No matter how much I kick and scream, he comes every single year. That energy-zapping, unwelcome guest who is relentless in his pursuit to ruin my life. Old Man Winter. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic–but only a little. I seriously despise being cold and almost everything that goes with it.
Our family lived in beautiful South Florida for four years and although I do recall feeling like we were in a temperature time-warp, I honestly never minded the non-existent winters. Needless to say, relocating to Northern Virginia was a shock to the system after wearing sunscreen year-round and singing Christmas carols in flip-flops.
If I ever had any doubts about seasonal depression I can say moving here has cleared those doubts right up. My first winter here, I quickly fell into depression and spent many an hour crying in the recliner. Of course I was heartsick from a stressful move, but I didn’t give enough credit to the grey skies and bitter winds for my unbalanced emotional state.
It wasn’t until Spring came that I realized how heavy Old Man Winter had weighed on my heart. I remember a few days into Spring feeling as though I’d been slipped a B-12 shot. My energy and zeal for life was instantaneously restored once I could trust the sun really was going to shine the next day and the next.
For a long time I would dodge saying “I hate winter.” I felt like that would be publicizing God had created something faulty. Instead I’d choose, “I just prefer summer” or “I don’t really like cold weather,” as not to sound too grumpy or cynical. But the fact is, I hate winter. Mainly because it’s a stimulus for depression, and when winter’s coming I know that’s coming along with it.
In an effort to pull through this winter with slightly more optimism, I made a mental list of great things that can only happen in winter. Here they are:
-Boots and cute scarves
-Soup, lots of soup
-Bundled up babies
As you can see, my list is short. But every time I watch Benjamin waddle down the frozen sidewalk, sit beside a blazing fire, or make a huge batch of steaming soup, I remember it’s because of winter I had this moment. Then I go outside to get the mail and remember–brrrrrrrrr–it’s because of winter that I hate winter.
If you find yourself in a deep funk right now, you are in good company. If you are usually active and involved, but find yourself weaseling out of events and instead crying in your recliner, you’re not alone. I think part of making it through life–especially life with depression–is being honest with yourself. Accept the seasons you know you won’t be fully yourself, and remember it’s only temporary, because Spring really will come!
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3 : 1 & 4