Acorns and Embers

I managed to wake up before my cat the last few mornings. Which is no small feat, because that guy never hits the snooze button.

It’s been a while since I saw the dark side of the sunrise, and as a result I haven’t blogged in 4 months. This despite the fact that writing, for me, is an antidepressant. It’s free therapy. And the act of writing is pure alchemy. It is the single thing that most consistently and most viscerally makes me feel like myself.

In mid-summer, mental health drifted maddeningly out of my grasp once again, as did clarity and creativity and the physical ability to drag myself out of bed before the last possible minute. It is only in the last two weeks that I have felt a flicker of momentum.

July, August, and September were not momentum months for me. They were treading water, feeling adrift, keeping my head above the surface months. Despite an abundance of sunshine, it was not my brightest season.

I didn’t crashingly bottom out this time like I did in spring 2021, when the two ravenous wolves of anxiety and depression feasted mercilessly on my mind. When I could barely take my kids outside without feeling the weight of the world pressing down upon me. When insomnia ravaged my body and melancholia ravaged my mind.

After suffering with that affliction for a while last year, I sought help from a doctor. Despite being a thuddingly tone-deaf, bombastic fellow, the doctor gave me an antidepressant that effectively helped restore my baseline mental health 3 or 4 weeks later. That was a truly dark night of the soul, and emerging from it was one of the most triumphant emergences of my life.

This time around, in my current mental health downswing, I’ve been more functional. It’s felt more like a mental fog uneasily resting on my mind rather than a 2-ton anvil brutally squashing my heart. I’ve felt more flailing than flattened. More discombobulated than decimated. More down than out.

But regardless, it sucks to not feel like myself.

And I’m ready — months past ready — to move back into the light.

Which feels precarious to say in mid-October since the actual light is starting to fade, and I know what late fall and early winter can be like for me. December and January can be bruising months for my seasonally affected self.

All the more reason to tenaciously summon my will in autumn and gather acorns for winter.

All the more reason to wake up early, well before the kids do (and that darn cat), and start writing again.

All the more reason to, as Thomas said, “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

The light that glows in the golden autumn sky a little less each day.

And the light that still glows deep inside my weary soul.

Even if it’s just a spark. A flicker. A dull ember.

But an ember can be awakened.

5 thoughts on “Acorns and Embers

  1. Courage takes many forms, and sometimes it’s just getting out of bed at all. I’m not going to throw a lot of platitudes in your direction about how brave you are for dealing with this very real problem as best you can (although you are) and I’ll just say I wish with all my soul I could help in some way. You and I have never met, and likely never will in person, but I just want to say Jeremy; I love you. At first I loved you for the way you stood up for my brother Don, but now I love you for you, and I ache for you and all you go through. I love your amazing kids, and your beautiful wife Dani, and your brothers who care for you, and lets not forget Anita in whose heart you reside. And I wish with every fiber of my being that I could reach out and hug you. You are loved.

    Like

  2. Jer, really appreciated this one, and not just as a Morning Person. Glad that things are trending in the right direction and hope it’s a bright autumn in your life.

    Like

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