I used to love autumn. It wasn’t my most favourite time of the year (that was winter) but it was pretty damn close. There’s so much to look forward to; Halloween (especially if you’re a bit of a Goth at heart like me), Bonfire night, and then Christmas. In fact, for me, autumn is almost like a prolonged Christmas Eve, a precursor to the season I absolutely love.
The closer it got to December, the more excited I used to become. September is okay (a little bit too much like summer) but when we get to October and the leaves start to turn from green to brown, and red to gold, as they fall to the ground, I start getting an itch for jumpers, hot chocolate and my big coat.
There’s so much to look forward to…
….like increased pain. Ugh.
Unfortunately, for the past couple of years, Autumn has been hard to enjoy. I don’t know if you’re like me but, as soon as the cold nights and mornings roll in, my pain levels go through the roof. I was seriously pissed last year when my pain started to increase again. Why, oh why, did it have to spoil the months that I love?
Yeah, I was feeling sorry for myself!
But not this year.
No, after five years of getting symptoms that are gradually worsening, I’m taking my life back. Fibro will not take this time of year from me. It just won’t!
I know I’m still going to be in pain. That’s a fact, something I can’t get away from. Indeed, I woke up this morning to bad hips and a pain running across my shoulders. But, this year I’m prepared. I know it’s coming.
Last year I was a mess. I felt really low because I thought, “God, no. Not again. I can’t do this again.”
This year I’m thinking, “It’s not what I want, but it’s what I’ve got. Work with it.”
And, like the cycle of the seasons, it too will pass.
So, this time, I’m going to take my inspiration from Autumn. Autumn is part of a cycle, as my pain is part of a cycle. And, like the cycle of the seasons, it too will pass. It’s true, I’ll always be in pain but the intense, severe pain will pass. I will have ‘normal’ pain levels again. More manageable pain. I have to be patient. I have to focus on other things rather than the pain. I have to find my love for Autumn and Winter again.
First, I’m going to make sure that I get outside every day, even if it’s only for five minutes. It’s so beautiful with the leaves turning and falling, who could fail to be inspired? I love the colours, especially the gold and red leaves against a stormy sky.
Later, I’m going to go out and collect some leaves to make some polymer clay pendants. It’s at this time of year I’m glad I’m creative. I can use what the season gives me to make something and, in doing so, I am distracted from thinking about my pain. This sounds patronising, but a hobby is a great way to distract yourself.
Apple and cinnamon. Yum. Yum
I’m going to bake. When I can. There’s nothing like a freshly baked cake on a cold autumn’s night. Apple and cinnamon. Yum. Yum.
I’m going to read more. Cold, darker nights and rainy days are made for reading. A good book can transport you to other places, other times.
And write. Writing clears my mind of all the junk. If you don’t like writing, you could try journaling, which is also good for mental health.
And, I’m going to drink more hot chocolate. With cream and marshmallows. Because sometimes we need to treat ourselves. To take care of ourselves. And sometimes that means listening to what our body needs. I’ve been experimenting with hot chocolate recently and I’ve found Nutella hot chocolate. It’s to die for! A heaped tablespoon of Nutella warmed in milk on the hob is absolutely divine!
Most of all, I’m going to be patient with myself. I will continue to write and make resin jewellery but I realise sometimes I’m not going to be able to manage this. If I need to rest, I will rest. I WILL find my love for Autumn again.
I AM going to find joy in Autumn again.
Does your pain get worse in Autumn? What do you do to cope?
Images are from Morguefile.com. With thanks to Hotblack, Brendabetty1, Wingzdesign and Moonlightway. Cover photo is also from Morguefile, with thanks again to Hotblack.