The Fear Of Autumn, SAD & Falling Apart Again

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My hair has started falling out again.

Big ‘ol clumps of blonde strands wrapping themselves around my Tangle Teezer and my hand every single damn time I go to brush my hair or move my hair or put my hair up or even so much as look at it in the mirror.

It’s been nearly a year since it stopped, since I moved to Ipswich, packed in my full-time journalism job, and fled the sometimes-cruel, sometimes-incredible whir of living in London.

Yep, it’s been nearly a year since, in the the aftermath of these giant life changes, my hair started, well, doing that thing it does for most people, it started staying attached to my scalp. Hurrah.

I don’t feel stressed. I don’t feel emotionally all over the place, so maybe, maybe my hair’s new-found distress isn’t about my own mental distress, maybe it’s to do with something else.

Way back when in 2012 when it first started making a bid for escape, I had some blood tests taken to check it wasn’t a symptom of something bigger, something like thyroid problems or low iron or summin and everything came back normal.

So maybe something’s changed pyshically, or maybe well, my brain’s up to its old tricks.

Whatever it is, it’s making me feel nervy. It’s making me question myself and my life and my mental health.

We’ve had some really shitty summer weather of late. Grey clouds and dull skies and chilly winds and let’s be honest, it’s felt a little bit like a sucky autumn day. Not one of those happy autumn days when the sun is shining and you’re crunching through leaves and you’re counting down the weeks til Christmas and you’re tucking into take-out Starbucks – just y’know, one of the sucky ones that remind you that not all weather is beautiful.

And it was during that bout of FUCK OFF AND LET ME LIE ON THE SOFA FOREVERMORE weather that I suddenly got scared. Because the nights are slowly getting longer and the days shorter, and soon we’ll be blinking awake to the tring of our morning alarms and it’ll be dark.

I’m scared of the change in seasons because I know, I know I suck at coping with it.

I love autumn and the end of the summer – I love that it means my birthday is upcoming and I used to love that thrill of a new school year, but I don’t like the way it plays absolute games with my mind and mood.

Working from home has been challenging at times. There are days when mustering up the motivation to wake up and sit at my desk and think up list posts and take photos seems the equivalent of attempting to run from here to London. And I am scared that the darkness and gusts of freezing temperature will come and steal the days that I am motivated, the days when I’m like I GOT THIS, I SO GOT THIS.

I’m scared that without the sunshine and the fresh summer blooms and the opportunities for ice cream and iced lattes and picnics and bare legs, my mind will start to crumble and my ability to concentrate and be good at getting out of bed will crumble too.

It makes me scared of my blog and my income and whether I’ll be OK both financially and mentally.

On the day that I’m writing this, the weather isn’t sure. And although the sky seems to change from bright sea-blue to misty twirls of grey-tinged cloud every few minutes, it feels bright and fresh and OK, and my mind feels like everything should be OK, I should be OK, but I’m not.

I just experienced something megz weird, like kinda like a baby-panic attack. I felt sick with all the bad butterflies swarming into the pits of my stomach like I was dreading something and then my body temperature shot up and I felt like I might just burst into flames or have to peel off my skin right there and then. My breathing became rapid and uncontrollable and I had to count it back down to normal. I had to close my eyes at my desk and breathe, just breathe my body and my brain back to its sane place.

That isn’t me, that’s not who I am. Nothing is wrong. There was no negative comment, no email that made me scared, no big ol’ task that I’ve been putting off, nothing. My body and brain just ganged up on me, and it gave me an insight into how I could be when the winter and the SAD comes a’creepin.

I know I’m strong and I know that I can be in control of my own emotions and mood, I know that by being aware of my triggers I am already one step ahead of keeping my demons at bay, but I can’t help but be a little apprehensive.

So what’s my game plan to tackle the hideous little monsters lurking about ready to tackle me to the ground the minute the temperatures start shooting downwards?

To do my usual and write it out, because somehow everything feels like it’s been pieced together and made sense of when the words are there, and I love that. I can understand my own emotions and thoughts when I can structure them into sentences.

And then? To have 67325 different things to look forward to. Plans, holidays, dinners, date nights and friends help make me feel so much less isolated and stuck inside my own head, so I need to keep on top of relationships and plans and my favourite people.

Aside from that it’s all about having a good supply of chocolate, blankets, candles and Netflix for when the days just get too much. Because it’s OK to cut yourself some slack. Taking an hour or a day out doesn’t make you a bad person and it certainly doesn’t make you lazy or not good enough, it makes you human. We all need some respite from our own lives sometimes, and that’s the thing I need to remind myself constantly.

Right, I’m off for crumpets and tea, see ya hunnies.

