Seasonal Reflections

img_1107I find myself quite pensive and reflective these days. I’m sitting here in beautiful Washington state witnessing the evidence of the changing season. This is something that I have rarely been lucky enough to see. I grew up in the Mojave Desert and we don’t get four seasons like the rest of the country does, and I have to say I had no idea what I was missing!

Along with the beauty of the change that I am witnessing, I am fearful of what the coming Winter will bring. Part of my worry is for my Raynaud’s attacks that occur every time my body gets even mildly cold. My fingers and toes turn colors and less frequently my ears, nose and lips will experience at attack. It’s irritating, frustrating and embarrassing but it is my life now. Living in Washington I will definitely be exposed to snow and for the first time in my life I’m gonna have to learn how to live with that.


In previous years there has been a seasonal concern related to my mental health. I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and every single Winter I get so depressed that I basically check out of my life. This has happened every year that I can remember and I’m so afraid that it is going to happen this year, too. One year it got so bad that I almost had to go to the hospital. This year I am already on the medication that should suppress these symptoms, so there is hope of a better year. Fingers crossed!

img_1144These days my mind is occupied with thoughts and plans to help me prepare for the coming cold season. I’m stocking up on the various heating products that will likely save my behind this Winter. Heaters, heating blankets, hand warmers and heavy jackets are high on the list. My poor husband is going to need two jobs just to get me through!

My kids are extremely excited at the prospect of playing in the snow. I try not to smash their hopes by telling them how horrible it will likely be for me, or that I probably won’t be able to play with them in the snow. That’s one of the saddest parts of my disease – I miss out on so much by being sick or having to skip the cold activities.

img_1134-1There’s something about the changing of the seasons that makes me keenly aware of my own aging process. My birthday comes in January and the closer we get the more I reflect on the life that I have had and wonder what will become of the life that I have left. My memory always returns to the conversation with the doctor that told me I would need a liver transplant within ten years. His words echo louder during this reflective period that I seem to be in. My hair is starting to turn gray and some wrinkles are making their way across my face. I’m strangely okay with the aging process… It is my greatest hope to live long enough to call myself old. After all… Aging is a privilege denied to many.


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