Welcome to winter, that season of darkness, cold, and depression.
Last year, I didn’t have any problems – it was so warm and sunny all winter, I barely noticed it. This year has been darker and colder, and the inability to reach beyond the present moment already hit me with the lack of sunshine.
This year has seen more stress than last year, too – I recently got a new position at work that meant leaving my former group. I miss them every day. (Of course, I visit them almost every day, too.) I just sent a novel out; I’m getting more serious about selling my writing and therefore under more pressure not to fail. I lost two cousins within a month, kids of people I grew up with. It seemed like fall was one big sinus infection, sapping my energy. I rested less, went out more with friends, which was good, but still draining.
When the depression hit last week, it didn’t really come as a surprise. I took a weekend off, slept in, spent time actually paying attention to Lee and Ray, worked out – and it helped. Then it hit again yesterday, harder than it has in a long time. I felt like I couldn’t stand up straight, the world was so heavy. I read a book all night, and that helped pass the time, but I didn’t feel any better. I kept asking myself, “What’s wrong? Why now, when I’ve had such a long streak without walking around like a cow stunned by the slaughterhouse hammer? What made me do this?”
I never did get any sure answer. I felt like the most worthless creature on the planet for an evening. And then I went to bed and woke up and felt better. A mystery. Was is the weather? Too much stress? Worry? Do I need to change something in my life? Reconsider something? A combination of things? I don’t know. I just know it gets worse when there’s no sun, and I hate walking into rooms in the afternoon, because the dimness makes my stomach flop.
I’m glad I don’t have to spend years on end depressed anymore (high school). I’m glad for Lee, who understands (even when it worries him). I’m glad I figured out tricks to help, everything from turning on all the lights to working out to cooking (which forces you to feel better so you don’t ruin the taste). And I’ll be especially glad if I can make through this winter without any “helpful advice,” that is, people telling me all kinds of easy remedies that will magically make it all better, everything from drugs to just…forcing myself not to be depressed.
And I’ll put my evil Ice Queen hat on for a few months, because sarcasm is a very good medicine for depression indeed.