Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Video: Seasons and Moods

posted by Beyond Blue

As a manic-depressive, my postcard from the Caribbean would say, “Having a ball, wish I were dead.” (My guardian angel, Ann, came up with that one.) That’s how moody I am. And my moods definitely fluctuate according to the seasons.Thus, my love-hate relationship with October. Typically, in a non-global-warming world, this is the month when nature is most dramatic about transitioning from summer to winter. With every leaf turning and falling, I cringe a little, because I LOVE summer and all its light (I used to be life guard … bring on the skin cancer), and, for the most part, I HATE winter with its short days that seem longer than ever when you’ve got two energetic kids stuck inside the house. The pumpkin patches, Fall festivals, and Halloween parties (not to mention the bags of Kit Kats I buy “to pass out to the kids”) help me through October, but I still spend this month like a polar bear–making the necessary preparations for my impending hibernation.I taped this video in the beginning of October when the leaves were green and attached to the trees. So, in case you think I’ve relocated to southern California, nope … I’ve just been sitting on this awhile. And by the way, Happy Halloween to all my Beyond Blue readers! Try your best to differentiate the ghosts that come knocking at your door begging for candy from the ones hanging out in your head begging for power and influence :)

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  • Larry Parker

    Great video as always, Therese. The juxtaposition of St. Teresa of Avila with a forest whose leaves are changing was quite moving. (Even if I, with a typical depressive spin, think of a prayer like Teresa of Avila’s in Ecclesiastes’ “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!” spirit instead of in recognition of G-d’s constancy … sigh.)
    It takes me two weeks, on either side, to adjust to Daylight Savings Time. (Ugh.) However, I don’t necessarily get depressed all winter. My happiest days are snowy ones — even if they’re not so snowy that I still have to go work, which unlike for the kids is almost always the case. I don’t care about the mess, because the days are so BRIGHT when the ground is covered. (And perhaps because I eschew driving for mass transit, LOL.)
    I don’t usually get SAD all winter, but I did (and I’m convinced it began to bring out my always latent bipolar disorder) the misbegotten winter I spent in Akron, Ohio for an ill-fated journalism job. I don’t think the sun came out a day from October to April (in my recollection; of course it did — once or twice …). The relentless gray just played havoc with my mood(s) — but because I was then a newlywed, and trying to concentrate on my marriage and job (to no avail on each), I never thought something so simple could have such a profound effect on me.
    Obviously, I do now …

  • Lynn

    I love Fall , Every year I sit in anticipation of the time of year I like to think of as “Barefoot, sweater Days”. Don’t get me wrong the colors of fall are the most beautiful in all of nature, but I love the fact that during this time, is really the only time, especially in new england, where you can wear a sweater and still go barefoot at the same time. During the day the sun warms the earth and as the day goes on the air cools and wearing a sweater is appropriate, but you can still feel the warmth in the ground on your bare feet. The air has that warm cozy smell to it, wood fires and fallen leaves, apple cider,pumpkin seeds. To me it signifies that soon I can hibernate( I love to be in bed, especially when I am not depressed, relaxed with a great book, my favorite blanket, the music I love, playing in the backround.) To my mind fall is time for solitude,contemplation. I find I am the most peaceful in the fall,relaxed,and very mindful of everything that is going on around me. It always seems to go by quickly, but during it I slow down and see what beauty nature offers, how artistic God is. For some reason I find my mood is the best at this time of year. It is like living in a beautiful painting. I have often said I wished there was a place on earth that the climate was perpetual fall. I suppose some of you will find this next statement morbid but I truly think that much spiritual awareness happens just before death and to me this is what fall is, a time of increased awareness and wisdom.A time when the spiritual is much more accessable. I can relate more to God during this time of year.