(Update: I just re-read this post on a different day, and well, hello DARK MOOD. I’m OK before you all blast into a tyrade of super-sweet HOPE YOU’RE OK, HANNAH comments. Because honestly I am. I don’t need time off, I don’t need to step back or any of that malarkey, I’m feeling ready to tackle life and whatever it throws at me. So take this as a reminder that we all have those weird moods that make no sense, we all get freaked out by our own brains, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy or insane, it just means you’re in touch with your mental health and that, my pals, is really frickin’ important.)

See ya’ll.

(‘nother update: I actually wrote this post a few days before the whole Rudey thing happened and then didn’t know when to put it live, so err yeah, in case you were wondering.)

  • nueyork

    SAD is something I have always been incredibly interested in, especially as a psychology student, and reading your thought processes just made me even more interested. I am so sorry you feel this way when the weather gets gloomy, especially since it’s so unavoidable. It’s good to hear you’re feeling better, though. x

    nueyork.blogspot.com

  • The little updates made me smile, have a good day!

    http://francescaandrews.com

  • Caz

    This is a great post especially for me as I’m already dreading the onset of Autumn, kids going back to school, germs, dark mornings & evenings… I used to love Autumn but since the birth of my daughter, I get very low when the seasons change. It’s so hard to explain to people, but from reading your post you have summed it up pretty well. I’m thinking of lots of ways to try & overcome the inevitable feelings I will get but its always so refreshing to know that you are not the only one out there who feels that way..

  • Vee

    I needed this so much now! Just to reassure me that we all have funny moids and we all are normal people trying our best ti cope and be happy . Thank younfor sharing this and keep going xoxo

    Vees Petits Tresors
    Come say hi, subscribe and share if you enjoyed it. Vee xoxo

    • Vee

      Sorry for my typos got so exited reading your post that didnt even check my spelling oops!

  • Have you ever tried a SAD lamp?

    For me it’s not enough and i’m on Zoloft, lols. But lots of people with mild SAD find them helpful apparently?

    Hannah
    x

  • Jenny

    Hey hun, just a little thing, my hair is very sensitive to falling out as well and I actually found the tangle teezer made it WORSE, I felt it pulled my hair out. I would recommend a wide tooth comb and use it while your conditioner is still in…..

    • Oh really? I’ve used mine quite a while and never found it a problem until the past few weeks. Damn hair.

      • Naomi Alexander

        Or don’t brush your hair…. sounds weird but roll with me on this. I have very long thick hair – like past your nips long (Ariel was my fav Disney princess). I rarely brush it… I absolutely tease out with my fingers any sections threatening to become a shadow of a dread cos they def make an appearance! I run my hands through to get rid of loose hairs. I find brushing makes it greasier and I only wash it a couple of times each week – dependent on gym/swim etc. And this is what I’ve done for years – like 15 years and I have, dare I say it myself, shiny My Little Pony worthy hair. I think allowing your hair, skin, body to be as natural as possible is a good thing – it’s far cleverer than we know it ladies.

        And in terms of dark days or black dogs… yep, been there. They hit you like a juggernaut out of the blue and then disappear again after you’ve had a really shi**ty hour, day or week. You come out the other side and say ‘oh right, it was that cloud again’. I find being able to whatsapp a group of girlfriends to say I’m feeling rubbish helps – that act of reaching out and someone holding your hand virtually is a real booster (and reminds you and them that it’s a totally normal thing to feel when you’re dealing with both major and minor things like work, bad bosses, depression, eating disorders or, sadly in my case, a miscarriage a few months ago). I’d recommend getting outside to a quiet street or field or park and have a little walk. It really does clear the mind and calms the nerves down.

        Nothing lasts for ever – this too shall past.

  • You are seriously one of my favorite bloggers because you are honest and its like speaking to a friend when I read your posts. It’s just refreshing to know that someone is willing to share how they really feel for the rest of us to relate to and have that ‘i am not alone’ moment. This was a beautiful and honest post. Thank you for that

  • Gracey

    Hey Hannah!

    Long time lurker here… I’ve had up and down SAD ( alas self diagnosed ) and the best things I have found to perk me up;

    – Endorphin – exercise, whether it’s a bike ride, a long hike for a slice of cake or a gym class I think it’s really important to get some endorphin pumping.

    -making sure I’m taking a multi vitamin.

    I know this one is naughty and people may not agree but I go on the sunbeds twice a week for 3 mins over the winter months and I really think it brightens my mind.

    🙂 I think the exercise is the biggest factor though!

    xxx

    • I totally agree on the exercise thing, it’s just the whole working up the motivation to get there in the first place thing for me ?

