When You Dread a New Season

By Emily HockenhullMay 27, 2024

What do you do when the stage is set for a transition in seasons, but you dread the season ahead even more than the heartbreakingly painful one you’ve just walked through?

Often, the beginning of a new season comes with a sense of excitement and anticipation. With the allure of new possibilities and fresh starts. It presents a chance to start over with new habits, new motivations, and new goals.

I’ve often felt this excitement during a transition myself. At the beginning of a new school year, a new job, or a birthday that signals a new year of life. Particularly in the last few years, I’ve longed for a change of seasons. It’s been one of those periods where one trauma piles on top of another until it feels like I’m playing whack-a-mole with life—dealing with one situation only to have two or three more pop up, uninvited and unexpected. At every turn in the road, I’ve thought that what lies around the bend has to be better. And each time, I’ve been sadly surprised by the same types of situations on repeat, like an inescapable loop in a horror movie I just can’t seem to find a way out of.

Another bend looms in the distance, but this time, I’m approaching things differently. Instead of rejoicing at the possibility of a new season about to start, I find myself dreading the threatened season’s commencement far more than I welcome it. This leaves me with one question: When you find yourself at such a place in life, how should you handle it? The best answer I’ve been able to come up with is accepting the past while holding space for the future.

There are days when panic rises. When the painful memories make me want to disconnect my brain. When I just can’t stomach the thought of accepting that certain difficult circumstances are part of my story.

But it is only in owning these painful parts—accepting them as a season in my life and a part of my past—that I have any chance of exiting the cycle of struggling to forget so I can begin to forge a firm foundation for future growth.

Stopping there, however, would be simply depressing. While holding acceptance in one hand, I must also hold onto hope in the other by remembering that every season of life is simply a chapter, not the entire story. Things can and will change, as this is the nature of life. Even as there will be hard moments to come, there will also be joyous ones filled with light, life, and love. Those precious moments are worth holding on for, and the season ahead is bound to hold at least some of them, hard though it may be.

Remembering this, I will do my best to learn from what this chapter has to offer. I will seek to make the most of where I’m currently at. I will strive to meet the season ahead with acceptance and hope held hand in hand, anchoring me firmly in the present moment. Because it’s part of my story, but not the ending.

People need other people. You are not weak for wanting or needing support. If you’re seeking professional help, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected]

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Comments (6)

  1. Jalina R.

    I really needed to hear this today. It gives me a new perspective on dealing with my grief and the challenges life will throw my way, so, THANK YOU!!

    Reply  |  
  2. Cheryl Margaret

    I needed this chapter of your story! I’ve been going thru the same & while I have struggled tremendously by questioning my purpose in life, it is hope that has pushed me thru, picked me up & paved a new path to help me find a better way to live. Thank you for sharing. This is powerful!

    Reply  |  
  3. Michael

    This is exactly what I needdd to calm the panic in me and give insight. I didn’t know what to do tonight to deal with it and then I opened the app.

    Reply  |  
  4. Meghan

    This made me cry because I’m currently neck-deep in these feelings. Radical acceptance is so hard yet so necessary for me if I’m going to look toward the future with hope instead of fear. Thank you for articulating what I haven’t been able to say.

    Reply  |  
  5. Robin

    Thankyou Emily. This is everything I needed to day but didn’t know the words even though I used to be an excellent writer. Now I am numb and don’t know how to accept “joyous ones filled with light, life, and love”

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Robin, we’re glad you found these words and that they spoke to you. But we’re truly sorry to hear that you are feeling numb and unable to enjoy the good things that you deserve to experience. Maybe this is a chapter that will pass, but please know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Will you email our team at [email protected] so we can learn more about your story? We’d be honored to offer you a safe space to share, encouragement, and support. We’re here, and we’re glad you are too.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
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