The sad bastard

So, it’s that time of year again.  I’m sitting here frustrated, disappointed, blue.  I’ve a sigh caught in my chest and a rock in my guts.  It’s the gift of the season.  By now I’ve grown used to this, but I’ve never grown comfortable.  It sits poorly with me, and my struggles only serve to exasperate.  For years I’ve slipped into this funk; before it had an acronym even.  (Yeah that’s right, I had SADs before it was cool.)  Usually it starts earlier, when my nerves start to become frayed by the holiday season.  Yet, despite the rather disappointing end to last year I somehow managed to make it through with only a sense of bemusement.  I had been hoping that maybe I’d finally broken the cycle, as last year’s winter funk was relatively mild.  Alas, as much as I’ve tried to ignore it, the sad bastard has been creeping up on me for a couple weeks now.  What a shame.  Were it a choice I’d never allow myself to feel this way.  I can’t imagine anyone would.  But, by some fluke of chemistry this is my lot.  I’m not complaining exactly.  Over the years I’ve learned to recognize what is happening, and I’ve found ways to mitigate the effects.  I remain highly functional, often to the point where my depression is not outwardly obvious.  It is just draining, and my quality of life takes a dive.  I sleep more, read more, am more irritable.  I tend to want close company, but eschew it out of disgust for my state of mind.  It’s pretty textbook.  As are the things I’ve learned to try to curtail the worst.  I force myself to be social, to be creatively productive, to stay active.  I avoid the desire to self-medicate (aside from indulging my daydreams by looking up ticket prices to tropical places.)  I search out opportunities to laugh, to be engaged, or at least distracted.  I may be exhausted by the end of the day by my attempts to maintain a semblance of normalcy, but that is ok.  It keeps me from brooding, and I excel at brooding.  When I feel like this, it is too easy to lose momentum, and to lose momentum is to stall.  I can’t allow that.  Most of my adolescence and early adulthood has been spent in a haze of depression and anxiety.  I’ve lost too much time, wasted too many opportunities by wallowing.  It is just difficult sometimes, when your adversary is yourself and the best you can manage is damage control. . .

Spring, you can’t get here soon enough.

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