Surviving September

There’s something about September that wants to eat you.

I wrote that years ago and it’s still just as true today.  In fact, every September for years and years I’ve written a post about how – for me at least – September brings a sneaking depression with it.  This September has been similar, but in a way it’s a comfort to look back at my blog posts and see that the fear and dread is seasonal…and that it passes.  That I’ve survived every September so far, and that’s a good record to remind myself of.  And if you’re reading this?  So have you.

I was going to write a longer post but I sort of think the best thing I can do today is to read a book and take a walk and do something nice for myself.  And so should you. Make a plan right now to do something lovely to celebrate being alive.  And instead of writing a long post I’m going to post what I wrote last year because it makes me happy, and maybe it’ll make you happy too:

September is an asshole.  I don’t why.  Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight or the end of summer or some sort of ancient curse, but regardless, it’s always a hard month to survive if you have depression.  I’ve pulled out my light therapy magic box but it’s not entirely enough so yesterday we went to the pet store so I could cover myself in medicinal ferrets. Unfortunately this pet store knows me so they were like, “ONE FERRET AT A TIME, LADY” and “WE WILL FRISK YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE” but one was enough to kickstart the happy.  It wasn’t quite strong enough though so we went to one of those zoos that’s not really a zoo because the animals are running around free and you just drive through and throw food at them.  It is one of my favorite things ever and not just because it’s hilarious to see Victor get mad about a traffic jam that consists entirely of ostriches who don’t give a fuck about where you have to go.


Even better, Victor isn’t entirely trusting of large wild animals so he yells, “OTHER SIDE OF THE CAR, FRANK.  I DON’T SUPPORT YOUR PANHANDLING” (he thinks they will listen better if he uses names) or “GET AWAY WITH YOUR BLACK DEMON EYES, LARRY.  I KNOW YOUR GAMES” as Hailey and I feed them and assure them he really doesn’t mean it.  Then he yells “I MEAN IT, LARRY.  AND I WANT MY SOUL BACK.”  But then eventually he’ll see some sort of animal with a limp or a missing horn and he’ll get all mushy and feed it and yell at the other animals about how awesome this broken animal is so that it will feel better about itself.  It’s basically how he wooed me and it totally worked.

"He's not missing a horn, Larry. HE'S A UNICORN." ~ Victor
“He’s not missing a horn, Larry. HE’S A DAMN UNICORN.” ~ Victor

We went at the end of the day so most of the animals were already full and sleepy but I did have an encounter with a zebra who was terrifying, derpy and noble all at once.


"Knock knock motherfucker." This zebra has NO chill.
“Knock knock motherfucker.” This zebra has NO chill.

If you squint, his snout looks like a black panther, which is probably a very good defense if lions attack during the night.

We also met an emu (I think?) who reminded me that birds are our closest relations to dinosaurs and I fed him out of the bag while Victor reminded me that the almost-velociraptor probably wanted my meat sausages (which I thought was a gross because I don’t have a bag of penises, Victor, but then I figured out that he meant my delicious fingers) but I totally would have let this guy chew on my fingers because the smiles he gave me were worth everything.  And I’m sharing it with you because LOOK AT THIS FACE.

"Hello. I'm from the Dark Crystal. I'll just live in your nightmares from now on."
“Hello. I’m from the Dark Crystal. I’ll just live in your nightmares from now on.”


And then I felt better.  And I’m sharing it so you will too.  Just remember that as dark as September gets there are ridiculous near-dinosaurs waiting to smile enormously as you hand-feed them.  And that’s worth sticking around for.

PS. You know when a guy is trying to be all suave and he lights two cigarettes for him and his honey?  Not as cool as you think it looks:


206 thoughts on “Surviving September

Read comments below or add one.

  1. September in Idaho is officially trying to eat us… in a manner of speaking. In the vein of all the bizarre weather and natural disasters (although not as outwardly terrifying as earthquakes and hurricanes), we went from about 95 F to 55 F in under a week. We even got our first winter weather advisory today, the last day of summer. Pretty frackin’ odd, if you ask me.

  2. I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO USES FERRETS MEDICINALLY?!?!? This is life-changing information. Thank you. My brain-ferrets also thank you.

    But now I’m kind of jealous that you have one of those zoos handy, because I would never not go there. I’d make it part of my regular commute. I would be late to everything, but let’s face it, that’s already happening and I’m not getting to feed unicorns so…

  3. September is always a bitch, but you’re right, we’re still here. It’s my day off, so I’m gonna find something fun to do. If only I lived by a safari park lol!

  4. I’ve struggled with September for years too. It’s always the beginning of a bit of a slide for me. September is awful. I bounce back a bit in October, like there’s this last desperate gasp before winter hits and I’m determined to get as much oxygen as possible (plus it’s Halloween, which definitely helps), and then it’s a slow descent into the terrors of Christmas. I usually do NaNo in November to help stave it off but there are years when I can’t muster the energy and go under really quickly. I’m hoping this year isn’t one of them. KNOCKS ON WOOD I’ve been feeling okay so far this month.
    I hope you’re feeling better soon xxxxxx
    P.S. I recently accidentally quoted you in the novel I’m currently working on. There was an incident with a door, I found myself writing, “Knock, knock, motherfucker.” And thinking, ‘Hmmm…that sounds really familiar’.
    It took me a few days to remember where it came from!

  5. My birthday is in September, and it usually has the best weather everywhere (at least before we
    entered into Bizarro Freakazoid Weather World)… so I love it the best, but I totally get you. It’s the Impending Darkness (or the Gathering Gloom, for you Moody Blues fans). Personally I medicate with new books and clothes and school supplies and regress to the first grade when life was simple. Hugs!

  6. Thanks for this. It’s been a pretty shittastic month, but I’m almost convinced the light at the end of that tunnel over there isn’t an oncoming dragon who wants to eat my face off. Maybe it’s just a terrifying zebra or a smiling emu.