  • Wendi

    Fall is very hard for me. I find no solace anywhere. Mostly here it just rains for days on end, and then it snows for 6 months. No sun. Ack. I feel cut off from nature and trapped in my house, and it’s very hard for me to maintain my balance. I have a full spectrum light, but it doesn’t really help. The next two seasons are just cold and bleak, they go on forever, and there isn’t much relief for a sun-loving, warmth-seeking girl like me. Your reflections about the solace of God are really nice, but honestly, that doesn’t help either. Daily hugs, general reassurance and an abundance of love would be helpful, and a long trip this winter to someplace warm and sunny would be the very best possible thing. But none of that is likely to come my way, so I just slog through it, as always. :) :)
    Ugh!

  • Jim G

    Well my “permanent hypomania” seemed to dip the last few weeks. Perhaps to very light depression. I think it is because I did not excercise during the last few weeks. Partly because the weather is getting colder and so it is harder to have the discipline to go for a hike/run towards sunset when it it chilly.
    Part of this is just adjusting to the cold half of the year I think. Once adjusted, I think we do better. Adjusting is mentally adjusting and getting out the clothing that you need to stay warm.
    I am usually more up in summer and more down in winter as well.
    Today I went to a meditation circle and it lifted my mood and energy right up. I think just being around uplifting people – not from the meditation so much as just the group energy. Then that allowed me to feel in the mood to go for a hike/run.
    So I must be somewhere near midline mood as a result.
    I don’t view natural remedies as replacements for Rx’s, but I think they help a lot as icing on the cake of Rx’s.

  • Lynne

    As winter approaches I’m pleasantly reminded exactly why I moved to florida some 12 years ago. I may still be a “damn” yankee…(as opposed to one who goes back up north) but I love the south. The people are as warm as the climate. The sun goes down almost an hour later here. The pace of life is more relaxed. It was a wise move for me emotionally and my body tolerates heat much better than cold. I do NOT miss a white christmas thankyou very much. I can do without New Year’s Day in Times Square, and we have Thankgiving Day Parade at Disney. To me snow is a four letter word! Sorry, Frosty!

  • Margaret Balyeat

    SADD was diagnosed as a complication of my bipolar II disoder after I was about three months into my return to independet (LOL…Independent with a daily caregiver who comes in to my home?) living after my stroke. It followed six very difficult months of bouncing from sister’s home to sister’s home which followed six weeks of nursing home preced by eight weeks of inpatient rehab at our local hospital. The thing for me is that I developed a love/hate relationship with the fall; the SADD reacted to the diminishing light of course, but it was exacerbated by the fact that all of my ex-colleague friends were preparing for another year of teaching and I had had my heart set on returning to my classroom as well (I know about “to no avail”, Larry) Baxk-to School sales being advertised both in the printed media and on the tube came to seem almost like personal attacks on my emotional well-being. The icing on the cake is that my father had the audacity to die on Halloween, so now I’ve come to associate that holiday with the tremendous emotional upheaval that goes along with losing a family member (I get the same blues in February, the month when my mother passed away, however, so it can’t be completely light-related. Because I live in Michigan, right on the shores of “THE” lake, snow and ice storms along with dropping temps often begin in October; I have many memories of trick-or-treating with my young son while snow was falling and in later years spent many a Friday night huddled under blankets on the bleachers of the high school stadium where he played football i’m unclear as to whetherher it’s the diminishing light or thememories of my father’s death which is most contributory to my seasonal mood fluctuations anymore; it’s probably a combination. All I know is that, just like the shortening of the days and the change in leaf colors, I can anticipate a melancholy to descend over me as soon as I start seeing roadside stands with gourds, pumpkins, homegrown apples and cornstalks appear almost overnight. It’s as predictable as the change in the color of the lake, which always becomes a steely gray this time of year as if it’s preparing itself for the onslaught of ice. The full-spectrum light doesnn’t really help me either, no matter how many hours I sit in its psuedo-sunlight. It’s almost as if my brain is saying,”Get real, Margaret, you don’t think I know it’s as much of a sham as the Halloween costumes that fill the store shelves?” Somehow I don’t think relocating to the Sunny South would change this for me, and I KNOW I would miss the seasonal changes if I went to livw in a location where the climate remains fairly static. So I, too began preparing for “enforced hibernation”; Michian winters are not “user friendly” for someone with physical issues such as those that are a legacy of my stroke. I don’t think it would be quite as bad if I had a wood-burning fireplace, but living in a retirement community where they aren’t a part of the units has made that an impossibility as well. Probably a hangover from my childhood, there’s just something about a realfire blazing in a fireplace that creates a warmth that goes far deeper than just the physical. I do have an electric hearth, but somehow that doesn’t create the same anbiance; it’s more like having a gigantic candle than a fire! All three of my sisters, none of whom have a (diagnosed) mrntal illness, also experience an alteration of mood during this time, so I’m sure that it’s more than just the dog preparing her nest for me to cuddle up next to her. I’ve learned to try and establish new, unique traditions for myself this time of year in an attempt to blunt the miasma of depression which always descends; I don’t really even unpack the many Halloween decorations I collected through the years or hang ears of Indian corn on my door like I was wont to do before this descent into the fall blues became a part of my reality. I’ve adapted a tradition shared by a Jewish friend of lighting a candle for my father and creating a little corner with it surrounded by photos of him on the anniversary of his death. It’s a way ofhonoring his memory and since he DID transition to the other side on Halloween,it has replaced the whole jack-o-lantern thing for me. I do the same thing for my mother in February although there’s no holiday which coincides with the day of her death, so it doesn’t take the place of any time-honored tradition. SADD aside, I think each of us emotionally attatch (detatch?) to certain times of the year depending on our former memories of the importance/unimportance of that season in our lives; in my case, the shortening of the days just happens to add an additional depth to the abyass into which I fall. (pun intended.)

