The weather has it in for me

Karen Smith The weather has it in for me

I’ve been doing well recently. I don’t think much about the dread, and for the first time in months and months I’ve been genuinely busy prepping to launch my e-book. The fact that it’s summer helps, although this year the British weather is endeavouring to be very little help at all. As if to spite me, it has started thundering at this very moment.
It’s no secret that sunny days are good for everyone’s mood, whether you suffer from depression or are just feeling a little blue, but no one fully understands why. It’s often chalked up to getting more sunlight, or some residual evolutionary function that has us winding down in colder months, kind of like hibernation.
Here are some unscientific observations on other things I think help:
  • Spending more time outdoors, surrounded by nature, instead of inside glued to a screen
  • Wearing fewer clothes, which makes us physically lighter (AND SEXIER)
  • Brighter colours, courtesy of blue skies and rapeseed flowers. Think Kansas versus Oz.
  • Ice cream – the universal comfort food. It’s like mood medicine.
Unfortunately, this year I’ve spent more days in slippers and cardigans than I have out of them, the rainclouds are casting a near-constant gloom, and ice cream just doesn’t appeal when simply glancing skywards is enough to make me shiver OK FINE I JUST ATE HALF A TUB OF HAAGEN-DAZS.
I confess, I am a hopeless victim of the seasons. I know it’s not an affliction specific to people with depression, but when you’re already teetering that much closer to the brink of cowering under your duvet in the foetal position, then like me, you may feel a little like summer 2016 is shitting all over you. This is meant to be my sweet spot; the annual genesis of enough inspiration and cheer to see me through the December-February danger zone. You could say I’m solar-charged, and I’m running low on juice.
The unfortunate truth is that for as long as I can remember, I get as much as 70% of my work done in the summer months. I know, it’s a joke. Why does a beautiful sunny day inspire me to hole myself away and write? But it’s true. And this year, I’ll be lucky to be a third as productive. If I’m totally honest, it’s only now that I’m getting around to publishing my e-book because I’m trying to distract from the fact I’m barely writing at all. Just look how spaced out these posts are getting!
I’m on edge. I feel I might trigger my own downward spiral by waiting a little to eagerly on a good stretch of summery weather; by convincing myself I need it.
I don’t need it. I need the people who love me. I need my creative outlet. I need my medication. The rest just helps. Besides, there will be other mood boosters. There will be other mood villains too. The key to handling my depression is to find ways to cope with both, without seesawing dramatically between rain and shine, like this terrible, terrible summer.

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1 Comment

  1. You know, it’s exactly like that for me as well in India. The Indian sun beckons me outside but trying to make as much as I can out of that mood indoors, I end up getting so late outside that I have to pathetically hunt for some sunshine between the tall shades of the urban jungle.

    You said it right, solar charged, like superman. I realised one thing though. I try to make too big plans. So what I do now is dash out into the sun when I feel like it and let me soak just enough to feel the warmth inside. Then I gleefully rush back inside to get some work done looking forward to my next “sun break” in an hour or so! It literally charges your soul. It’s also a short break from depressing thoughts..

    Just passing by.. you know somehow I feel you write so well, probably God is giving you this mindset including the depression and all, so that you put your heart and soul into writing.

    Keep the faith.

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