This is a thinking season. A dwelling season. A retreating season. A resting season.

Another Fall is here and, to be honest, I am scared out of my mind. I remember these days as if they were going to happen again tomorrow.
6 days until intensive.
8 days until intensive.
9 days until partial.
11 days until inpatient.
September 30th seems to be a day I will remember very often. Then, October 4th.
Then November 13th.
February 6th. And then when the rest of my life began.

When I drive down the same roads, watch the grass keep greener, feel the humidity start to drop, smell the earth, hear the sky more consistently filled with water, and dread the damp, clouds with gray undertones of space beyond glass windows, I grow sad. Not another Fall. Not another Winter. Please, not again.

For us, the Bipolar 2, the Borderline, ADHD, OCD, and human beings in general, shorter days of sunshine and higher chances of precipitation are simultaneously predictive of inconsistent moodiness, hypersomnia, longer depressive spells in the rapid-cycling bipolar, and an opportunity for loneliness, misaligned attachments, and more time hibernating in the name of warmth.

I heard someone say once that we mammal, human beings are designed to use Falls and Winters to regroup with and inside ourselves, just like the rest of the planet. And if the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were truly sacred Sabbaths, the seasons would operate as an advent of what to come in the coming Spring and Summer.

This is a thinking season. A dwelling season. A retreating season. A resting season. It is not so in this place where consumer-driven sales are success measures, because these are prime seasons for less mobility and activity, and therefore deeper pulls for lucrative, all-weather shopping. But these seasons, these Fall and Winter times, are actually gifts. That is why they are complicated. 

In general, I hate holidays. I hate holidays because they are calendar anniversaries of traumatic occasions that risk a reliving every year. For now, it is too much to expect depth from any holiday in a positive way, so I have sought to neutralize holidays: to make holidays like every other day. That too is very, very hard.

This year, I will remember Thanksgiving as the day that I did not have enough food last year, going to Kroger in hopes I would return home with something exciting to remember when the pilgrims infected all the Indians with yellow fever and whatever bubonic like plague also fled England into the Americas. But disappointed. (But at least I lived another year, unlike most the Indians.)

I will remember Christmas as the day that the woman came and shocked me out of safety, feeling like a ghost had swept me out of the night and into a partial living.

I still have nightmares of laying in my bed and swearing I am awake, hearing her voice in the living room, talking to say, “Do not wake her up,” with another fictitious message that she is there to surprise me. It was the most disrespectful, preposterous occasion – probably worse than the rape, the theft, the manipulations, the overachieving, the morphine suggestive pain – because it was on a purpose. It was an intentional, narcissistic tearing down of healing, time, and character because of a selfish, otherwise external to me fear of hers that I could exist without her. She needed me to need her. She needed me to need her so much that she was willing to see me edge close enough to death in order to get it. It was the heavy stone that sealed the tomb of our relationship completely dark shut. It closed the casket.

I look into the Fall season and, essentially, I feel a moving backwards of sorts. I feel as though my work each year is to build up my tolerances and individual emotional successes each Spring and Summer, so that my muscles have not atrophied come the next Fall and Winter, where I risk relapsing, either in behaviors or sufferings, again.

The mission of each Fall and Winter is to survive.

The objectives are to keep myself chugging along.

The barriers are the same, and all the more visible, because the opportunities for distraction are exponentially decreased.

This Fall and Winter will bring new hopes, because they are, with any luck, going to be a continuation of my newfound freedoms, successes, benefits, and prosperities of life as a full-time nanny.

I look forward to what each month’s holiday brings to me, because with every holiday there will be a gift giving to myself that is quite actually symbolic of what revitalizations of life God has given me in the depths of my despair. They are materialistic, tangible items, and every item is a story, sort of like a landmarking or a notch in the door that indicates a progression of time, a sustaining of another day. With such the blessings of my current work, in addition to my creative cleanings out of this house that is far to industrious to seek a renovation and far too uninhabited for what lay to collect dust, I will enter 2019 with wonderful, career propelling pieces.

It is my greatest hope to bring home my new Bassett Furniture couch, my new iMac computer, retouched car with all its glitz and repairs, the custom bed to keep me safe, and the mattress to nurse my spine back to straight health. The bookshelf to line all the treasures I’ve collected over the years, the custom upholstery to shift my home into the most elaborate, ostentatious replica of my soul into a home, and the building of a wardrobe worthy of my body. It still baffles me that my pre-weight restored body rocked a 36C, and nature has decided a 34F is far more appropriately fitting. And the 14/16’s. And all the XXL’s and pluses that I need. Now that I have reconnected with this body, I will be damned if it shrinks in sizes, finds itself overstimulated, unmindfully moved, alternatively nourished, or otherwise different in an unwanted way (when in a recovery-focused mindset).

What I hope to be different this year is a retelling and a recounting of all that has taken place, knowing that I will be reflecting anyway, but – for the first time – being in a state of mind where I can publicly articulate what bits, memories, progressions, regressions, near deaths, and victories were earthed and then rebirthed inside of me.

May it be a season of many paintings,
many novel readings,
approximately 6 more new shows’ seasons watched in a brief period of time,
many letters written,
trains, planes, and transportations taken,
loved ones held after a very, very long time,
and therapeutic visits of celebration.

Kendall Crouther