  • Wisdum

    EVERGREEN
    Looked out my window today at spring in full bloom
    Six to eight inches of snow, the vision from my room
    And yet a tree outside stood straight and tall
    Through all the seasons Spring, Winter ,Summer and Fall
    And what always surprised me, season come what may
    Why, the variety of birds that stopped there on their way
    For the why or wherefore I haven’t a clue
    Why, all different breeds, that surely was true
    What was the attraction, and they all got along
    Each one singing their own individual song
    There were Cardinals, Bluejays, Sparrows and Crows
    Chicadees, Finches, and Mourning doves, Lord knows
    What could they be searching for, all in that one tree
    It didn’t look like much, as far as I could see
    The only thing I could figure, or so it seemed
    Was just that this tree was an evergreen
    It stood strong and tall and never forlorn
    Through all kinds of weather, heat, cold and the storms
    Perhaps it stood as a symbol, through all kinds of strife
    And all of the birds recognized it as a Tree of Life
    And maybe outside my window, a message was sent
    We could all get along through Life that is spent
    From the Tree of Life, a call is seen
    I AM here for your shelter … ever green !
    by Mat Albano

  • Nancy

    Very nice, Mr. Wisdum – a/k/a Mat-
    beautiful message. Thank you.

  • shannon

    Mr Wisdum, thank you for the poem. it’s so very true.
    i am still scared of the change that winter brings.
    winter is an active time in my family’s life (we are hunters) the outdoors welcomes and soothes my soul. if i am outside, everything is grand, but the moment that i have to go in to do laundry or whatever needs to be done, my mood quickly changes. my mind runs wild with thoughts that i cannot explain or share at this time.
    i work at home and things are not so bad during the warmer months. my thoughts are not as over powering as they are during the what is suppose to be the colder months, but really it doesn’t get that cold in Alabama. i love my job, but i truely believe if i continue on the way that i am something bad will happen. but with child care being outrageously HIGH, i may be forced to continue on the best way possible and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that i can hang on to what little sanity that i have left until spring.

