It Gets Dark At 5 Now

Originally published in November 2014



It’s still fall and relatively nice out – cold, but not so cold that I dread getting out of bed and going outside. I can still wear my nice coat.

But I am filled with dread all the same, because winter is coming. Obviously. Normally I am so excited because of Christmas, and I don’t start to feel the impact until January, but it’s starting early this year. Really early.

That’s because last winter was absolutely brutal for me, to the point where I can count the number of good days I had throughout the entire season on my hands. I was in a depressive episode, although it took me way too long to figure that out. I was constantly tired, and when I try to remember those months the weather is always dark or cloudy, even though I know that’s impossible.

That’s just how things seem to me when it’s cold out. It’s not S.A.D. – I’m perfectly capable of being depressed at any time of the year, it’s just way more likely in the winter.

And now I am constantly tired except sometimes in the middle of the night, and that’s only because I get up really late and take naps in the middle of the day. Things are starting to seem pointless because I have nothing to look forward to for the next few months.

I’m terrified of falling again. I’m terrified of even just remaining where I am right now.

My life requires a LOT of energy. I do not have time for naps. I do not have time for sitting on the kitchen floor for 15 minutes because I was opening a drawer to get a pot and then just gave up while I was down there. I don’t have time to get headaches, and I don’t have time to be sick every 2 months.

I don’t have time to be sad, let alone depressed.

I loathe this numb, pointless, lethargic feeling, if you can even call it that, more than anything else in the world. I’ve come to recognize it as my natural state, which I can only rise above through medication or by getting really excited and passionate about something.

Mostly I’m concerned about myself, but if I suffer, other people will suffer too, because I’m a leader and people count on leaders, that’s just how that works. If I stay this way I won’t be able to do my job; I’ll be late and procrastinate more than usual or just not do things at all because life is pointless anyway; my grades will drop (and if I drop or fail even one class I will not be able to graduate this year); I’ll call my friends in tears and they hate that; I’ll write really long facebook and text messages because it’s the only way I have to communicate and they hate that too.

So what to do about all of that? Just take it day by day, I guess. I often feel like I have to make ‘decisions’ about things, like I can only be one thing at once. Like, if I’m going to be excited for Christmas, I need to start RIGHT NOW and never stop until December 26th. Or, you know, I could just listen to Christmas music and decorate and what not when and if I want to, which might be one week and then not the next one and then back on again, who knows. If I feel like putting in a lot of effort with my friends one day, I will; if I want to just sit at home all weekend later, I will do that too. And I’m not going to overanalyze my decisions, all like, “OMG if I just want to stay home this must mean I’m miserable” or “OMG if I really want to talk to people this must mean I’m not okay and too dependent on others and I’m spiralling uncontrollably oh no heeeellppp!!!!”

I’m just trying to do whatever I can to make my daily life in the winter more bearable. I hate my winter coat because I’m forced to wear it every day and it gets gross, so I bought a new one so I have options, and hopefully I can keep this one clean. I bought new boots. I’m looking for new scarves and hats and tech-gloves so I’ll actually wear them. I’ll buy more fleece-lined tights so that it will be easier to wear dresses. Being forced to wear variations of the same outfit every day (parka, warm sweater, jeans, boots) makes me feel oppressed.

I’m buying more pajamas because even though my apartment is actually really warm, it’s like I can sense the cold from outside so they make me feel comforted. I have candles and blankets and throw pillows.

I decorated my office with cute things and left stuff there like extra bags, snacks, and shoes so that going to work won’t seem so bad. (I mean I like my job but for some reason in the winter even the best things make me want to punch myself in the face. It’s just how it goes.)

I’ll keep writing even though it’s extremely time consuming – I have so many different ideas for blog posts when I spend a lot of time by myself. It distracts me from my work, yes, but it makes me happy, so I hope that will make it worth it.




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