  7. I always thought it was February that did me in, but September is killing me this year. Actually, this whole year is killing me, but September has particularly sucked. Smiling emus help, though.

  8. I just sent my boyfriend the terrifying emu pic, just like I did last year. We did one of these a few months back.. the three year old loved it and I screamed and rolled my window up every time something got near me. There was a 45 minute traffic jam because of water buffalo. All I could think was, you taste delicious…. But seriously, some aggressive MFers at those places.

    Let’s hope for some sun and a few more weeks of warmer weather with less natural disasters!

  9. Hey Jenny, thanks for cheering me up! I was feeling a bit blue about the end of Summer. Now I want to go out and get an Emu as a pet. Checking Amazon right now. Shhhhh, don’t tell my husband.

  10. OMGaaawww! An Ostrich tried to kill me there and when I tried rolling up my window because he wanted IN the vehicle, I freaked out and accidently threw my phone and it took a couple of pictures of the floor. The donkeys were super chill and just wanted to be friends and yes, it is a cool place to go.
    You are AWESOME as always. Thanks for the smiles an laughter!

  11. Ah, September. It is my nemesis and my hope and it tornadoes into my living room every year with the same contradictory intent – to simultaneously reduce me to a pile of rubble and convince me I’m better than I think I am. Yes, it’s the anniversary month of my greatest and most terrible life choice (one and the same), but it troubled me long before that event a dozen years ago. Maybe it was the promise and threat of a new school year that first turned my Septembers into an unpredictable beast. For me during this time, depression becomes a more vivid thing – like the “magic hour” just before dusk that Terrence Malick favors in his films. Despite the inevitable heartache that accompanies it, I have come to realize that I’m the closest to brilliant in this terrible wonderful season, so I’m embracing September and writing a novel and inviting the demons to join me for coffee every morning. Sometimes it’s just better to know where they are, you know? Wishing you good things, friend.

  12. OMG, Michelle (#1): I, too, got pecked by an ostrich at the Cincinnati Zoo. I bet it was the same ostrich who had somehow developed a taste for human flesh. I no longer give ostriches the time of day. They are dead to me.

  13. That zebra looks an awful lot like the zebra in one of these parks that bit me in the elbow. It was just a reminder that there is a reason you should sometimes listen to instructions when you are doing something you don’t normally do.

  14. Hang in there, my friend. October is just around the corner. If you need a lift, check out the Fall color guide for the State of Missouri. For me, September is just a waiting area where they stick people until the leaves start to turn. October in the Ozarks is spectacular. You and Victor should stop by some time.

  15. I shared your “September is an asshole” post last week with a student who is struggling with depression and insomnia and is falling behind in my class. I thanked them for their bravery in sharing their struggle and let them know that they are not alone. We made a plan for catching up, and they’re feeling moderately better about the one thing I can help to make better. Sending you love and positivity this September

  16. The sneaking depression is the theme of September for me, too. I had dreams last night that my landlady hated me and stole my garden spot and planted succulents in it and was singing bad songs with her grandkids about me. THAT felt like September.

  17. We have one of those zoos near us but there are signs everywhere saying DO NOT FEED THE ZEBRAS. Racism, I tells ya.

  18. It’s February that usually sends me screaming under the covers, but now that I have the Emu face to look back on I’m almost looking forward to it.

  19. We were there years ago! A zebra tried to eat the rental car. For me the worst month is February, it’s endless, cold, nasty, and you think spring will never ever show up.

  20. #1 Victor is the shit
    #2 that zebra probably just wants a colorful accessory
    #3 sometimes the things you say have such a raw truth and feel like a giant bag of feels and I just get so grateful that your compensatory power is words and the unbelievable courage to share the best ones. And that is better than a poster of a kitten dangling from a rope saying “if you get to the end of your top, tie a knot and hang on” cause kittens can’t tie knots and if I was strong enough to tie a knot in the end of the rope that is holding my weight, I’m probably strong enough to pull myself up and I’m not always so it’s bad advice but then here you come with this photogenic Emu.

  21. December is my bad month. (Not one but TWO beloveds died that month. Two years and one week apart. It’s been over a decade, but it still wrecks me…). Wicked looking animals made me smile, my daughter’s birthday is next week (actually she was 12 days late and I was MISERABLE! 35 years ago) and the little dog is glued to me because it is thundering. I’m content.

  22. I love this blog. You make me smile, while I listen to the flock of quail outside my window make their lovely burbling noises.

  23. I’ve called it Sucky September since 2009. This year, it started off SO well. Yesterday I lost my job. The suckiness continues……

  24. I have always said September is the best of times and the worst of times. It signals the beginning of my favorite season, yet I struggle. And like you, history has shown that I get through the other side every year. But you are so much cooler than me. Thank god for the ostriches. They saved the whole damn month.

  25. i just realized this morning that it has been a while since i really laughed. that is my most favorite thing to do in the whole wide world! if it was a job, i would be the first to apply. so, now, i realize it is just Sept. i prob don’t need to up my meds – i can break out MY sun light box & go have some porch-ritas with the neighbors & just let go. This post started some giggles. i feel better already. thank you.

  26. I hate September too. I also have issues with October, November, December, January, February and occasionally, March. Basically, I love April thru August. I need to move I suppose. In Kentucky we have a place called “Kentucky Down Under” with kangaroos you can pet. I need to go there NOW!

