It wasn’t until a few years ago that I acknowledged how the transition from autumn to winter affects me. I think I was in denial for many years, because it’s one of those lovely “together” times of the year filled with warmth. And togetherness. And who can honestly admit to being sad during so much warmth and togetherness?
This time of year never fails to depress me. Like clockwork, November hits and so does my depression, lasting well into February my mood stays dark with the season. Living in Seattle obviously made it worse, so much worse in fact that I found myself dreading half of the year and not really understanding why. I never lied when I said I loved the rain, because I really did for a time, but it was the constant gloom that accompanied the rain that started to drown me. There is only so much unexplained melancholy that a person can take in one lifetime, and I am not such a slave to ‘writing about my feelings’ in this blog that I could endure it any longer.
Last month, I spent two (separate) weekends in Seattle where I was fairly busy doing what I went there up to do. I had prepared myself for the rain in the Northwest and was ready to battle the gloom, but the depression didn’t hit until that first Monday evening after I had already returned and was looking out the window near my desk at work to see the early darkness in Los Angeles. It was nearly instant, the sinking feeling in my stomach and the rush of anxiety, the something is different emotion that I can never explain.
A word about Daylight Savings: She can suck it.
A major selling point of Southern California was the sunshine and the warmth. For a year while I went back and forth, coming back to Seattle after having spent a weekend in LA was incredibly depressing as more often than not, I was welcomed home by overcast skies and rain. Returning to Seattle from a trip to LA in May and being greeted by pouring rain was what sealed my decision to move, and I have not regretted it once in the four whole months I’ve been here. Until a month ago.
The season has begun the slow transition from fall to winter, and though the change is extremely subtle, I can feel it. The colder mornings, the darker evenings, the way the wind blows and the new chill it carries. All of these things have had a real effect on my mood and I have found myself toeing the line of depression once again, which confused me for a few weeks until I remembered that this time of year always feels this way for me. Even in Los Angeles, a city that barely acknowledges that other seasons exist, the feeling follows and persists until the anxiety wears me down and forces me to stare it straight in the face. It’s obviously not all about the weather though, because it is the second week of December and seventy degrees outside, and I still feel like I could vibrate out of my skin because everything just feels so off. Making the entire season harder is the fact that I am about to turn thirty in two days, and as much as I don’t want it to, it feels major. I never had any idea who or where I would be when this day came but now that it’s almost here I do not want it to pass unnoticed, falling into step with every other day this week and getting lost in the month. It could be the stress of the last month pressing in on me, or the imagined importance of leaving my twenties, or the simple fact that my entire life has changed recently along with the seasons and now my age…but the crushing feeling in my chest will not let up.
Ever since Monica shared this song a few years ago, I’ve turned to it to help me through these months too. It might be hard to reconcile my sadness with my love for Christmas, but I guess life is weird like that.