Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD, Winter Blues... Whatever you choose to call it. The amazing feeling of wanting to bounce out of bed with the sun rising is robbed from you and instead you want to pull the blankets up over your head because it's dark and dreary outside.
Your body is heavy and your mind is numb... It's quiet, in fact the thoughts are too quiet. This isn't about being in a negative mood or feeling unmotivated, not at all. This is your body feeling like it's going into sleep mode until the first signs of summer come back around.
That amazing spark of personality that makes you feel alive and driven, that spark disappears. It's inside of you and you so desperately want it to come to the surface but instead it stays hidden.
Everything becomes hard... Everything. Putting your clothes on, brushing your teeth, getting out of bed, leaving the house, brushing your hair - it's all hard. You feel like there's something wrong with you but you don't know what that is. When you tell people 'the cold makes me not want to leave the house', they get it because who likes the cold anyway, but they don't truly understand that this feels like you're powerless and literally can't move your body to leave the house.
I'm not upset.
I'm not angry.
I'm not sad.
I'm not unmotivated.
AND trust me it frustrates me more than anyone that I feel like the real me disappears for half of the year. Every year I think 'it's not going to get me this year'... then that first day of winter shows itself and I start to disappear on the inside.
For me, every year I get better and better, going and doing things rather than staying in bed which is what my body truly desires. The real me doesn't want this at all, the real me has goals and aspirations I want to work toward but my body is shutting down all of this. Instead I'm simply trying to survive until I can feel the warmth of the sun on my skin again. Even though I am doing better every year, I still get a tear in my eye when summer comes around again and I can feel the real 'Christina' shine through... I realise that I have done better but that I just lost half of the year to surviving instead of thriving.
In a world where we have heaters and homes it doesn't make a lot of sense, even I question this often. My body doesn't feel like it is aware of this though, it proceeds into sleep mode every single winter.
I want to go for a walk... but I want to lie down.
I want to meet you for coffee... but I want to stay on the lounge.
I want to give you my attention... but my thoughts aren't operating.
Oh and if you find me crying, I want to remind you I'm not sad and I don't know why the tears have turned on. The only sad part of me is that I feel the real me is hibernating and I want her back, I want her here throughout all of the year and not only the summer months. However the tears can turn on at any moment and for no reason at all. It's ok to just hug me and not try to work out what's wrong with me.
Ultimately this does not control me. I am in control.
BUT it does not make it any less real and effect me any less. Each winter my goal is to keep the real Christina as alive as possible instead of sealed away deep down awaiting the sun.
When I get out of bed, that's a win.
When I go outside, that's a win.
When I feel a spark of creativity, that's a win.
In the past I would simply survive each winter and sleep every moment I could. If you struggle with this as well and this sounds familiar, it doesn't have to be this way. Winter is still a struggle every single year for me but it doesn't keep me down like it used to, keep fighting to have the real you as present as possible even when you feel like you're walking around with a cloud of fog trapping you in.
The fog can lift even when it's cold.