Autumn Changes

I’m enjoying the current weather situation here in Atlanta, because it feels like fall. Autumn, if you want to go by the official terminology. Fall is actually my favorite season, even though I’m a winter baby who hates being cold. I’m especially a fan of early fall. I’m not a sports fanatic, but it’s the start of the football season. I’m from a town, just like most small towns (especially in the South), that damn near bet their whole existence into the local football team. For that reason, even if you’re not a sports fan, you’re a sports fan.

Fall is the break from the hot summer that we all enjoy, but hate at the same time. Early Autumn is when you have that crisp at night that makes you shiver, but not cold enough that you need to completely layer up. It’s warm enough that you still feel hot, but not so hot that you need to be almost offensively naked.

Fall is a contradiction within itself, much like me. For example, I was born in January, on what was probably the coldest day of the year; if not, damn near close to it. But I hate the cold so much that my future visions involve me almost completely avoiding being outside for the entire winter, and preparing to be barricaded during a possible winter storm (though that’s laughable in the South). I love traveling and seeing various places, but I’m almost horrified of flying. On that same note, I hate sitting on buses and in cars, but I love seeing the countryside and the landscape of metropolitan places. I hate driving, but I love going on night drives. I hate the taste of alcohol, but I can drink a variety of drinks (as long as they are mixed drinks).

Despite the fact that autumn is that awkward transition period between summer and winter, I enjoy it. However, it wreaks havoc with me.

Unless you’re a true JB Burrage follower (or simply know Jacob Burrage), you would remember that I suffer from this thing called bipolar disorder. I know…I haven’t talked much about it lately, and I haven’t posted on bphope.com; my other main outlet (my postings will start back this month); since July, but that doesn’t mean that it magically disappeared. I’m still very vocal about it. You can’t cure bipolar disorder, no matter how hard you try.

Remember when I told you that fall is a contradiction, just like me? Well, allow me to give you another odd example. I love fall. I already discussed that to death. But fall is also the worst season for me. “How come, JB?” Because of various reasons. I can’t completely explain it or understand it. The days are shorter, so that throws me into a loop (I love darkness, but I need a different variation of light). I get nostalgic, which usually sadness me. Some of my darkest depressive episodes occurred during the fall.

Don’t get me wrong. I can fall into a bipolar episode at anytime, especially if I don’t take care of myself. I can be depressed in the spring/summer (such as May/June/early July 2016), or hypomanic/manic in the fall or winter (my hypomanic episode of 2011 that started in the summer of 2011 and ended around November 2011). But I can typically fall into a seasonal pattern. I tend to get more depressed in the fall. Very few people knows how crippling autumn can be for me.

I have to remind everyone again that just because people with mental illnesses, such as depression and bipolar disorder, are not looking to wallow in pain and misery. I don’t think anyone wants to be in pain all of the time. It’s the nature of the beast, and it’s up to us as individual sufferers to try to deal with it. That doesn’t mean that we won’t appreciate the love and support. That doesn’t mean that we’re just self-choosing miserable people. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I hate involving people in this. It’s not their battle. It’s mine. But I have been realizing over the years that I simply can’t do it alone. So, I need a support team. I am very grateful that since I came out publicly with my diagnosis, I have been receiving support.

I don’t want anyone to worry about me, however. I will be fine. I can’t tell you how this fall will be, because you never know how the disorder will affect me. I can tell you that I’m doing what I can to at least mitigate the effects. But I will be fine. I’m praying for bright days, as I enter this transition.

See you around.

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