self help books from the library and doing the workbooks or chapters in them and trying to apply them every week until the book was over… Another thing that helped immediately was mediation… really getting into relaxation and doing guided imagery at least once a day, either in the morning or at night… ( I am a HUGE fantasy fan lolz so the LORD OF THE RINGS guided mediation videos on YOUTUBE really are AWESOME and I downloaded them and put them on CD so I can play them here at home or sometimes when I am in the car on my way to school or classes or something)

    I would reccommend those MEDITATION LORD OF THE RINGS videos here….

    And an AMAZING Self Help book that you TOTALLY need to do is here…

    http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-New-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411107609&sr=1-3&keywords=the+feeling+good+handbook

    Its got AMAZING REVIEWS and Ive done it myself and it is the main thing that really helped me overcome my depression and everything going on at that time… its called Feeling Good by David Burns. Its really good… 🙂 I think you will like it… its very engaging and is fun to do, haha , but if you do it just know that it takes work and you have to actually try what he says to do in each chapter if you want to actually get REAL results heh heh…

    So, THATS IT~!!! WHEW hahaha thats all I can offer to you 🙂 That is my best advice… 😀 and I truly hope it helps and I hope you find yourself on a better path and a smoother road because I testify to you that life is wonderfully worth living! and life is even more worth living when you are able to recognize all the things that are of value and worth and the things that are actually wonderful within it~!!! So dont give up!!! Keep it up David … and you too Jayson man!!! I am right there with you BOTH!!! WE can, ALL THREE OF US, MAKE IT~!!!! IM CHEERING FOR YOU!!! ❤ LOVE EVAN… P.S. – if you wanna email me you can reach me at quintana.eb@gmail.com. Thanks guys!!!

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