  27. Thank you. I’m currently late for work trying very hard to get the motivation to leave the house. I forget I’m not the only one. Thanks for the smiles and to everyone reading this we can do it!!! (Ps I’m not sure if I believe that yet so if you could believe me it would help. Thanks)

  28. October is your September for me…There are some legit reasons why (some very bad things happened in past Octobers), but even before that I had that feeling. It just consumes me and presses on me like a smothering blanket. It also makes me furious, because autumn was always my favorite time of year, and especially October when it really seems to turn to fall (both where I grew up in the midwest, and here in AZ). Perhaps part of it is because here in AZ the season change is so subtle — and it can still be 100 f*cking degrees in October. There are no leaves falling, no chilly evenings, all the fall veggies and fruits that grow here were ready months ago…and then I’m surrounded by all the reminders of “traditional” autumn stuff, and the fact that I don’t have it here. It’s been 19 years and I’ll never be used to it. But I’m having surgery the beginning of the month that will keep me off work for most of it, and I’m making it a goal to try and get outside, to see and feel those subtle changes and welcome them, accept them as my fall, my October, and force some joyful moments in there. To take time and breathe and hopefully ride out October smoothly.

    Thank you for sharing — you always seem to hit right at my heart with these kinds of posts. Keep doing it – it helps more than you can know.

  29. Actually love the fall so normally September is a good time – we get nice weather, the leaves are lovely, and the sun hasn’t yet disappeared for the winter.

    This year is different, probably in part because the news is so full of end-of-the-world scenarios, everyone seems stressed, and there just seems to be less hopefulness. Seems like we’re all having to dig deeper to find the little golden moments that are scattered through our lives. Good luck fellow miners! I refuse to believe the canary is singing yet.

  30. I love those kinds of zoos. My son’s 4th grade class went on a field trip to a local one and when they were asking for volunteers, I was like ‘Well hell yeah I’m going.” It was fun. I got slurped by a baby camel which is an experience I think everybody should have at least once. 😀 And I got to see a zeedonk, which is what happens when you accidentally (or maybe on purpose) leave your male zebra alone with your female donkey and they get up to donkey/zebra lovin’ shenanigans.

  31. This. I was just asking my doctor today to adjust my meds for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s so true. I get sad this time of year too: end of summer, less light, knowing winter is coming to NY. I don’t know. My anxiety picks up too. Then I try to drink coffee to stay awake, and I feel anxious, and have to take ativan. Lovely process that it is. You’re not alone. I feel the ickies too.

  32. OMG THOSE PHOTOS ARE AMAZING!!! Now that you mention it I seem to have trouble in September as well. No idea why. It’s odd because fall is my favorite season. I need to take my family to a safari park ASAP.

  33. As always Jenny, thank you. That helped my day SO MUCH! I know that those photos will continue to put
    a smile on my face for many more days to come! 🙂

  34. I personally hate summer so much that I love September. I love when the light begins to slant the way it does when fall starts. I know it will get a LITTLE bit cooler. Soon. And I’ll actually want to go outside. But that’s just my take on it. I look for the end of summer even before it starts! Hope the rest of the month, and the year, go well for you!

  35. I have river otter therapy! I live and work close to a maritime museum that is also home to three river otters! I love going and watching them be all kinds of cute! You can’t help but to leave feeling better than when you came in!

  36. August is my “most suckiest time of the year” (and yes, I sing that like the Christmas carol) and it bleeds into September..especially during freaking the Freaking Hurricane Apocalypse. August is the People I Loved Died month (seriously, if you love me, just die in August, its already ruined)..then we had hurricanes after the BIG ONE (my mom)…so yeah, i need ferret therapy and zoo therapy. I did get unexpected Biewer Terrier puppy therapy last week when i stopped by an old friends’ house…and that was free….hmmmm….

  37. My poor mother got depressed every September, for no known reason. She took it to an extreme, though, and died on Sept. 23.

  38. My niece is expecting her first baby in december, Yesterday, during a gallbladder removal, surgeons found a grapefruit sized tumor in her husband’s abdomen. AND in 6 days we mark the 5th anniversary of my mother in laws death. I hate september.

  39. That was the BEST post, OK they are all BEST posties (is that a word) but I loved the animals.

  40. There are two animal places near here where we love to go to snoogle creatures… They’re farm animal rescues, but I have to say you haven’t really animaled until you’ve fed an Animal Cracker to a goat out of your teeth (even if he sneezes in your mouth right afterward…) or held an apple while a giant pig takes tiny dainty bites… <3 So adorable. But definitely not as suave as ostriches…

  41. I would not let an emu that close to my eyeballs for fear of losing them. Emus are scary. All the ratites are more monster than earthly creature. We had to move an ostrich at the zoo once. She was heavily medicated, and all zoo staff had to stand holding plywood shields to kind of direct her toward her new enclosure. They do not trust new things, and it was one of the few times I feared for my personal safety (and I work with venomous snakes!)

    September is kicking my butt, too. I am coming close to hitting bottom, but I know it’s because I am tired. If I could sleep, I could conquer this beast. Hopefully tonight?

  42. August/September has always been awful. I used to think it was going back to school, but since I’ve been out for 20 years I guess that isn’t it. Maybe it’s the 60 degrees yesterday, 90 today, or the fact that there’s nothing to be excited about. Summer is done, fall hasn’t started, and the holidays are still too far away to listen to Christmas music. Maybe I should just listen to it anyway.

  43. Wow I remember this post. It’s been a year already. Speaking of zebras, I’m planning to go to the zoo to see the first
    baby zebra born in my state who was born earlier in the week. By the time I get there, there will probably be the 2nd baby zebra too. You can pat the zebras through the fence and they love getting scratched so much. The down side is you end up with very dirty fingernails of zebra dirt. But it’s worth it.

  44. We went to a zoo like this when I was a kid and there were tons of goats. I love goats. They gave us little cups of food to feed the goats. It wasn’t enough. When I was out of feed, the goats butted me and I fell and ended up bleeding.

    I still love goats though. My husband has a goat story too. He went with his previous wife and my stepson (when he was just a wee one) to a similar type zoo. There was one goat off by himself, obviously old or injured. He felt so bad he took the feed over and petted and petted that one sad goat. He said it looked so happy and Ad was happy too.

    Until they got in the car.

    And they could finally smell his hand.

