The copper leaves and blue sky, the cooling, generous wind, they are all a part of the autumn that I so desperately anticipate each year. While my senses are romanced, my emotions feel abandoned. I live with depression, but this time of year is particularly rich in body memory and heavy associations. Although every ounce of my being wants to just live in the beauty of this season, mentally, I am trying not to fall myself.
I want these cycles to break, so I listen to my body more intently, I try to recover the emotional truths that are buried under unhealthy emotions, I slow down, I breathe deeper, and I wait on those answers that seem impossible to receive. It is both a struggle and a release to be undergoing such change, but like anything worth attaining, there is a death that proceeds the change.
Rebecca Salnit wrote that the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay. Pat Barker reinforces her sentiments by adding "that the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration...cut a chrysalis open and you will find a rotten caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly."
And it has never been more true that I am in the cycle of rot. The illusion that things are actually getting worse is ever-present, so I have to diligently remind myself that working through pain is a process, and that with bravery and stamina, I too, can receive the promise attached to the other side. So while the emotions at times feel unmanageable, I recognize that the caterpillar was never destined to come out of the chrysalis, well, another caterpillar.
I have confidence in God for justice and restoration, I have hope in intuition and therapy, I take courage knowing that I am committed to this path of healing, because I KNOW that I am part of a longer narrative. We weren't made to live in the transition, we were made to emerge as the same old us, but transformed and life-giving, and beautiful.
*please reach out and ask for comfort from others, don't hide your disease because of shame or inadequacy. above all, I pray that all of you who suffer like I do find hope*