Preparing For Fall’s Inevitable Seasonal Cycling

Last Updated: 16 Oct 2020
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As far as seasons go, fall is hands-down my favorite. But as with most good things, there’s a catch. All of my worst manic and depressive episodes were born in autumn.


I love fall. The crisp air, the kaleidoscope of carotenoids, the grocery stores full of pomegranates, pumpkin pies and caramel apples. As far as seasons go, it’s hands-down the most delicious in my book. But as with most unduly delicious things, there’s a catch. All of my worst manic and depressive episodes were born in autumn. In short, my “seasonal pattern” isn’t manic in the summer or depressed in the winter. Rather, it’s all over the place, with the one constant being that bad things tend to happen in the fall. 

Upon finally realizing this, however, things began to change. Those “bad things” became less inevitabilities and more combatable propensities. In short, my realization gave me something to work with. Still, I was initially frustrated by my inability to predict which–if any–bad things (mania or depression or some obnoxious mixture of the two) was most likely to happen. But soon I realized that it really didn’t matter. What mattered most was knowing when I was most vulnerable to disaster, not knowing the most probable type of disaster.

Whatever the case, chances are I would stock up on food, water and flashlights in anticipation of any attack or natural catastrophe. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s an earthquake or a tornado or a drone strike. There are standard public health preparedness tactics that apply across the board. You still need to eat; you still need to hydrate, and you still need to sleep. Once you’ve been knocked on your ass, it doesn’t so much matter whether the culprit was a hurricane or a volcano or a swarm of locusts.

What matters is that you have the tools to get back up, and the more you get back up, the more likely it is that next time, you may well be able to prevent–or at least soften–the blow. 

About the author
Melody Moezzi, an award-winning author and visiting professor of creative nonfiction at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is also an activist, attorney, and keynote speaker. Her most recent book, The Rumi Prescription: How an Ancient Mystic Poet Changed My Modern Manic Life, joins her earlier works: the critically acclaimed Haldol and Hyacinths and War on Error, which earned her a Georgia Author of the Year Award and a Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Honorable Mention. In addition to her Flight of Ideas column for bp Magazine, Moezzi’s writing has appeared in many outlets, including Ms. magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, the Guardian, HuffPost, Al Arabiya, and the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. She has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including CNN, BBC, NPR, PBS, PRI, and more. Moezzi is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the Emory University School of Law, and the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She divides her time between Cambridge, MA, and Wilmington, NC, with her husband, Matthew, and their ungrateful cats, Keshmesh and Nazanin. For more information, please visit melodymoezzi.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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