    He had to drive home with his hand out the window because it stunk so horribly.
    We still talk about the goat hand from time to time.

    I hope September gets better for you. If not, well there’s only 9 days left. It’ll be October and Halloween season soon. <3

  45. I was born in September & married in September & autumn begins, I love it. Except for the lingering memories of faded summer loves. I enjoyed your re-post though, and send you hope for September.

  46. Fuck, Jenny. Thank you so much for this. I am suffering from post-op complications and have been in a very dark place. You just brought me some joy, and the light I needed today. Please don’t ever change! I love you.

  47. I’m too depressed to make a witty reply or find a laugh. Hope you feel better. Hope I feel better. Fuck it. I’m going back to bed and to hell with everyone. Except my bed is full of cats. Okay, just two cats, but they spread out and I have to fit myself around them like some mad Gumby figurine.

  48. Animals always make me feel better. Just ask my cat when I hug her too much. 🙂 I like birds and I like dinosaurs, but that emu is a little bit scary. Funny, but a little scary. It’s totally a velociraptor. hahaha.

  49. Harvey ruined August for me, and too many others in Houston, and now September is fucked because a family member was just diagnosed with cancer. We need to fast forward to January and get 2017 in the rear view mirror.

  50. “If you squint, his snout looks like a black panther, which is probably a very good defense if lions attack during the night.” Especially the squinting lions.

  51. I can’t thank you enough for this. It hasn’t just been September that has sucked lemons, it’s been the whole summer. I’ve had to deal with dark, heavy stuff and at this point am just plain worn out. But then I have your posts to look forward to and you make me smile. You give me simple little things like feeding wild animals that are both heartwarming and downright hysterical and in those moments I remember to laugh again. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with the world. Please don’t ever stop. You are amazing and magical (like a unicorn goat).

  52. September is one of those months that just needs to kinda of…be obliterated from the calendar. I hate September. I especially hate the 17th of September. I just try to get through it and then on to October. My favorite month. And not simply because my husband’s birthday is on Halloween. lol

  53. I love seeing animals like this. We have a park here like that, Out of Africa, and Giraffes come right up to the bus and shit. They also have Tiger Splash where specially trained humans play and do tricks with tigers. I want to play with tigers but my husband said I better start with dolphins. #hehasnofaithinmyawesomeness

  54. Your September is my January. In Alaska January is so dark, so cold, and all the good holidays are over. I am totally bookmarking this to remind myself in a few months that I have survived all the Januarys so far and that’s a pretty good record.

  55. I remember this post! I still think the first photo of the emu makes him look a bit like Neil Gaiman (only not, of course, as good-looking). And yay! we got through September!

  56. I remember reading this post last year, and boy, did it bring me joy during a very dark time. I’m better now than I was back then. Sometimes, I think of our emotional state as a box and my good emotions and feelings or whatever you want to call them gets deposited in there, like coins. I think some other Bloggess Tribe members calls these spoons? Long story short – My emotional box is pretty full, and I feel pretty good. So if you need some feel goods (or spoons), I’m offering up some to take.

  57. Thank you for this. I have been feeling not so great for no apparent reason, and this post made me feel loads better. I especially love the not zoo pics. You rule. XO

  58. It’s like you’re spying on my life and writing posts about it!!!! I’ve had to get my car repaired twice in one week for two separate issues and that same week my grandma (who helped raise me, she was my other parent) went into the hospital a week before her 90th birthday and passed away days later so on top of being emotionally wrecked I’ve also had to miss work right after paying a bunch for car repairs I wasn’t expecting. Oh and I still can’t find a therapist to go to after trying for months. September has been awful to me.

    Please keep writing, your posts are always a bright spot in otherwise very, very dark days.

  59. All I could think of when looking at the first photo of the emu was, “Hello Clarice.”

    September for me is always a hard time emotionally too and I’m glad I’m not alone, but sorry that I’m not alone in feeling that way. It’s time for a big meeting where I work and I’ve never been chosen for a certain recognition that’s awarded every year. And so every year, I start to feel sorry for myself and question every life decision up till now. But I know I’m just feeling sorry for myself and should count myself lucky that I have a job and wonderful coworkers. It’s just tough when you have no love life, no social life and work is all you have.

    Thanks for letting me unload a bit. Back to the animals!

  60. Green Day relates to your feelings about September. My kid has been totally into Green Day lately so I’ve heard a lot more of it recently than I did when it was popular. My whole point is, you aren’t alone in your feelings about September, there are even songs about it.

  61. best thing i did for my depression was move out of the city into a farming town deep in the canyons. Our high drought area makes our water bill insane, but I get to see nature everyday. I literally see something new everyday. A 130 year old farm, a bank so beautiful and old that i would dare to compare it the buildings I’ve seen in Paris, if i even Paris wouldn’t kick me for comparing anything in America to itself.

  62. I’m pretty sure I left this on your blog post last year, but September is my worst month, too. I try to make it a bit better by making plans for Halloween (which I love!) and figuring out ways to make the next 12 months better that I can start implementing when I’m feeling up to it. I’m a very action oriented person, so it helps me to have a plan. 🙂

    I hope the upswing you got from visiting the animal park was a permanent one, and you continue feeling much better as we head into October!

  63. This month has really sucked for me too. Especially this back end of September. The anniversary of my sweet kitty was the 14th, the birthday of my late friend was the 19th, and then I started coming off Xanax after 3-4 years, at least, of taking it. That really took it out of me, and it feels like my brain is melting and I’m underwater. I had to take a mental health day yesterday, the 20th. Maybe November will be better?

  64. Today is hitting me particularly hard, but it is better now because you’ve reminded me that it’s The September Effect and I know that September is nearly over. Also, drive in zoos are the absolute best. A giraffe once licked Mr. Spouse’s ear there, once. Another time my mother looked at the sign that said “DO NOT FEED THE RHINOS” and she said “BUT THEY ARE HUNGRY” and fed them anyway, and then they got demanding and one dented my stepfather’s car with his horn. AND THATS WHY YOU DONT FEED RHINOS, MOM.

