On seasonal changes….
I don’t use the term depression for any darkening of my experience, but I do find that there is a big natural shift in winter that encourages going inward and slowing down. I have found for a long time now that moving away from the pathologizing of my experience has been a healthy move for me and many of the folks I advocate for.
It strikes me that our culture is sick and we need to find ways of going back to basics and our true nature.
I often speak to the changing of seasons and how I see the natural contracting that happens in winter as a part of being human. Our society largely doesn’t know how to deeply and profoundly meet the human animal and so it forces most of us to do far more than our animal bodies want to do to also stay healthy and balanced. This means that folks who cannot keep up with the rat race end up believing and being told that they are sick and disordered.
All of life contracts in the winter but we humans are supposed to be separate from this web of life. This is how I’ve come to see my natural change of pace in the winter.I see “S.A.D” not as a pathological process, indeed, not as a disorder, but as our bodies flowing with nature in a natural way … if we let it. Fighting it will, indeed, make us sick, that strikes me as the disorder. We all fight our natural way of being in this culture. We’re all conditioned away from who we are to the point of truly making ourselves unwell.
I understand that sometimes framing one’s experience as illness in these contexts is helpful to some folks. I’ve not found it to be for myself and I tend to speak from this alternate framing of these phenomena.
My healing process more than anything, has been a coming back to the animal body that knows how to be in this life. It’s a beautiful process really, but oh, man, has it been a long hard haul.
In surrender I am now finding this winter beautiful as I slow down and go inward with a deep gratitude to be alive.
So if all of nature contracts in winter…why shouldn’t we also do the same?
Spring and summer is like another world. I am intimately part of the world around me. I hope we can all learn to enjoy the quiet darkness of winter.
- Fall into winter: a time of contraction
- Expansion and contraction
- Thoughts about the change of seasons…fall is upon us, winter approaches
- this fragile web: why every moment matters (Happy Winter Solstice and Holidays)
- Winter lull…
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That’s so wonderful to follow your rhythm and go inward and be introverted. I find that, for me as well, it is best to pay attention to what I need, and not pathologize that need. A complete radical acceptance of my physical and mental state at all times