So, I’m Struggling

It’s hard to ignore the fact that winter is very much on its way now.

Summer has long gone. It’s been deceptively cold in the last couple of weeks and, even if that it due to the wind, that doesn’t deny the point that the days are becoming increasingly shorter and it’ll very soon be time to accelerate our loss of light in the evenings thanks to the annual revert from British Summer Time.

I’m not in a state of depression but I can see myself spiralling down that way this winter. I’ve made great strides in the last year but that darkness has never gone away. It’s always been there; hiding out of sight, just beyond the corner of my eye. It feels like I’ve been trying to ignore it for a long time, which is tiring in itself.

It’s like having someone intentionally watching you for the duration of each day. They don’t realise that you’re aware of their presence and it irritates you that they should be getting on with their own business.

I’m sure there’s a lot I should still be grateful for but it’s too easy to focus on the irritations and constant triggers for my changes in mood. It’s getting harder to get up each day. In the evenings, I’m left with nothing much, for fear of upsetting the next morning’s routine. I have to be up between 5.30 and 6.00am in order to start work on time but I regularly wake up at 4.30am. I’ve always been reluctant to see my doctor about sleep problems because I then fear oversleeping… How ridiculous does that sound?! What kind of life am I living where I have to force myself out of natural sleep and in to long days of labour that only allow me to bypass the daylight hours in winter?

My weekend was a very good one. Seeing two incredible friends on Saturday and staying out of the house for almost 12 hours. Sunday was mostly about the rain but I did manage to join a group walk, I noticed positive things and I even indulged in a hot chocolate – with cream AND marshmallows on top!

Since then, I’m not had one restful evening. Tonight, I should’ve gone to the meditation class that I was quietly looking forward to but, after catching up on sleep straight after work, I awoke at more than one-hour past the time at which I had intended to leave. On Monday, I got in and spent the entire evening resting in bed (apart from nipping out briefly to make sandwiches). It’s just easier sometimes. This house is supposed to be peaceful for another week (someone’s away) but my feelings of resentment and frustration clearly aren’t with them. Are they with the other person? Or is this again within me.

My job has changed in recent months but too many things remain the same. Despite asking for a pay raise, I’m still without. Even with an increase, it wouldn’t change anything else. If it was steep enough, it might be enough to help me ignore my own lost sense of fulfilment but it wouldn’t go away. There’s got to be a better way to live (or waste) your life.

On an emotional level, I received some words on Saturday night that would’ve dramatically upset me six-months ago but I’ve been slowly letting go of that. If you can’t be honest with someone and you then fear they’ve reached a point where they can no longer be honest with you (for whatever reason) then it can’t continue without failure. Having someone repeatedly tell you they hate you and that you ‘need to die’ is uncalled for. I don’t believe that any of this is affecting me. I said goodbye before she said ‘F off’. But elsewhere and on the next day, a better friend responded to honestly reveal that they didn’t think we’d be right as anything more than friends. It was a shock to me (I honestly thought she liked me more) but also a relief. There is no spark and I think I’ve only been looking to fill that hole inside. She’s a good friend and I’ve always been happy with that. I’m not in love with her anyway but I’m glad that we could talk about it.

I’ve run out of words for now but this is a cry for help. Or maybe attention. Some of the strain is starting to life as I come to a close here but I fear it’s only going to be a long, hard winter and that spring can’t come soon enough… That is, of course, hoping that we GET a spring in 2014, where it seemed to have been bypassed in the UK this year thanks to an overrunning winter!

We could label it SAD I suppose… This increase in darkness is almost as if the door is no longer open. As if the windows have been boarded and I’m trapped in here with my own madness. I’m no longer able to escape and to experience the light. It could be a long four months.

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13 comments on “So, I’m Struggling

  1. bpnana says:

    Many of us feel the way you do, myself included. Keep writing. It’s good for you and us, as well.
    We have this space to share with each other. For me, it is a blessing. Sending you a smile! xx N.

    • Thank you, Nana, your smile is appreciated. I promise that I will try to keep writing without making it a chore. I’ve noticed my mood slipping again today but I’m short of time at this moment with Saturday coming to a close.

  2. Rose says:

    Ack, yes! Fall, winter, blah blah blah. I hate it, too. It’s still a little bit warmish here during the days, but all the signs are there. It isn’t light as much, and the leaves are turning. I actually am going to turn the heat on tomorrow as soon as the appliance guys come back on to light the furnace. I feel your pain, really I do. I cope with a light box (sun lamp) and it helps tremendously. In therapy today, my therapist even said my task for the week was to get it out of the closet and plugged in. I’m thinking that might be in order for tomorrow, at the rate I’m going! At any rate, as bpnana says, keep writing, it’s good for you and us.

    • We’ve had our heating on quite frequently of late (although, I’m not the one paying the bills). I did turn it off today because it has suddenly become quite mild again and I do welcome that. We haven’t yet seen the complete overhaul of autumn in the UK but it’s expected to happen in the next two weeks and I’ll make an effort to experience and enjoy as much of it as I can with my walking.

      I will consider looking in to a light box, thank you. My only concern is that I already have enough wires tangled behind my laptop but if it helps you then I believe it’s worth a try. 🙂

  3. Natalya says:

    I am dreading winter too but try to not think of it anymore than necessary. Enjoy what daylight you have now-that’s what I’m trying to do anyway. It gets dark here before 7 pm and once the clocks go back an hour it will just be worse. But best to focus on what we have rather than don’t (I believe). Do you have a SAD lamp? I keep meaning to get one but they can be expensive.

    • I was talking about this with a friend and the anticipation of winter is often worse than the actual experience when it comes. We react that way in preparation for many parts of our lives; things that are far and beyond our control. As I’ve just said to Rose; I will now look in to SAD lamps as she insists they’ve helped her.

  4. Hi there. I just wanted to leave you a message to say that you’re not alone in how you feel, and lots of us struggle at this time of year. I did, last year – and I’m going to have to be careful with myself again this (although I’m now taking medication for depression that I wasn’t last year). For me, writing helps, and so does a bit of exercise and taking advantage of the daylight that we do have – even it’s just a walk for half an hour at lunchtime and drinking a cup of coffee outside. Although I know it’s difficult, talking to your doctor might really help, too – you won’t necessarily be offered meds, and there’s the possibility that it might make you feel a lot better. Take care, and let me know how you get on. ~GD

    • Hi GD! Thank you for writing and for your thoughts and experiences. I’ve never really considered talking to my doctor about this but the NHS offer a course (CBT-based, like the two others I’ve done) for people suffering from ‘Low Mood’. It might be worth a try; I haven’t really got anything to lose from it, I think. My main reason for not considering it previously was that I didn’t consider myself to be ‘depressed enough’ when, in fact, symptoms of low mood can develop long before thoughts of self harm and suicide.

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