A mentality of seasons

A season is a time. It’s a period, a stage. When you think about it, there are several seasons that each person is in. We age, we have class periods, the weather changes in seasons and, as “Rent” best stated, there’s 525,600 minutes, which could all be seasons too.

Seasons can, and probably usually are, thought about in relation to time, and it’s encouraging to remember that as soon as a moment happens, it’s gone, and you’re in another, and it’s gone, and it’s a cycle of seasons. I think that mentality should be applied to how we think about mental illnesses and negative emotions.

People who experience anxiety and depression and a wide variety of other mental illnesses can experience them in waves. Some days are better than others, but sometimes those bad days mesh into bad weeks that can turn into bad months or even bad years.

I think it’s important to have the idea of seasons of mental illness because it provides an aspect of hope that other terms don’t necessarily refer to.

I have extreme senioritis. Thinking back on it, I really had junioritis that morphed into a more serious condition. I’m ready to graduate and leave Florence to go back home. I know what’s waiting for me, and I’m ready to be there. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming how long it seems that I have left here. When I think of this as just a season and that I have tons of seasons left to live doing what I want to do and who I want to do it with, I’m a lot happier. I remember to appreciate the time I have now, because soon enough, this season will be over.

Thinking that this time will be over, whether it be an hour, day, week, month, whatever, can give others hope.

I have a friend who has bipolar disorder. She explained to me once that her waves of mania and depression can come and go rather quickly. The times when she experiences mania are unlike anything she experiences. It can seem like she’s in her own world, unaware of what’s going on around her. When she experiences a depressed state, it’s easier for her to remember that the time will be over soon.

Remembering that there are seasons of mental illness helps her get through the day because she knows it’s just the chemicals in her brain changing how she thinks and feels. Thinking of seasons can remind an individual on life as a whole – there’s a bigger picture than the sadness or anxiety that the person experiences in the moment.

In a way, seasons of emotion and mental illness can be thought of just like the seasons of weather. In summer, everything grows. It’s hot, life is good and all is well. In fall, the leaves turn orange, red and yellow as things begin to die. In winter, everything is gray and cold. Yet, in spring everything is regaining color and coming back to life.

A good way to remember to see emotion and mental illness as a season is by writing down reminders. I used to have a note under my light switch in my room that I would see everyday when I left. It reminded me that each day is a new day, and the sun will come again tomorrow.

Times can be hard, especially so around midterms and exams, so just remember that each day is a new day. The weeks and months will end, and when you look back, none of the bad stuff will matter.