As autumn turns to winter, depression and grief return to haunt me. It used to be my favorite time of the year, especially Halloween. The year 2012 changed all that for me, and ever since then, this time of year has been a struggle. As it turns out, this year is particularly rough, but I’m trying not to let it beat me. I recognize that it’s more difficult this time… it hasn’t been this bad in years.

I’ve got to keep fighting though. I must push through this. If I just weather out this storm, things will begin improving after February, or at least that’s been the cycle for the past five years. You would think by now it would get easier, rather than more difficult, but you can’t predict life’s twists and turns, it’s effects on your emotions, how strong the hold, or how deep the reach, until you are already in its clutches.

So what do I do when the cycle of darkness returns? I turn to my creativity and draw, paint, and write, and I turn to nature to find something beautiful to be grateful for, and I get the hell out of Dodge (the confines of my house) and find something to do to take my mind off my burdens. Basically, I seek out anything that can bring something positive into my life, even if short lived.

Today was a work day, but it was one of those slow, quiet days when I find myself all caught up on paperwork and tasks. Slow mundane days tend to allow a person’s thoughts to run rampid, and when those thoughts are gloomy, it’s a bad combination. So today, I sat outside for a few minutes after lunch, and took in the sights and sounds of nature, as well as the banging and shouts from the nearby construction site, and I welcomed the light and warmth of the sun.

I live in Arizona, so nature here isn’t as pretty as other places of the world, at least in my opinion, but it does have its own particular kind of beauty, so I sat on the concrete and took it all in.

I gave thanks for the not-so-hot weather, the brilliance of the clear, cloudless, blue sky, the thousands of sharp bristles on the jumping cactus, saguaro, and barrel cactus. I took notice of the tiny ants navigating through the pebbles and cracked dry earth, and how I could smell the unique scent of the ants. I admired the mounds so carefully and painstakingly built around their homes near where I sat, and the patterns of the dry, crack-riddled dirt. I admired the growth of the new addition and appreciated how quickly it has grown and changed.

I respected the teamwork of the workers as they shouted across the steel beams, communicating to their team. I welcomed the slight breeze, and I just soaked it all up… until it was time to go back inside. By the time I returned to my office, my mood was slightly improved.

Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that brighten your existence. Amazing how just a few minutes outdoors, shifted my mood… and just like that, I found myself grateful for this day.

About our guest rebel

Rebecca “Reba” White is an artist and writer.

Her work can be found in Soul Path Magazine, her personal blogs, Quiet Rebel Bureau and gracing homes and offices of family and friends.

Reba lives in Arizona with her sister, a loving marmalade tabby, and a midnight cat from hell.

She is a warrior fighting a battle against lifelong depression and anxiety, and a cheerleader for perseverance.

It’s Reba’s hope that through her writing and art, she can touch lives, and help others who have similar battles.

“Depression is a bitch, but you can’t let it win! Keep fighting!”

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