I’ve been debating with myself about what to say on here. I’ve been asking myself how to address the election, how to address steps that I am taking with my writing, how to say something meaningful. Instead, I feel my days slipping past in a sort of wallowing selfishness. I tell myself that I will write this blog post and instead I spiral down the YouTube rabbit hole. Sometimes, I distract myself with reading, yoga, a hot bath.
Other times, I stare out the window at the snow, my bleak antagonist. I hate winter. The gray days feel profoundly miserable. This morning, the snow was gone and the sun was out (albeit weakly). I felt better, told myself that I would get ready and go out. Do something with my day off. By mid-afternoon it was snowing again and sunless. I looked outside and wondered what would happen if I just sealed my door and didn’t make a move until the sun came back and the snow once again melted. I frantically checked the weather report. How long until I can feel a sense of hope? But I knew that I was catsitting and had to leave and I know that tomorrow I will need to go to work. Giving up is not really an option. The snow feels claustrophobic and I miss days on the beach, nights lying in the grass.
Does this seem melodramatic? It does to me. It also feels true. Abstractly, I know that seasonal depression is real. I also know that seasons pass and given the sunshine and lack of snow this morning, such a day may not be far off. I also know that eventually, spring comes back and, like Lazarus, I am up again.
When I try to suggest that it feels hard, forbidding, I am often told sarcastically, “You live in Michigan. Get used to it or move.” Of course, this answer does not account for the poverty that I experience. I could leave, but I would be homeless. Moving would require savings, a job in the new place, an ability to acquire housing because I had such a job. (And before you say it, I HAVE my education. I have a master’s degree. In fact, I have almost two of them. So. Don’t peddle me your easy answers.) It also doesn’t take into consideration that I would need the emotional capacity to blow off every person that I know and go it alone. In short, it feels like a suicide mission.
Instead, I am still here. I am writing to you to say that it is hard and bleak. Some days, I fake it so well. You might never guess. I see you and I smile. “I’m great. How are you?” It’s nothing short of a miracle to hide so much darkness. I wait it out. I blot it out. There were better days behind me, there are better days before me.
I wanted to tell you something meaningful. I meant to say something uplifting. Instead, I passively wait and ask you to wait too. It’s the only way I know. Inside of it all, there are tiny moments when it all feels okay. I note them, an oddity.