I knew IT was coming. IT comes every year (notice I didn’t say month—that’s a whole other problem). The dreaded winter blues are here. My seasonal depression has officially kicked in to high gear. My hats are all drooping and colorless. I can feel my insides becoming hollow, my happiness and joy draining like a bathtub. I’m left an empty shell numb to emotion. If I were ever capable of murder (heaven forbid!), winter is the most likely time I could stomach the act.
So why not just pop some pills and call it good? All I have is a shrug to that. I just don’t love the idea of pills. I can’t really explain why. I’ve taken pills once when Kayla was tiny and a lack of sleep was making my seasonal depression unbearable, but once my insurance stopped covering the prescription the next spring (and I was better due to spring arriving anyway), I stopped taking it.
UV lights are helpful. Kayla in my life is helpful. Though she’s sometimes an added frustration, she brings my sprinkles of joy throughout the day. Like today when she said, “Thank you, mama” without being told to, I was so touched, I cried. Ok, the tears might have been a seasonal depression symptom, but they were happy tears. She also made me laugh when I put her winter hat on and she said, “boo,” after I pulled it off her eyes. I’m smiling now just thinking about the moment.
During my winter blues, my entire hat collection loses its color. My writer hat loses inspiration. My housekeeping hat collects dust (and doesn’t care). My wife hat has little patience. My mom hat has no patience. Don’t get started on my woman hat. Winter pounds are already clinging to my waist, but all I want to do is sit down with a big bag of Doritos. Lean meats and healthy carbs are not appetizing. Fruits and veggies are not appealing. The last thing I want to do is get off my butt and exercise. Natural instinct is preparing me for hibernation. The problem is humans don’t hibernate (I don’t see why not—it’s a great idea…).
The worst part is that my excitement—about anything—vanishes. For example, I should be excited about this Friday. My friends and I are going to a haunted house. I’m getting a night alone with my hubby. My head is excited, but my heart could care less. And what about woman’s Bible study? I’m learning GREAT stuff about God and how he works and what he wants for my life, but the feelings are simply nonexistent.
This is when I’m grateful that love and faith are NOT based on emotion. Loving the people in my life and believing in God Almighty is a daily choice. So I lift my hands in praise even when the emotions aren’t present, and I hug my husband even if I don’t feel like it. I give piggy-back rides to my daughter when I’d rather not, and I smile through the emptiness and look forward to spring.
Hats off to you, my friend. I will write again, but until then...
hang on to your hat! ;-)