  65. September sucks, but at least it’s almost over. I love your nature park pictures–we have one like that near where I live, but there are monkeys there that will rip the chrome trim off your car. They also have jeeps that are painted like zebras and they use them to herd the lions, which is kind of ironic.

  66. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch! LOVE IT. I almost bought the shirt that says, “I survived the ostrich”… And yes, September is an asshole.

  67. I’d stay away from those ostriches (ostrichi?). When I was about twelve In stood outside the ostrich pen and tried to walk like the ostrich. Little did I know this was his mating dance. He suddenly squatted down, spread his wings, and begin shifting his head back and forth like a Thai dancer. That’s right, an ostrich tried to rape me. My sister has never let me live it down.

  68. Sorry, that emu is going to live in my nightmares regardless.

    And please be considerate when throwing food at the animals 🙂

  69. Your September is my October and February – for a “short” month February kicks my ass….

  70. IThank you for saying all of that! I had no idea why I had been struggling so much lately… I’ve been hard on myself and then beating myself up for being so hard on myself… you get the idea. Now I know that September is just a bitch! So lovely to have a tribe like you all to be crazy with! Come on daylight savings time!!

  71. Ugh, September. I had to put my cat down, ripped my favorite shirt and got poison ivy on my birthday, a family member died, and now I have fleas in my house. Only 9 more days to go!

    Looking at the ostriches and zebras made a great break from the cleaning – thank you!

  72. Did the emu make that weird thrum-pew noise that sounds like…I don’t know…a cross between a didgeridoo and whacking someone with a really long wrapping paper tube? And that hair! (or feathers, fur, whatever…)

  73. My birthday is in September so I feel oddly affectionate/defensive of the month even when I’m depressed. It’s October that I don’t like. Love the pics, and that is definitely an emu. The company I work for publishes an in-house quarterly magazine for emu farmers and my bosses used to raise them. They are much friendlier than ostriches, but you still wouldn’t want to get kicked by one!

  74. I used to feel the same way about summer ending. The older I get, though, the more I hate mowing grass when it’s 90° and hot flashes suck all night suck. Plus, I get Sunday dates to go watch football with my husband again, and our anniversary is in September. I’m actually looking forward to cold weather of the first time ever, SAD be damned!

  75. Last night and today was really tough on my depression. I wasn’t able to get my prescription of antidepressants for the past few days because of work getting in the way so I was three or four days without medication. Finally getting back on it, last night was just rough, full of very bad thoughts that I haven’t had for years. I went to my therapist today and she helped a lot, but it was this post that really topped the day off and made me feel good again. Thank you so much.

  76. There really is something about this month. I try to walk every morning with my husband, and these past two weeks have been a struggle. I’ve been so exhausted and grouchy. Normally if I don’t want to walk my husband gives me a hard time, but even he the last two weeks has just been like “ok, we can go tomorrow”. Its the shorter days, and cooler weather maybe….

  77. Thank you so much for reposting this! I have trouble with September too, but mine is more like I’m just cruising along not really paying attention to the surroundings, just living life, when suddenly OMG! The ground has dropped out from under me and I’m slip sliding downhill through September on into October, which is when the sky turns dark and all my decisions are bad ones because I just want to feel better and can’t seem to figure out why I feel so bed. It happens every year and yet I always seem to be taken by surprise. Seeing a post like this one reminds me that I’m not alone and that there are things we can do to get that little boost that can sometimes make all the difference in the world without making ridiculous and damaging decisions from desperation. So here’s to September: may she be a gentle dip instead of a free-for-all.

  78. I’m so glad I came across this! I thought I remembered something about September being awful, but felt too exhausted to look it up. This has been one of my worst Septembers in awhile. I can only hope on October 1 my brain goes back to being a little fucked up and not trying to kill me.

  79. I think the main reason that I find September to be a downer is the years of dread at the approach of school season. Super shy, introvert, weird-girl memories have scarred me for life.

  80. Normally September doesn’t bother me – I love Autumn, it stops being to friggin humid around here, and HALLOWEEN! This year my entire family is struggling to get through it. The worst part is, I’ve done the best work of my career, but because of this I need a little extra time to make it public, so I’m about to get an unsatisfactory review at work due to a ridiculous system that doesn’t understand that creativity and discovery don’t come in finite, equivalent amounts every year. Fuck.

  81. I remember this post and I’m so glad you brought it around again! My mom died during September many years ago and even though she was able to have a final birthday a few days before, the luster of the month is forever gone for me.

    I want this zoo in my state!

  82. We were once held up by a pack of gangster llamas at one of those parks that surrounded our car completely and took turns at the windows getting fed. They were better organized than most people I know. We were impressed. Also the park we were at said if the zebras came up to our windows, to roll them up and leave because they would try to kill us. LOL.

  83. I understand. What I don!t understand is why the animals look as if they hav experienced dentistry?

  84. OMG, I love that place. Those zebras are total assholes, though. One time, one of them reached into the car and grabbed the entire bag of food out of my seven year old’s lap. He dumped all of the food on his lap, ATE THE BAG and then all the zebras ran away. The car behind us called the front desk or something and the ranger came out and scolded us for feeding a bag to the zebras. LOL
    Here’s to making it through September. You’re almost there. Love.

  85. I totally agree about September sucking. Sunday marks the 18th anniversary of the death of my nephew at age 24. And this September is setting itself up to be the second worst of my life ever. And that’s a pretty tall order. Can you believe – my husband unemployed, possibly losing our house, the IRS wanting $$$ from us (although they are pretty fair about it), identity theft, a pain in my back that won’t go away. Kind of hoping that the world is going to end as that guy predicted. Although it’s had quite a head start before 9/23….

