My Antidepressant Life

Have a good life.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Once again, the sky is a hazy shade of winter. This is when I isolate and retreat to my figurative cave (which is a literal depression nest). I don’t want to run around stressing about affording gifts and mailing them in time. I don’t want to clean for company. I don’t want extravagance, and I don’t have the energy for even polite company. I avoid people and public spaces. I don’t want to socialize, or talk to people, or see people, or acknowledge that humans exist. They’re just so damn noisy and exhausting. This isolation turns into a fun little loop wherein I protect my mental health in a way that sinks my mental health. For months.

Life is quick, and depression is a thief of time.

While I absolutely know what I don’t want this time of year (see above), I’ve started trying to think about what I do want. What I do want is coziness. I want softness and fairy lights and warm blankets and quiet. I want simple meals. I want ease and books and hot drinks. I want my cats who have all passed. I want friends and closeness, but only my closest friends. The friends who know they don’t have to clean or get out of their pajamas when we spend time together. I want to brush someone’s hair, and be held. I want friends to know how deeply they are loved. I want to give them precious time in the best ways I know how. I want comfort.

If summer and fall are for preparing for the winter, I want winter to be for storing up this kind of gentleness to get through the raucous joys of spring and summer.

This winter has been a hard one. I am not OK. My mental and physical health have tanked. (Although yes, I know it could be worse. Much worse.) I go to work and cosplay as an adult who has their shit together. Reader, I do not, in fact, have it together. Instead it has hit the fan. Every horizontal surface has hateful dishes. My home is cluttered and uncomfortable and it’s difficult to find peaceful moments here. I cry. I cry a lot. I never cry. There are so many things I’m trying to both feel and let pass through me like emotional neutrinos.

This is the state of things. Tomorrow I will get up. I will shower and put on hard clothes and second-hand shoes that don’t fit, and interact with several people I don’t like, and cosplay that I’m a regular adult. And I know the people around me are doing the same thing. We’re moving through life forcing ourselves to do things we don’t want to do all day, five days a week, just to live. The days are forced instead of lived. There has to be a more human(e) way to live.