“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” – Author unknown
I love Autumn. OK … I love every transition between seasons. From Summer to Autumn … Autumn to Winter … Winter to Spring … you get it. Leaves falling, snow drifting, perennials budding. Autumn has come late to Northeast Ohio this year thanks to a hot, wet fall. We had spectacular colors and the leaves are finally starting to let go.
Sometimes we have to “let go” to be able to move forward … in order to grow.
As mental illness caregivers and loved ones, we know a lot about letting go. Letting go of …
“normal” … only to find our “new normal"
expectations … for both our loved ones and for ourselves
comparisons … how does my loved one “measure up"
stigma of mental illness … sometimes the fear and shame stand in our way
and sometimes even our hopes and dreams
Of course, there are transitions in life that can be hard for just about anyone. Transitioning to …
a new job … will I perform to their expectations of me?
a new school or going away to college … will I make friends? will I measure up?
a new neighborhood or city … will I meet people like me?
new relationship or marriage … will I find a lifelong partnership and companionship?
ending a relationship or divorce … will I be alone or be able to find love again?
expanding family … will I ever have time for myself or my partner again?
But when someone exhibits signs such as personality changes, agitation, withdrawal, poor hygiene or hopelessness, those may be symptoms of depression, rather than responses to a difficult transition. Our friends at Esperanza Magazine for Anxiety and Depression offer some excellent insight in supporting your loved one with depression:
https://www.hopetocope.com/helping-a-loved-one-with-depression/. As they say, “you can’t ‘fix’ someone living with depression. What you can do is find ways to show that you care and encourage them to seek help.”
Wishing you an Autumn full of positive transitions, growth, opportunities and possibilities,
Founder and Executive Director
PS: And, if you are looking for support or interested in providing support … don’t forget about the launch of our One-to-One Caregiver Support program. Apply here.