  86. Thank you for the emu pictures. I was sitting here eating a Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Chai Spice Loaf, which is totally a cake, but they call it a loaf to make you think you’re not eating cake out of the pan, and feeling sorry for myself. Now, I want an emu and a ferret and I want to teach the ferret how to ride the emu while wearing a tiny English bowler hat.

  87. Did you hear Netflix is doing a new show in conjunction with Jim Henson’s production and its a prequel to The Dark Crystal? Perhaps your emu friend should audition.

  88. sends hugs and love! I remember that post and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it again! Sept has been okay for me this year, but my mom is having some major health issues. My worst months are normally Oct-Nov, so we’ll see how that goes.

  89. I couldn’t agree more about September and depression. It’s consumed me bad this year… The emu made me smile
    like I can’t describe though!

  90. Here in Virginia we had a cold, wet August and September has brought more normal, like 80 degrees. Soooo, I’m not hating on this month, next month the days will be too damn short and it will get cold but not cold enough to light a fire. A fire, I do that every single night as soon as the dark cold comes down, it replaces my sojourns on the porch watching the birds. The fireplace is next to my bed. I imagine one day I’ll burn the house down falling asleep before I close the grate but I won’t be depressed, I’ll be freaking out trying to get the cats outta the house when my toes catch on fire. OoooKayyyy, that went weird. Anyhow, this year September is very nice for me. 😉

  91. That Emu was totally checking out your tatas in that first picture Jenny. He was all like “oolala…you bring me zee delicious food and boobies, and I weel bring you zee love, like you have never had before” and then he was making that “heh, heh, heh, heh” sound all the French cartoon guys make.

    You are so lucky. French Emus who love your tatas and Victor. How DO you do it all? oxoxo

  92. ohmygosh the emu! I thought the first two pictures would be perfect as a wedding announcement. For some reason, my SO wasn’t as enthusiastic as I thought he’d be…

  93. I so need to read your blogs, you make me feel happy but not as much as puppy tummy. I can kiss me some puppy tummy all day.

  94. Has it really been a year since I discovered this tribe.? Wow. I loved this post, I think it was the second one I read and I couldn’t stop laughing at that emu and your captions. Thanks for the repeat. I didn’t realize I needed a September pick me up, but I did. 😁

  95. What I’m holding onto is the fact that I got to meet you in actual person before our shop closed. Is closing. Whatever. I got to meet YOU, and that brings special joy to an aching heart. You spread delight just by being you. Never forget that.

  96. November is my month of darkness. I’ll bookmark this post for when it’s most needed. Thanks!

  97. I don’t know if you will find this helpful, but my doctor had me start using my seasonal affect disorder light much earlier last year and it made a difference. My worst month is November and I start to feel better at the end of February. She said you have to count the months you feel bad and then go backwards the same number of months instead of starting to use it after you already feel depressed. So I started using my light in the morning at the end of July last year. It seemed silly at the time since it was still so light out, but I’m sold. I use a SADS visor rather than a lamp, so I can wear it around the house in the morning while getting ready for the day.

  98. For me, it’s always September and April that try to gnaw my leg off. T.S. Eliot wasn’t kidding when he wrote that April is the cruelest month, and it isn’t because people start swimsuit shopping.

  99. My birthday is in Sept but my siblings seem to remember it wrong EVERY year. (Both parents have passed.) It kinda gets me down but it also makes me smile about how wrong they get it EVERY year. I am the middle child so I already was use to being invisible most of my life. Thank goodness for friends who lift me up. Everyone deserves someone to lift up them up and everyone of us should lift someone up EVERY day. Jenny, you have been that person so many times for me. Thank you.

  100. This is why I go to week-long business conferences out of town (Dallas this year) at the end if September. So nobody has to die.

  101. My friend and I went to the Safari Park in San Diego this year and got to feed and pet rhinos! It feels sort of like dusty cement.

  102. do the lights really work? I guess I’ll try the one I got last year when it gets dark at 5pm 🙁

  103. September is an odd month. My mom passed away 14 years ago on September 4th, so its a weird transitional time for me. Its also when my CFS seems to act up and I basically want to make a blanket fort in my living room and sleep for two weeks. It seems to clear around now and by October, I’m fine.

    I love emus. When I was a child, my mom would take me to this small zoo in a local park and I always loved going to see the animals. The emus were so odd looking and strutted like they ruled the world. They also made odd noises that sounded low like growls.

    Now that I think about it, they were basically velociraptors. Really ugly velociraptors, with feathers.

    One of the local children’s zoos now has a senior day, which being over 50 and owning an AARP card, my husband and I can now go. My husband was reluctant to go until he heard he could go on the rides. Me? I just want to get to see the emus.

  104. Can’t help but wonder if Hailey will end up being all about September because you do extra fun family things. Of course you seem to do that all year long so maybe she doesn’t notice lol.

  105. I am in Melbourne Australia. September is delightful. The warm weather has begun and daylight saving starts. It is school holidays and there is only 1 more term in the school year.

    It really shows that it’s not you people. The weather and light have an impact. It is not you.

    You can get through it, or take a holiday down under. It’s warm and we have kangaroos and those scary emus.

  106. I think you might be on to something with the weather getting cooler over there this time of year and therefore making you feel the way you do. I ALWAYS feel better when the sun is shining. Always.

    I used to love September – here in Oz it’s the smell of spring in the air and the promise of even warmer weather to come. It’s also my birthday month, my dad’s birthday month and my parents’ wedding anniversary. But then my Dad died on my parents’ 65th wedding anniversary 4 years ago, and 2 years later my Mum died the day after what would have been my Dad’s 89th birthday. So September has lost its shine a bit, to be honest. This morning, I was feeling so down and stressed (LOTS going on – mostly trivial, annoying stuff), so I cried most of the way in the car on the school run. (The upside was my boys have never been more quiet during a car trip.)