  • TickleMeMoe

    Lynne,
    so when are you going to invite us SAD people down to bask in the sunshine you get to enjoy through out the winter????
    lol I sometimes get made at myself for returning from FL and years later TX, but then I remember I wouldn’t have found my husband or have my God send of a son we love me and care for me!
    But please can’t I come stay just for a little while?? ha, ha
    Maureen

  • Bernadette

    Hmmmm, all I can think of, does it only get worse when I’m much older? EEk, I sure hope not. Despite the jokes that my Mother and I have made with what “We’re going to do once we reach 90″, I’m still going to remain hopeful and develop more spiritually over the next few decades.
    But even w/all the aspiring of doing good in the world, bettering myself as a person … spiritual guidance.
    Sometimes those dark jokes bring me closer to the realization that even tho humorous–they’re actually a mere reflection of burning anger of aging. Well, I mean, you know?–who the heck wants to think about deteriorating into a whirlwind of mess? Who wants to have doubts about which way their souls will end up? Have I lived a life so far of good purpose to be qualified into the majestic towering 24k gates of paradise once this life has expired? Or will my soul fall below faster than a 2000 ton steel ball into the dungeon of dark mystery? Yuk. It doesn’t seem like I’ve done anything that bad.
    So the way I’m coming to terms w/my own aging {since I turned 40} literally has cornered moi into spiritual reflection, investigation, and a lot of internal and external discovery. It’s such a challenging yet exciting process. As well as exhausting on many levels.
    Still in the middle of this transformation here, but this is where a lot of learning takes place. Guess my point is, you know how you dream, imagine and desperately WANT to STIVE to do all these great things?–like volunteering ect. But then depression or ‘something’ seems to block your calling? In need of advice on this one. Bigtime.
    I’ll keep searching.
    Anyway, when it comes down to it, it seems like the only thing that really matters in life is love. And to love fully, one must heal in sometimes many areas in life. And this requires patience I guess and some time.
    Always strive to believe and have faith, because the payoff will be a big one. And one no one will regret :–)

  • karen

    Wow..someone does understand the effects of SAD. I found this article very refreshing in all aspects of it. I too am a sufferer of SAD, and the lovely woman in the video hit the nail on the head. It’s not an easy illness, its self destructive, and deathly in so many ways. Spirituality alone being whole can make it easier. Thinking back 20 yrs ago when I first started feeling those effects but did not understand them, church was a serious part of my healing. Without it I would not have found serenity in my life. I deal with it now because of greiving, of death of a parent and change in structure, but what I have forgotten was how to rebuild my own structure, finding a way back to God would definitely help me. If a person is not whole spiritually days look dark, even on the sunniest days.
    I take one day at a time always hoping my spirit will rejoice on the set of day. Somedays it does others days it doesn’t. I still reach for God occassionally, daily, but always something stands in the way of complete contact. It’s a battle, but I often win.

  • Juanita

    I am finding Belief.com/beyondblue by Therese J. Borchard an awesome way of studying yourself. I am really considering buying her book just from watching these videos and reading and writing the information and steps down. I feel better and more understanding of myself. I want to send a thank you to Therese J. Borchard for coming up with this information and her willingness to help others. It is a very Awesome thing to do. This is a really good way to feed your Co-dependent behavior, which I have been accused of having. I’ve also, have been told of being born to be a mother even if I’ve never had children of my own. I think these to are connected and also can be confused of the reverse. The natural person seems to go towards the negative side. We all must retrain our brains to see the positive in things and others.
    Writing, yes it does work. I’ve been making myself write things down as I am upset and in tears. It seems to help a lot. I usually, have to go into a room where nobody else is and just write whatever comes in my head. Just put all of it on to the paper. Its like getting rid of the trash that clutters our minds and releasing the pressure.
    Again thank you all for this wonderful site.
    Juanita J. Mitchell Cpht

  • Annapurna Moffatt

    BOO! Happy Halloween Therese!

