Approaching winter sadness with open arms

It’s the most beautiful fall in Kansas. The leaves have turned, Halloween is around the corner and pumpkin spice everything is in full effect. Which means that winter is practically tomorrow and I would normally be full of panic. Historically the act of putting on a scarf means full blown anxiety about what’s to come.

Every year since my baby was born, I have approached winter with serious plans and clenched fists. Having spent many a winter depressed, locking myself in my room, causing worry from bosses, teachers and friends, this time of year I get anxious. I can’t go back there. I can’t sit in a room alone getting high and writing bad poetry, waiting for “everyone” to figure out how awful I am and get over it. I have a kid who needs her Mom present, I can’t disappear from myself.

Around this time last year I was writing up my rigid wellness plan and mentioned it to a friend. Her response gave me pause, “We aren’t meant to be full steam ahead in all seasons, we hibernate in our own ways.” It was a casual comment that I couldn’t let go of. What?! Acknowledge my body’s desire to slow down for a whole season without fear?! So last year I went about my well laid plans and thought about what she said all winter.

This year I’m opening my arms to my body’s ask to slow down. I’m looking forward to sitting in uncomfortable feelings without judging myself or trying to fix them. To embracing some sadness. And quiet. I’m diving into the darkness of the season and of myself with full trust that if I feel that familiar downward spiral- I know how to pull myself out. I’ve spent the last 10 years examining myself, my triggers, and how to come out if I need to, so I feel equipped.

I’ve been studying the seasons, what they symbolize and what happens in the natural world, and I’ll be damned if it all doesn’t resonate on a cellular level for me. Themes of traveling inward, the hermit, incubation of ideas, crystalizing growth. Things appear to die so they can come back to life again with bigger, more beautiful colors. And rest, so much rest.

So if you need me I’ll be doing my own kind of hibernation. I have projects but plan to be in no rush. I will be still and unsettled should discomfort be asked of me. I am walking inward knowing that the underbelly is where deeper understanding is. I am hoping to let go of control and trust my own evolution. I don’t want to go full speed all the time, and I hope I discover that I don’t have to. That there is a way to slow without disappearing completely.

I’ll keep you posted.

*This is in no way an RX for anyone else. I can only speak to my own experience. But figuring out what is best for your unique situation is between you and those whom you seek advisement.*