February is actually the longest month.

I’m so tired of being cold.

It’s the snow. It’s the ache. It’s the gloom. I sit and I want to burrow under mountains of blankets and I have committed to too many things and I can’t seem to make my body move at the speed of my mind, both of which are feeling slow and sluggish and underutilized, in sharp contrast to the body of work I should be accomplishing right now. My depression is flickering again, this tiny little pinprick somewhere inside of me that creeps up, tendril-like, and makes me snappish, makes me lazy, makes me apathetic, makes me so agitated. I cried this morning because I ruined the process of making coffee in a french press, which is really a pretty remarkable accomplishment considering there are really only two steps that go into making coffee in a french press. The coffee tasted terrible and grounds got stuck in my teeth and I drank it anyway and quietly cried, all the while self-aware enough to sense that I was really crying because of how stupid and pathetic it is to cry over something as easily remedied as a gross pot of coffee. I would write this scene for a movie to be played for a laugh line: look at that hilariously pathetic girl! The girl with the unshowered head of hair, crying in her gross old sweatpants over a gross cup of coffee. Underscore it with a tuba solo and you’ve basically got a better short film than anything I worked on in undergrad.

Figuring out freelance work is hard, and I’ve been actively trying to be better at balancing my need for money with my need for a reasonable work schedule. But I never seem to learn this lesson: that February is ALWAYS the month where it’s the most difficult for me to accomplish tasks that I could probably manage more easily in June. Being overbooked in February is not good for my writing or my spirit or my waistline. It’s when my body just seems to shut itself down and say No more. You’ve done enough. When you can put on a sundress again, we can talk about that to-do list. But that’s not actually how “having a job” and “paying rent” work, so: off I go, with a permanent sense of anxiety that I’m disappointing those around me, trying to hide the fact that my light is shining a bit duller these days. I’m going through the motions somewhat. And I will get it all done because I always do. It’s just taking more effort. It’s just all a bit harder than it wants to be.

The motherfucker of depression is this: that I want nothing more than to travel the entire world. I want to read all of the books. I want to laugh with my friends over cups of coffee and bottles of wine, long into the night. I want to hear classical music played in symphony halls; I want to sit in dive bars and diners until it’s too late to stay. I want to open a bookstore in a small town near the sea; I want to live in a bustling city and write funny little stories about the funny little people I see on the subway. I want to move to the other side of the country and sit in a writer’s room; I want to date someone kind and handsome and considerate who might someday become my partner. I want to grow up and I want to grow old and I want to create and I want to have it mean something.

And I could probably do all of that shit a whole lot easier if I could just get off the fucking couch.

Which of course, I will do eventually. It’ll happen soon, because it always does. I will stop feeling like an old soggy towel and will start feeling like a person, even a person I like and think is pretty great. I will go back to caring deeply about my friends and my family; I will be better at returning emails; I will take pleasure in my work and my home and my relationships. I will shave my legs with more regularity and plan weekend trips to the beach and I will buy cheap plastic sunglasses even when they look stupid on my face. I will water the geraniums in the window boxes and I will mop the kitchen floors until everything smells lemony and clean. I will read and I will dance and I will sing along in the car to pop songs and know all of the words and not be ashamed. I will create, and I will be good at it. I will write and some of it will suck, but a lot of it won’t, and I will tell the stories I want to tell. I will go running, and remember that I despise running, but relish the sense of accomplishment, the stretch in my back and my calves. I will snap out of it. I will give good hugs. I will ask how others are doing and genuinely want to know the answer. I will be me again.

I just have to get through February first.

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74 thoughts on “February is actually the longest month.

  1. Heavens – has anyone ever put this more perfectly into words!? Not for me. I wake each morning and reach first for the Vitamin D drops – recommended dose… 1 drop on the tongue. My dose… 5+ And tell myself endlessly… this too shall pass, but that doesn’t feel so true. Tonight, I went into the kitchen to get a glass of wine and looked out onto the ocean of snow and ice. I remembered my birthday is in May and by the time it comes, the hummingbirds will be back… so I stopped and imagined them there and the sun shining and the grass growing and remembered one day that will be true and it really will pass.

  2. You took the words right out of my mouth and written them perfectly. Honestly I thought I was going to be on point with my school work, work, starting a relationship, and working out for this new year. But this month has got me in a slump. I can’t take anymore of these overcast days and seeing the dirty snow piled on the side of the streets, it doesn’t help me get out of bed. Hoping it will pass soon!!

  3. Yes, I thought it was just me! February gives me the feels and not the good kind. I stress out and break out in every possible way! It’s the time of the year when I feel like I’m falling behind, way behind, it’s the Bermuda triangle of plans! But it’s okay, I tell myself, I’ll get there eventually!

  4. Hang in there. But yeah, I totally hear you; the end of winter is the suckiest part of the year. Depression runs rampant. No one has any money. I wish it were over, too…

  5. It’s OVER!! Happy March!! Here’s to warmer temps (I will take anything about -15 C at this point), spring and sun! February was a bitch of a month for my family and I’m glad she’s gone.

  6. the parts about being able to feel like a person — a person you actually like — and doing all the wonderful things you want to do if you’re able to get off the couch– that really resonated with me as someone who knows what it’s like to not even have the emotional or physical energy to move from bed to the kitchen and make yourself food to eat. even mentioning that now, a year later, brings tears to my eyes. i wrote a lot on my personal blog (not the one linked below) about not knowing who i was and trying to remember who i always have been, and liking that person when i was going through that.

    i hope you start feeling better and that your spirits lift soon. if you ever need a reminder that you’re not alone in how you feel, my personal blog is over at http://www.whereshewrites.com.

    just want to give you a virtual hug and say february is over and the sun always rises!

  7. the parts about being able to feel like a person — a person you actually like — and doing all the wonderful things you want to do if you’re able to get off the couch– that really resonated with me as someone who knows what it’s like to not even have the emotional or physical energy to move from bed to the kitchen and make yourself food to eat. even mentioning that now, a year later, brings tears to my eyes. i wrote a lot on my personal blog (not the one linked below) about not knowing who i was and trying to remember who i always have been, and liking that person when i was going through that.

    i hope you start feeling better and that your spirits lift soon. if you ever need a reminder that you’re not alone in how you feel, my personal blog is over at http://www.whereshewrites.com.

    just want to give you a virtual hug and say february is over and the sun always rises!

  8. Hope March is working out better for you…if not have a dance party. That’s what we do in our nest and soon tears of sorrow turn to tears of laughter and joy from silly moves. Cheers to dancing in your own privacy of your nest!

  9. Pingback: Depression’s twisted sense of humor | Chris.ink

  10. Pingback: Depression's twisted sense of humor | Chris

  11. Pingback: Depression's twisted sense of humor – Chris.ink

  12. Pingback: Depression’s twisted sense of humor – Chris.ink

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