  • blanche

    Before my Bipolar got out of control, fall was my favorite time of the year. I used to decorate the house, and dress up for the trick or treaters coming. After it became out of control, hiding in bed with a blanket over my head became the norm. This year, however, with education (thank you, Therese), I survived the trick or treat last weekend with happiness. I wore my pumpkin t-shirt, and said something nice to every child that came. My birthday is Oct 1st, and loved it. My daughter’s is Nov 10, and my goal is to hang in there unless until then, and continue to take “One Day at a Time”. God bless all of the Beyond Blue Community, especially you, Therese, my little life saver. :) Blanche

  • Barbara Bowman, (formerly Barbara, formerly Babs)

    Lynn, I love what you wrote about autumn. I do some of my best thinking and reflection when the leaves are burnished. The crisp, clear mornings in the Valley of Virginia are something I look forward to all year. I need change. By the time summer is waning, I am tired of it and am anticipating the first maples turning.
    I have had some pretty bad winters over the years. They have also been times of intense spiritual growth. Unlike most people, my worst time comes in early May, when it would seem that I should be on the upswing.

  • Mary Anne

    T,
    I wanted to share with you and our readers that I had a WONDERFUL Halloween this yr. I was dreading this Holiday/time of the yr coming as last yr it was during this time that my husband SCREAMED that he wanted a Divorce. I was devastated and it came totally unexpected to me. We had married on Halloween of 04′ Halloween had always been my favorite Holiday (I think because it did not have the negativity attached to it of commercialism, gift giving, family gatherings of time past) My husband & I both walked a Pagan Path and therefore getting married that morning around a firepit in a outdoors camp among witnesses and friends made sense to us. He left me just 2 wks before our Anniversary last yr. Our Divorce was contested and drug out until it was final Aug 29th of this yr! I was convinced that this too would cause a reoccuring depression every yr from then on due to the timing/event that correlated to it. I am HAPPY to report that I took my power back! I learned just wks ago of my husbands new gf who posted a picture of her sitting in his lap in a hotel room on her yahoo 360 blog along with details of the first night they spent together. How she had taken him to her works Christmas party last yr and how he had won the door prize which was an overnight stay at one of the local hotels. Ok, so I was NOT happy to learn that this all took place before I have even been served my Divorce papers last yr. But I finally got the answer I had been searching for….WHO and WHAT caused the Manic FLIP from his pledging his undying love for me just days prior with roses and a soulmate card to demanding a Divorce. I KNEW/sensed that he had met someone else, had grown apart from me and finally seeing the PROOF of this brought me the closure I needed. At that time just wks ago, after the anger and the tears, the mean comment I shot off to his gf’s blog..I was able to LET GO. Take my life back and move on, move forward. I determined THEN that I would not let the memory of one morning that we exchanged rings and promises ruin this or any future FALL/Halloween celebrations. I reached out to others online, made plans to get out of the house and go somewhere, do something. To participate in the revelry rather than stay at home, reminiscing/crying and being the victim. I am the VICTOR because my husband had been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder as well as ADHD just a cpl of yrs ago. Being on anti depressants myself for reoccuring depression I had been told by one of my Dr’s that I would not fare well living with ANYONE who was Manic Depressive. At the time we learned of his diagnosis I panicked. Thought what do I do Divorce this man because he has a mental illness? I did not want to do that so I stayed beside him through treatment and as I shared another cpl of yrs. It was HE who wanted out and I did not have to be the one to leave the relationship/marriage. While I did love the man dearly his mood changes, bipolar disorder was VERY hard on me to live with. I am RELIEVED to no longer have that to contend with on a daily basis. I do not mean to offend any of you who have this diagnosis. I love you and know it is something u did not wish on yourselves. But I also have to be sensitive to my own emotional welfare and limit how much time I spend around someone who suffers from this disorder.
    I shared all of that with you all to say this: Once a bad yr not always a bad year! I did carve a Jack O Lantern, make Halloween cookies, dress up in costume and go out with a friend. We even trick or treated our local Police Dept who gladly handed out candy ;) I had a WONDERFUL day/evening. Tmrw evening is the time change, Fall back. I too dislike this and it takes me time to readjust but as I did about this Fall and Halloween arrival I am going to go forward with expectations that I CAN make this yr different! I will stay determined to not HIBERNATE and just wish it all away. Who does Depression hurt? EVERYONE….I think of the commercial on tv for Cymbalta, which oddly enough is the antidepressant that I take everyday. I encourage all of you to join me in standing up to your depression/SAD, yearly mood changes and MAKE A CHANGE. Just as we change the time on our clocks, we can change our attitudes, thoughts to positive from negative. Blessed Be!
    Mary Anne