    But I know I’ll get through the month. I have, and I will. You will too. xox

  107. Thank you so much for letting me know i’m not alone, I really needed that. I’m going to find some animals now!

  108. My depression definitely ramps up in September/October. It’s like, fall is when the whole world starts shutting down and the trees are dropping leaves so they can hibernate and even the sun is no longer interested in being around for long. It was a very difficult summer (health issues, job loss, both my cats died) and now with fall looming….
    I’m just starting on my antidepressants again (was off them because insurance issues) and I really hope I can get to a normal level of General Happy. Or if not Happy, at least Not Suicidal.

  109. I absolutely love everything you write! Thank you for this dose of morning happiness 🙂

  110. OMG! That last photo (they’re all great, really). Thanks for sharing. Yes S.A.D and sad suck. I had the same September feeling a few weeks ago and thought, “What. Depression already. It’s not even the complete dark-dead-of-winter yet. How the hell am I going to make it?”

  111. September if fine for me, but later in the year as it gets bleaker (think February) I will be sitting under my daylight lights a lot.

  112. I just told someone who was feeling depressed that depression lies and it will deceive them. I got that from you. They thanked me and said it was something they need to remember at all times and say over and over to themselves. Just wanted you to know that you have made a difference. It’s sometimes even indirectly, because people repeat what you say to help others.

  113. I know, right? September often feels like Shittember to me than September! “Oh it’s fall already?” “DAMMNN! I WANT MY SUMMER BACK!”

  114. God. Yes. I woke up in the foulest of all moods today and could not put my finger on what my problem is. But “terrifying, derpy, and noble” made me burst out laughing, which was exactly what I needed this morning. And I think maybe I will be nice to myself today. And perhaps this afternoon will be better, which will be great news to my second grader, who thought his looming spelling test was much more attractive than spending another minute in the house with Scary Mommy this morning. You make me feel less crazy for feeling blue- thanks for that.

  115. Oh September… I’ll be on the verge of tears all day long and I’ll get through it. I’ve got my beautiful boys and my amazing husband and a little bird named Jenny who always knows just the right things to say at just the right time. Thanks.

  116. Love your post as always. However, I have this same feeling but instead of September, it is February. February feels like the longest, darkest month to me, maybe it is the after holidays slump but I dread that month and would love to sleep through it and wake up for March.

  117. Thank you, Jenny. I think a lot of us needed this!

    Definitely getting darker; days getting shorter. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so the days get a LOT darker and a LOT shorter. I think September is sort of like the bittersweetness of Sunday — the darkest, coldest days of winter aren’t yet upon us, and you want to enjoy the crispness in the air and the changing colors of the leaves, but September dolefully reminds us “Winter is coming.”

  118. September is also my down month. I think it is because summer is over, and we are back to school work, homework, progress reports, busy schedules, and lack of sunshine. I agree that September is indeed an asshole.

    Thank you for posting the animals. We need a Zoo like that. Our zoo doesn’t let us get near the animals.

  119. Here in Arizona, September means no more humidity to go along with the 100 degree weather. It’s nice, but I am so tired of the heat. The only thing that’s made this September bearable is the knowledge that actor Bruce Campbell (Ash & Evil Dead) is going to be signing his book at the bookstore where I work on the 25th, and I am working that day and will get to meet him and get him to sign my copy of Bubba Hotep.

  120. I love this post, but I also love September. The falling temperatures and changes in the sun’s angle makes me feel wild and want to set out on long road trips, or even migrate to a new State. That this longing is annual, is a problem.
    I also am overcome with a desire to change from the veggie-juice-and-salad routine that I’ve been happy with all summer, to consuming soups and cheesy pizza. And not sharing.

  121. Oh, September, you asshole, you. I wish I had a safari park near me! I would totally be there ALL. THE. TIME.
    “Uh, where’s Mak?”
    “She went to the safari park. Again. She’ll be back in a week or two.”

    One good thing that happened to me in September was a few years ago at the Big E (Eastern States Exposition- like a big state fair for the combined New England states), I got kissed by a llama. That will make your day so much better, because llama kisses, of course.

  122. My grandpa had a flock (is that the right word?) of emus on his ranch once. They were farming the eggs (which are very large and an odd deep green to blue). I had a hilarious encounter with them at one point in which I learned that that particular group was very territorial, can run VERY fast, and will bite you DIRECTLY in the butt. I was safe in a tree but I got to watch someone else run around being bitten in the butt by emus and it was hilarious. I must have been about…three?

    I have a photo somewhere. It involves tiny baby me looking up at those prehistoric velociraptor birds in a small red wagon.

    Also when they get excited their feets do little happy kicks and it’s basically the cutest thing ever, they look like muppets and I both love and fear them.

  123. I find it hard to believe you’re depressed. How is that even possible? How can you be so funny and hurting like you say? I’m not calling you a liar, you must just have some magical power. I’m forever grateful you share that magic!

  124. Wow, my 2 sons both developed depression growing up & they were always worse in September. We came to dread it & had written it off to school reuming, however it still happens. Wierd. Keep pursuing the animal therapy & hang in there!

  125. The months that really bite hardest for me are November and February. November is just an endless slog through damp, cold and darkness without even the pretty skies of December. And a British February is essentially Limbo. Not the fun kind of limbo either, the eternal-nothingness kind.

    Fun fact: when Jurassic Park was filmed, the Emu & Ostrich Actor’s Guild complained about them using special-effects raptors instead of employing skilled, hard-working giant flightless birds.

  126. You know, maybe I’m weird, but I find September an enormously rejuvenating month. It’s one of my best months. I find summer incredibly difficult–it’s the time I feel the worst. I just find it very isolating, with so many people gone away, and it’s weird for the kids being out of school. Once you get back into the school year and into the swing of things, I feel like there’s more of a rhythm to the day and the year, which I love.

