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Mid-Winter Blues

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Photo by green ant on Unsplash

These last few weeks have been difficult. My mind feels like it's racing and at the same time as if it's full of cotton wool. My energy levels are super low. I basically just want to sleep all day, or at least do nothing in bed all day. I'm not particularly tired, just unhappy.

And it comes with an immense amount of guilt. My life is pretty much perfect. I'm right where I want to be. I live in an incredible city with a supportive partner who is literally my better half. We're raising two beautiful, healthy, brilliant children and a super cute puppy. I can do what I want while the kids are in school, so I write, take literature courses, and read. The kids are big enough to cook with me in the afternoon or just hang out and do their homework while I cook. And I'm not even mentioning what all of us in the first world take for granted like a warm home, running water, and a stable electricity current to power my many gadgets (you know, washing machine, oven, iPhone, etc.).

I'm genuinely grateful for all of these things. In addition, I'm grateful every single day for my healthy body, for being able to do (mostly) what I want with my body, and for having a (fairly) sound mind. Because of this, most of the time, when I feel the mid-winter blues, I get mad at myself. I have absolutely no reason to be unhappy. I have no right to be unhappy. I have everything I can ever need or want.

And yet, I can't argue with how I feel. I've tried, many (many) times, to push through it, to cheer myself up, to "just" get over it, to fill my day up so that I'm too busy to notice this sadness. But this time, those methods are decidedly ineffective. Maybe it's because I've been practising meditation. Perhaps it's because I've been trying purposefully to find my true self. This time I can see it clearly, but I can't avoid it.

I'm thankful that this isn't a full-blown depression or anxiety attack. I'm grateful that I can get myself out of bed in the morning. I know people who couldn't. I'm grateful that some of the times I manage to push the cotton wool cloud back just enough to write a little bit or to have a coherent conversation with someone. I still get the kids on time to all their activities, and I still get dinner on the table. I can still function, something I don't take for granted.

I'm oscillating about this post as I write this. Do I have the right to write about depression and anxiety when I can actually function? When others suffer so much worse? Am I making depression and anxiety look lighter than the dreadful monsters they are? I don't want to do that.

For now, I try to sit with the feelings and let time do its thing. Taking one day at a time, one moment at a time, I remind myself that this sadness, this emptiness, this guilt, will pass eventually, like everything else.


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