Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Next Year, I’m Telling February To Take A Hike

I have written about this before, but I cannot emphasize it enough. February is a difficult month. It is already the 21st, but I am not feeling hopeful yet that I will dig myself out of my wallow for a little while yet, because January was not so hot, either, and March is not always so forthcoming with the relief.

You will have to excuse me if I sound like I am complaining. I am.

At this time of year, I do my best to move ahead with things. I go to work, I see friends, and I eat food, but my heart is not in it. My mind is usually wanders off to bed or a hot bath or anything else that accomplishes nothing but offers the possiblity of taking my mind away from its everything-is-futile default setting.

I worry that my medication is not working, even though I know that it is; it is just struggling against February's oppression. I worry that no one loves me, or even likes me, because I am obviously irritating and selfish and boring. I worry that I am far uglier than I think, and that any physical confidence I have is baseless. I worry that I have an as-yet-to-be-diagnosed terminal disease. I worry that my pets will turn on me. I worry that the toaster will electrocute me. I worry that all my written words are worthless.

Just yesterday, I was setting the dye in a Guatemalan bedspread with vinegar and salt in the washing machine. I stuck my finger in the little hole that the lid triggers to start the machine so that I could watch the agitation. I was there for twenty minutes before I noticed that I had not moved or thought in all that time. My brain wants to run far afield of reality right now, even if all it does is watch the back-and-forth swish of water in the drum.

This will subside. The sun will shine more often, the cold will give way to warmth, and I will break out my spring clothing and regain my faith in moving forward through life. I know this. It will happen.

But (a word that hangs covertly behind every good thought) I must first work my way through to that day when spring and summer lift me out of winter. Until then, I will continue to use my full spectrum lamp, take comforting baths, and let knitting carry me into the limbo of nothought.

Before I go, let me ask you: how do you deal with seasonal depression? I have been figuring that one out for thirty-five winters, but it could not hurt to try what you've got.

(This entry is also posted at RealMental.org)

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