    Apparently I’m unusual in that, though.

  127. September is sad because it marks the end of summer. However, November is by far the worst month. Everything is grey and dark and damp. At least September has beautiful colours and warm days.

  128. I’ve had a rough couple of days for no apparent reason at all! I could give you plenty of possible reasons that add up to my bursting tears for no reason, but I’ll spare you. I’m taking my meds, my vitamin D and broke out my new light box to no avail. I hate Fall!!!

  129. I hear you about September. This specific one’s seen a (brief, I hope) resurgence in the deep sadness, something not seen in these parts for six years and counting. I don’t know why, and it can go back where it came from any time it likes. I think I’ll dig out my lightbox soon.

  130. I never learn. I read your post while waiting in the orthodontist’s office for my son’s monthly check. Everyone here thinks I am a few cans short of a 6-pack because I regularly snort and laugh while sitting in this waiting room staring intently at my cell phone screen.. I am sure they see me coming and all move to the opposite side of the waiting room because they are huddled together trying to look inconspicuous. And then they look at my child with pity as he walks out as if to say “oh, he has no hope, his mother is crazy.” Ha!

  131. September eats the sun! or at least in Canada, September eats the sun…we won’t have full darkness (driving to work and home in the dark) for a couple of weeks but it all starts now… the evil gnomes of September steal the sun and eat it….maybe ferrets ARE the answer for me and the sun! Great idea!

  132. For me it is October that eats my brain and it eats my brain so much I had to have someone else point it out to me that I lose my shit in October. I’m concerned about this year because September was so bad. I vaguely wondered why until I accepted a dinner invitation for this evening. Before I accepted it I thought, “I’ve been forced to be social all month, what’s one more?” That’s when it hit me….. too much human interaction. It’s hard for us introverts as you know. I can be on and be social but it takes so. much. out of me. Not sure why October is my nemesis. I do wonder if it is the changing of the season kinda sorta… not like we have fall in Arizona (well, we do, 2 weeks of it but not always 14 days in a row). Maybe it makes me nostalgic? But not like you think, happy thoughts although I adored falling colored leaves. But October in Ohio meant cooler weather which alone bothered my barely treated asthma and forced me to stay inside with a house of smokers (who weren’t going to quit on behalf of some stupid kid, or so they told me). Somehow I need to tell my brain that October doesn’t mean that anymore and hasn’t in a zillion years and I’m too strong to put up with that kind of behavior now. Very interesting… The asthma still flares this time of year though, even though I have doctors and know how to use them.

  133. Well, thank God. I thought it was just me who wanted to dive under the bed and live there until spring. I still do, but it’s nice to know I have company. I hate September.

  134. I took my granddaughter to the Columbus (OH) zoo the day after Labor Day, and a woman who was wearing a noxious cloud of perfume kept sneaking up and standing next to me. I’d be standing there enjoying a giraffe and suddenly find myself engulfed in a poisonous perfume bomb and have to run away. Next time I’m taking a gas mask, because I’ve been sick most of September because my immune system hates me in September. I’m with you, sister. It’s a shitty month.

  135. I always feel depressed in September as well. I think it’s because I am dreading winter. I’m a summer person.
    I have a question that I hope a fellow #bloggesstribe member can help answer. I am no longer getting notifications from the Bloggess page so I never know when a new blog comes out. I haven’t changed anything and it’s not showing up in my spam folder. Any ideas how to get notifications?

  136. September is a bitch! I don’t know why but I get this sneaking depression every year too. It must be shorter days and changing seasons. Sigh. I know we’ll all get through it but man I’m tired of feeling… this.

  137. Oh! And as I was explaining all of this to my therapist she was like “HEY! Are you getting enough alone time?” And ummm… no. I certainly was not. Self-care went off the rails sometime back in July when I moved in with my fiance and everything shifted a bit with that. But I’m back to making sure I have enough time to recharge now.

  138. Your September is my January/February/March. All the feels here.
    I think I’ve been to that very same safari, and the ensuing 15 years have not erased the terror of an ostrich sticking its neck in my face to eat a treat from my husband’s hand. Thanks for the reminder?

  139. Reduce to tears, Reuse great posts, Recycle fast farm food. Oh Jenny, you are the Best Citizen of the World. You make me glad I’m with my friends the laptop, the sleeping menagerie, and this collection of wonderful peoples at 3am. Maybe insomnia is a special superpower?

  140. Ferret therapy is most effective at 3 ferrets or more, as you simply cannot assemble a ferret bouquet with just 1.

    Also, that ‘animal food’ they give you is impossible to get out of seats and rugs. Next time I go there, those fuckers are getting animal crackers instead.

  141. Okay, honestly I think ferrets are snake dogs. It makes sense they are minature dogs that are shapped like snakes. They scare me, maybe you can enlighten me on their greatness? I am not one to judge a creature that harshly.

  142. Just seeing this now, two weeks later and I feel you. September/October are two of my bad months. My Birthday is the beginning of the month so I try hard to be celebratory it usually doesn’t last the entire month though. Keep on blogging and thank you for you!

  143. I’m silently snort-cry-laughing in my office right now. It’s incredibly awkward and I needed it so so badly.

  144. This blog is my medicinal ferrets. Whenever I am feeling really low I come here and binge read all the posts. They help me not feel so alone and laugh out loud. Thank you Jenny

  145. Hey everyone! Recently I have been struggling with a lot of hardships. Friends and doctors keep telling me I should consider taking meds, so I may as well source and see how it goes. Problem is, I haven’t taken it for a while, and don’t wanna get back to it, we’ll see how it goes.

  146. You are SO LUCKY to have a drive-through zoo where you can feed emus and zebras and unicorns! Thank you for sharing the happy!

  147. I just wanted to say thank you for talking about your seasonal depression, and posting things that help. I was able to both put a light on my holiday wishlist AND suggest it for a friend. ❤️

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