  • Your Name

    dear Theresa, thank you so much for your concern. it’s a miricle i even got on the net.i have no home but an abusive man lets me stay with him. i have no choice i have no where to go and have been living in motels for almost 3 years.nobody wants me. and nobody will rent me an apt anywhere. i am highly educated but so. ca. became really bad, mean and nasty. not like other places. so ppl that don’ t live here wouldn’t understand. i am being prosecuted for something i didn’t do and i can’t afford the high lawyer fees. i also have lyme disease and lupus and am in constant pain. so it’s die in the street or die in this crazy guys house. i’ve been traveling a lot to e san diego to see a doc. right now too much pain to drive, and a terrible fear of the corrupt court system here. i have family and parents but they are and have always been worthless, and abusive to me. they don’t care about me and never did. i will have another non holiday all alone. except someones plaything. i didn’t do anything to deserve any of this. God bless you for your encouraging words. maybe some church or Vincent de Paul society will help me. i don’t know. i am being daily retraumatized. the whole thing has to do w money and the economy and how i come from a place where there is no love. all i ask is for someone halfway decent to rent me an apt. i can’t even get that. if some one knows of a place where they will rent me an apt. i have the money to pay ahead of time, i just don’t have good credit,. i m just trying to stay alive, but now feel my soul is gone. the deep depression, anger, and fear i feel is all reactive. again thank you for your words of encouregment. sandy

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  • http://lifebeyondbipolar.blogspot.com Life Beyond Bipolar

    For me, fall begins the downward spiral of a winter depression. I am hopeful that this year will be different. I am on different medications and we even tweaked them at my last appointment. I guess only time will tell. Fall is not all that bad, but winter is rarely good. Spring I like and summer is the best. Maybe things will change.

  • http://chipur.com Bill White

    Thank you, Therese. On this very windy fall afternoon, with the leaves coming down in droves, the words of Solomon came to mind…
    Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, 20
    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

  • minnesota

    I’ve been struggling to keep my mood somewhat level for the past month and it comforted my soul to read that what I feel is real and real for someone else. These words have helped me:
    A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.” –Stephan Hoeller

  • Your Name

    Dear, wounded one
    I have been a very similar situatuion do you have any kids? let me know? I have a place in Colorado that might work for you.
    Sincerely,
    Deeanna

  • barb quester

    hi therese, October is also my favorite month, and it’s only been in the last few years tht SAD has become a part of my life. well, i decided after watching your video that i have to take back my love of October and kick the fear out. tweak the meds, as someone mentioned; buy a Verilux lamp, do whatever you have to to get more sunlight. now, YOU kick the fear out and know that God is in charge, not fear.
    my mom was always someone who saw the glass as half full, and in that vein, look on the bright side — you don’t live in the Arctic Circle!!

  • Sandy

    Therese, your sense of humor astounds me. First you say ” in the Caribbean, my postcard woukld read, “Having a ball. Wish I were dead” Probably wouldn’t be so funny were it not so true for me, I have often felt that way in the most gorgeous of places and climates.
    Then your video, you are SO serious. Taking comfort in the writing of St. Therese, wisdom from the ages.
    Enjoy this newsletter so much, glad I “met you”.
    Lets start a movement to abolish daylight savings time. It is a curse.

  • Jackie

    This was great. And I agree, Daylight Savings Time is horrible! They’ve got to change that. Thanks.

  • Christie

    God is the constant…therefore, in this time of vunerability it is good to meet with Him often!
    Thanks for these words. I have been just enjoying being in the moment as the watcher. Observing the changes nature brings each day. It is a good practice for me. Living in the moment is something pretty difficult for bipolars but for this one it is a good spiritual practice.
    Did I say I have anxiety D/O too? Yep. I need an arsenal at the ready for the end of daylight savings or whenever it is that we lose that hour of light.
    Thanks again for being very topical and a warm balm for us all.

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