September Struggles

September has arrived. If you read my previous entry, you might recall that I mentioned this month as being the least favorite month of the year for me.
This came up in a recent conversation I had with a friend who has his own struggles with anxiety and depression. I pointed out that it would probably surprise a great many of my closest friends to know that September is my least favorite month because there are things that on paper should make September a month I look forward to each year. But despite those reasons I am about to list, it has never been true.

A lot of people I am quite fond of have September birthdays. My dad had a September birthday. Two of my grandparents, my mom’s dad and my dad’s mom both had September birthdays as well. My friend Marcus has one and so does some Ric Gillespie fellow that I know. The most stable romantic relationship I ever had was with a woman who has a September birthday and because I’m on good terms with everyone I’ve ever dated, I still wish her a happy birthday each year.
If you want to talk about other events in September that I like, you can start with the South Dakota State Fair (more on this year’s Fair in a bit) and also the new fall TV season. The latter event means less to me now than it used to simply because I don’t watch as much TV as I used to and most of the TV I do watch doesn’t premier in September anyway. This fact is hardly unique to me in the day and age in which we currently live.
If you want to talk about sports, September is when baseball gets great, when football season starts and when hockey and basketball start to gear up. Another thing about September I have noticed over the past few years is that it is usually a good month for new book releases. There are several I am excited for this month in both fiction and nonfiction.
Those are all good reasons for September to hold a soft spot in my heart. The fact that it is also when I decide to make a batch of chili for the first time in months is also nice. And yet…

I have never been a fan. When I was younger I thought my dislike of September had everything to do with going back to school the day after labor day. The fact was I always felt sad on the first day of school and figured that I was pretty much like everyone else in that regard. Unfortunately, in college I started to realize that that wasn’t really the issue at all. College started before the first of September and I was relatively fine but that day after Labor Day was always tough.
I haven’t had a first day of school since 2003. I haven’t had a first day of school that came after Labor Day since 1998. And yet, the day after Labor Day is still tough for me. I don’t even have kids going to school tomorrow but know it is going to be a tough day.

The transition from summer to fall is the real source of my problem. It took me a long time to figure this out but once I did, it all made perfect sense. I may have mentioned this in my last post so I apologize if I’m repeating myself. But every year when summer ends, regardless of what I got done or how much fun I had or anything I always feel like I wasted another summer. When seasonal fall hits in a couple of weeks there is a pretty good chance that I will feel like I failed to make the most of my summer months.
A few years ago I spent the last day of summer at my cousin’s house. I love spending time at her house, so this should have been a great thing. It was terrible. While there was a bit of a family gathering going on inside the house, I was sitting in the back yard fighting off tears. I spent so much energy sulking that I was in bed before 6 PM.

I want to take a step back for a moment. You will notice that I said earlier that tomorrow could be tough. You will notice that I did not say that tomorrow will be bad. This is because I do not want tomorrow to be bad, no matter how difficult it may be. When I wake up in the morning, I am going to try and make it the best possible day. I am actually planning to listen to a book that is released tomorrow that I am very excited about. Perhaps I will even grab lunch with a friend and do some shopping.
If I woke up tomorrow and just decided that it was going to suck then it would suck. One of the ways I try and fight my depression is by reminding myself that a bad day today does not have to mean a bad day tomorrow. I try to take each day on its own terms. Some days this works well, other days I lose the battle because I only have so much energy and will.
This is why I told my friend about my September struggles in the first place. He woke up on August 1, said that this month was going to suck and it was practically guaranteed at that point. The point that I tried to make with him and that I am making here now is that despite all of the things about September that give me trouble I am still going to do my best to have a good month. Perhaps I will succeed and perhaps I will fail but even if I do fail it won’t be because I didn’t try.

So how am I doing so far this month? Well, the fact that I asked yesterday on Facebook if the month was over yet should probably be interpreted as a sign that we’re not off to a good start. For one thing, there is a certain NFL transaction that has absolutely filled me with fury. It is actually to the point where I may just not watch any football this season because this is sports, they’re supposed to be fun and I don’t really need new reasons to get upset.
That all happened on Saturday which was the day I decided I was going to go to the Fair. I wanted to see Williams and Ree at the Freedom Stage at 4. I spent some time on the Fair Grounds on Friday, I went to 2 shows and had a great time. Friday was a great day, it was also still August.
So I got to the Fair at around 3 and all went well enough right away. I got a corn dog and a strawberry smoothie, two of my 5 must have Fair items. My sister and I made it to the Freedom Stage in time for the Williams and Ree show and it was absolutely packed, there was standing room only, all the chairs were taken. This didn’t bother me, we found a place in the shade and I enjoyed the show while downing my smoothie. But then things started to head south.
I learned a valuable lesson on Saturday. As delicious as a strawberry smoothie might be, it isn’t going to keep me hydrated. I finished my smoothie and a few minutes later, something began to happen. I got a ringing in my ears and could not keep my eyes open. Williams and Ree sounded like they were a hundred miles away when just moments before I heard them just fine. I also began to rock back and forth on my feet, I should add that my feet were already sore and I was dealing with swelling and blisters. I really need to stop wearing sandals on long walks.
Thirty seconds after I realized I was in trouble and that this wasn’t just going to pass after a few moments I told my sister that I needed to sit down and get water right then and there. How I managed to not faint is beyond my comprehention. She got me to a chair, went and bought me a water and not too long after I started drinking it I was feeling better.
After awhile I was able to get up, I acquired kettle corn and lemonade, (items 3 and 4 on my 5 Fair items list) and then happened upon my High School debate coach and talked to him for about 10 minutes. Then I decided that since I had nearly fainted, it was probably a good idea to head home. So we headed towards a gate and my sister called my mom to arrange a ride. All tolled I spent 3 hours on the grounds, only saw part of the show I specifically came to see but did get everything on my list but a funnel cake. A good conversation that came after nearly fainting means that we’ll call it a mixed bag.
I came home, decided to not order the All In wrestling show that night, soaked my feet in cold water to reduce the swelling and went to bed by 8 PM.
You would think that perhaps all of that would at least have lead to a good night sleep. You would be wrong. I was up before 3 AM and still pretty sore and cranky.

Yesterday, my Amazon account was somehow compromised. I know this because I woke up from a nap to discover that while I was asleep I had somehow managed to orent Deadpool 2 from Amazon. There were just a couple of problems. The first was that I already own Deadpool 2. The second was that I was asleep at the time of the transaction. I found out a third problem later when I was told by Amazon customer service that the order had been placed from my Roku neither of which was in use at the time. I also never order anything from Amazon using my Roku.
Thankfully, after a brief chat with Amazon customer service I was able to get a refund. I changed my Amazon password for the second time in 2 months (I changed it in August as a matter of routine) and unlinked both my Roku devices from my account. I also changed my Roku account password because I suspect that this is where the trouble is coming from as I had an incident with Sling TV in July where service had been activated without my permission and given what happened yesterday I suspect that was done through my Roku as well. How, I have no idea but it was a good enough reason to get more brand new shiny passwords.

How about today? I can’t say it has been a good day but I also can’t say it has been a bad one. Even so, it is an improvement over the previous two days. There is even a chance that I will complete the Fair food list with a funnel cake.
I’m still bracing myself for tomorrow and for the last full day of summer later this month. But one thing I do have to look forward to is the calendar switching to October. I have no strong opinion about October one way or the other.

One thought on “September Struggles

  1. Casey, you are one of my favorite people on earth, and while I can’t claim to understand what you’re going through, I can tell you that I’m sorry, and that you continue to remain amazing! If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask!


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