My annual bout of Seasonal Affective disorder has melded into regular depression.
Usually, as the weather warms so does my mind. This year, it hasn’t. It’s officially summer now, but both my energy levels and happiness levels have remained stubbornly low. Despite all my best efforts and usual tricks: taking long walks, getting some sun, visiting friends- nothing I do seems to shake off this cloud.
Am I doomed to struggle forever?
Of course, not every moment is doom and gloom. Not even every day feels dark. That’s the tricky thing about chronic depression, is that it’s not always at the forefront of your mind. Sometimes it hides in waiting, casting shadows over your happier moments, but not eclipsing them completely. It’s present, but not always awake- like a bear in hibernation ready to make itself known as soon as the snow melts.
It all goes back to that stupid dream.
My brain is both cliche and cruel. My dreams are highly symbolic. They are so symbolic, in fact, that if I were reading a book and a character had a similar dream sequence, I would call out the author or being heavy-handed with the metaphor. Unfortunately, my dreams do not accept constructive criticism, so when I begin to struggle with my mental health, my subconscious sounds the bell with some derivative nightmare. On the 28th of March, I mentioned one that signaled my current depressive state. I’ve not been quite right since.
A lot has happened since then.
April, May, and June all brought their own challenges and their own relief to my mental health. As I have learned long ago, the world doesn’t stand still just because I want off the ride. I have struggled my way through spring, and have now entered summer. There are new, far more frightening opponents to face, but I am determined to survive this season too. I have a stronger support system and healthier coping mechanisms than I’ve had in the past, so I am prepared to face the demons of my past and the monsters in my path.
I am scared. I am tired. I am struggling.
But there are still moments when the clouds part and I get a glimpse of sunshine. There are still days I see my hear my niece and nephews laugh or my friends chatter that give me hope. There are still nights when the world is quiet and still, and I can breathe. There are still mornings when my cat snuggles against my knees, and a bird chirps in the tree outside my window, and I feel calm. In those moments, however brief they are, that I feel like things will be okay.