Okay, I'll admit it. I have been in a serious funk. I had nearly convinced myself throughout December and January that I was not going to find myself freefalling into the endless pit of darkness that is February and March, but here I am, right on schedule.
The character of my winter depression changes from year to year, so I although I can rely on its regularly scheduled visit, its personality has no consistency. Some years, it means a slow and seamlessly gradated descent beginning in October followed by a plateau, or low gully if you will, and then a gradual ascent in late spring. Other years, it means sporadic descents and ascents, so I can be left feeling exuberant for an afternoon, raging against the futility of existence for a week, and then back to mid-range emotions for three days.
This winter, I seem to be suffering from sporadic ups and downs. I am far less than thrilled with the experience thus far. I am far less than thrilled no matter how my winter moods manifest themselves, but at least when I go through one constant state of depression for a winter, I can chart what I'm dealing with and work around it and with it a lot more effectively. This up-and-down, yo-yo thing means that, at times, each new hour could mean dealing with a completely different emotional set. It is much more stressful when not even I can adequately judge what life might be like for me at any future point.
I am working on it, though. I have sort of accepted that I can only do so much, but that I have to do what I can or I will succumb almost completely. One of the things I'm doing is eating bran muffins. I figured that being constantly constipated was likely not emotionally beneficial. I have shied away from bran in anything for years, because it used to be that when I ate it I could say goodbye to any pooping of any kind for a week or more. Seriously, bran was a major constipator. Over the last two weeks, I have found that my body must have changed since my early twenties, because now bran is a major mover and shaker. It's almost scary what it does to my system. Of course, after a life-long battle to poop regularly, I don't know what it's like for you non-constipated types, so maybe what's been happening since my bran-ingestion regimen began is normal. If so, it is profoundly satisfying. If I must be yo-yoing emotionally, at least I know that I will be profoundly satisfied at least once a day, so the bran thing is kind of helping.
Another thing I've been doing is denying myself the luxury of hiding under the covers or cowering in hot bathwater as a form of escape. All weekend, that is all I really wanted to do, but I knew that if I started down that road I might not emerge again until the Fiery One returns home from his work trip on the 15th. Instead of coccooning in physical warmth to avoid the depthless chill of my cold, cold soul, I forced myself to sit up and actually read books or write or design a new site for myself. I know, I know. I never settle on a design for this place for more than a couple of months, but honestly, and you have to agree, this place is just a little on the white side, don't you think? I feel like this site is wearing one of those open-backed hospital gowns and is just itching to get into its comfortable street clothes again. It felt good to come to the end of my weekend with at least some bit of creativity under my belt. (You may see the new design emerge at some point this week. Oh hell, I'm so obsessive that it may surface before my next post. Don't worry, though. Enough will be the same that you'll know where you are).
Other things I've been doing: eating more vegetables and fruit, drinking tons of water, and taking fish oil pills, because if I can't seem to whip my brain in to shape in any other way, maybe working on my overall health will be more effective. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I drink, I smoke, and I hate strenuous exercise. This is all about pooping. Have I told you how profoundly satisfying it is?
And while I'm discussing this whole poop thing, have I told you how much I hate the word poop? I hate it. It's always kind of gotten under my skin (the word, not the actual thing). It's the kind of stupid word that makes four-year-olds giggle. So, if you've been annoyed with the poopy turn of this entry, just know that I have probably been annoying myself far more than you with my constant typing of the word poop. Rather than suicide, I thought I'd chip away at myself slowly with each instance of poop. Poop, poop, poop, poop. See, I can't stop myself now. This depression has taken a decidedly nasty turn within the last half hour. Poop, poop, poop, poop, poop, poop, poop. Poop.
I'm doing myself in slowly with each repetition.
Next entry: kitty cats and roses and rainbows and lollipops and sunshine!
Update: I'm feeling ever-so-slightly better now. It seems that turning a talk about my doldrums into a talk about that-word-I-would-rather-not-type-out-again has done me a world of good. I'm so much better, in fact, that I think I'm going to take a short walk, even though it was -30°C with the windchill factor this morning, and then I'm going to go write words on paper at some establishment or other. You are so awesome for letting me put my head on your shoulder and tell you about my intermittent sadness and my newfound bowel-related freedoms. Thanks, man.