Quite bluntly put, I am afraid of getting depressed again this winter. I was just finally getting the hang of life, of living without the albatross of depression weighing me down, of enjoying the happy rays of daylight, and now the days are noticeably shorter.
I know we crested the hill of daylight hours back in June, but it takes a while before the days get noticeably shorter. I mean, I did intellectually notice the shorter days beginning only a few days after the summer equinox, but it takes a while before my body recognizes and exclaims to the Sun, "Hey, wait a minute, you're setting before 8pm?"
The Sun then nods imperceptibly and continues slinking down into the horizon.
8pm is the point in which I start becoming afraid of Winter. I'm okay with the biting cold from the lake. I don't mind trudging through 2 feet of snow. I'm fine with hot chocolate, the Christmas lights, the changing of the liturgical seasons.
I am not fine with short days. With less light, I feel like I have less hope. I'm okay now. I know I'm pretty well medicated. I'm glad Lexapro seems to be working for me. But when my psychiatrist increased my Lexapro dosage this spring, the days were also already getting longer. I know that could be a contributing factor to my improved well-being.
Therefore, I am scared of winter, because I am freaking SCARED of falling into that dark valley again. That sunless divot in the Earth casts a spell that makes me lethargic. Hopeless. I hate that feeling where I would wish my external body matched my internal despair, where I become preoccupied with the idea of grievous bodily harm.
I hate the feeling where it feels like God bumps the gravity-o-meter up a couple notches, making it harder to walk, to stand, to sit up.
I hate the feeling where I'd sit on a chair and stare off into a distance, and be unaware of the passage of time.
I hate the feeling when I barely have enough energy to get to work, let alone actually work, which just hurts because I want so much to please my bosses, and it hurts because it makes me afraid of getting fired, which only adds to the depression.
My current counselor, and my former one, both thought that it might be because I associate the darkness with the holidays, and the holidays with the stress of how poorly dad handled the holidays. That might be true. Maybe it's not seasonal affective. Maybe it's only seasonal PTSD. Or maybe I have PTSD after having some of the worst depressions I've ever had, in the past few years.
I hate it. I fucking hate it. And I am scared of it happening again. Especially since it's my final semester of grad school. All goes well, I should graduate December. But I do have two classes and an e-portfolio to finish. Normally I take just two classes, but I so much want to finish on time that I'm adding the e-Port on to this semester.
I don't know how the hell I'll be able to work on full time grad school, full time work, and still manage to keep up the house, play with the cats, and spend time with my husband, who, by the way, is also taking a full load this fall AND he was just recently promoted to full-time status at work.
My counselor is off this Saturday, but the next time I see her, in two weeks, I will have to talk about my fear. I can't handle depression on top of everything else.
Meanwhile, someone please lasso the sun and pin it up in the sky a little bit longer. I would appreciate. Thanks.
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