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with short bursts of sunbeds, I used to go every now and then but haven’t been for a few years! x

  • Lauren

    I hope you feel better soon. A colleague of mine has a SAD light that he finds really helps x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • It’s really great to share posts like this because it just lets out all the fears without it feeling too much – even looking back and re-reading in a better mood helps so completely understand. I know people who really resent the days getting shorter and I don’t feel the same so it’s difficult to relate, however reading this has really helped me see how I can help my friends who feel crap once the clocks go backwards so thank you!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Nice to know I’m not the only one. I get this impending sense of dread sometime in July every year and it almost spoils summer for me, because all I can think about is the darkness setting in. Have you thought about buying one of those fancy lights for people with SAD that trick you into thinking you’re getting some real sunshine? I don’t have one but if you work from home it might be a good shout, think they’re pretty pricey though.

    And yet, having holiday plans and chocolate and netflix definitely makes it easier!

  • It’s these rambles that I love your blog for. Because I think everyone is affected by the weather in their own way. Miserable days make me feel pretty miserable and I want to lock myself inside

    x
    http://www.siobhanrothwell.wordpress.com

  • I’m glad that retrospectively you were able to see this post as one of those days because we sure as hell all have them. And when you’re within the darkness of that day or that mood it is absolutely impossible to see past it – even if you know in your brain that it isn’t a rational response to a bad situation, but a spontaneous fit of URGH LIFE. Glad to hear you’re good chum. Lots of love to Rudey. Hope we can meet up next week. xxxx
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  • I absolutely love true, down to earth posts from the heart! The winter worries me too, especially as my mental health has been up and down over the past year. But to me, I have learnt to try and think of the positives about winter as I struggle to pick myself back up again when I hit rock bottom: snow; buying a new winter coat; getting out my thick heavy duck down duvet; snuggling up with a hot water bottle in bed; drinking red wine and turning the fire up full. Keep smiling 🙂

    Laura x | Life and Lipstick

  • Hey Hannah!

    I’d love it if we could work together and you guest blogged on mine!

    It would be great to hear back!

    R

  • Hi! Sorry to hear about your hair. Mine is falling out like crazy too and I don’t know what to do about it. You speak a lot of truths here on this post and it’s a brave step to do that. While it’s convenient to work from home, I find it helpful to go to a cafe or a different setting sometime just to reset the mood and get me around people. Best of luck with everything!!!

    xoxo Emily
    http://www.ditchtheheels.com

  • Ashleigh

    Hi Hannah,

    I live in Melbourne, Australia and we’re currently going through the coldest winter we’ve had in decades.
    Everything you wrote is exactly how I’m feeling at the moment, sad.
    The freezing, dark mornings and long, rainy days are horrible and I can’t wait for some sun!
    Thank you for writing this and showing me I’m not the only one who gets like this when the weather turns bad.
    Waiting it out and having those days tucked away inside is all we can do but I know you’ll remain positive and keep writing your amazing posts!

    xox

  • I’ve been a lurker for a while (not in a creepy way, honest) and keep meaning to comment. Big fan of the honesty – I love reading blogs where it isn’t all about the sweetness and light, ‘cos sometimes life isn’t the greatest and I’m feeling huge respect for anyone who has the guts to put that out there.

  • One of the best things I found from moving to Australia was the way I didn’t feel like a dark cloud was hovering over my head during the Winter- I never actually thought moving here would help, but I honestly have found every time I woke up I felt much happier for no apparent reason. With the hair thing- I just resort to not brushing it at all when it’s really bad x

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for telling it like it is Hannah. This post really resonates with me. The weather affects me so much, when it gets dark, gloomy, rainy I get sucked in so easily. I was born and raised in the Middle East (although my family are from Stoke!) I was immersed in sunshine and heat (spoiled really!) but now that I live in the UK I really struggle in the Autumn and Winter months. I try to remind myself that the summer wouldn’t be so beautiful and bright without the balance of winter, similar how people say England wouldn’t be so lovely and green without the rain! It’s been really difficult this past year as I’ve been struggling with bronchitis since last December. It never really cleared and I feel we were robbed of a summer this year! So I’m dreading the winter! My coughing gets worse just from breathing cold air which sucks as I’m an outdoorsy person (I love horse-riding and walking!). I work from home as well so I’m feeling a foreboding sense of being trapped. My aim is to get out, use the heating of my local library, cafés to use their wifi to keep changing my environment without travelling too far and hopefully without spending too much money! I’m sorry for the boring rant but I really liked your post as I felt alone in dreading the cold. Everyone else seems excited for cosy nights in, autumn leaves etc etc but to be frank it makes my heart sad, so thank you for your refreshing honesty, I love the way you write.

  • Great Post, check out KittyKit, Cat products to suite all cats. http://www.kittykit.co.uk/17-cat-collars


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