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.

74 thoughts on “February is actually the longest month.

  1. somehow, even february is the shortest month, it feels like the longest. urgh. i feel the same here, you spoke right out, what i am struggling with right now.. if only february would end! love your blog and the way you write!
    and: only 1 more week of february;-)

  2. Beautiful post. Says it all. Just remember, somewhere deep inside you there’s a bear – and bears hibernate, they don’t shave their legs, and they’re grumpy in the morning. Embrace your inner bear by giving yourself a bear hug… 🙂

  3. I can relate to this so much! Winter is rough, and the lack of sunlight affects my energy and mood a ton.

    This year has been stressful for me, and I can relate to how you’re feeling. It’s not easy, and I wouldn’t wish the anxiety on anyone. We will get through it though. We will make our dreams happen one way or another, someday.

    I hope the rest of this winter flies by and that things get better for you. Just know that your words mean so much. Many of us can relate and it means a lot to know we are not alone.

  4. Inertia often gets to me too. But ironically I would like to exchange heat (Asia) for the cold. Heat has the same energy zapping power over me.

    I loved how this post spoke to me and my need to want to do everything but to feel overwhelmed sometimes, procrastinate and achieve what I feel is very little. I do appreciate introspective blog posts that mirror exactly how I feel. Thanks 🙂

  5. In Australia, February is the last month of Summer and I’m dreading the dull and dreary colder months to loom in where procrastination and negative thoughts come hand in hand.

    When i’m feeling down or just can’t seem to get my butt out of bed I listen to good music… soundcloud is my saviour ❤

  6. Thanks for sharing. Your February is my June and July in Australia. I related to your post, are we wanting too much? Are we asking for a mixture of the same thing? Winter is hard to get through and cold weather brings out all the aches and pains. Your summer will begin soon and you will be as cheerful as I am at this moment. You will see me posting a similar post in June.

  7. February is the most depressing month, not least because we have Valentine’s Day slap in the middle of it! Four more days and it’ll be March and we can all look forward to spring!

  8. Here’s to getting through February! I take hold of every day (or minute) when the sun actually feels warm and makes my skin tingle. I like winter, I like wrapping up, but by February it’s dragged on for too long. But those signs that summer is, inevitably, on its way fill me with positivity! Good luck with your next cup of coffee!

  9. I love your posts! I am hating winter, and I live in Texas! Not having nearly as much “fun” as you are. In February, I do 6 minutes in a tanning bed twice a week. While the skin cancer people might frown upon it, the Seasonal Affective Disorder people (myself included) swear by it! Feel better soon!

  10. Oh, boy, do I relate! I have SAD in the winter months, and just when I was thinking “What a nice, easy January we had!” along came THIS MONTH. I have never hated the sight of snow more than I do right now. I also relate to the feeling that my “light is a little duller.” It’s hard to really feel alive in this weather and temperature, unless you’re a skier and live for winter.
    Here’s hoping that March brings us warmer air, less snow (please God, we have gone beyond maximum capacity at this point) and actual signs of spring!

  11. Pingback: I can be cheery about diabetes some other time | thesweetadventurer

  12. Your writing is so filled with life … it awakens the deepest parts of me as a reader. Thank you …. your post twinkles like a bright and shining star despite the long dark days of your February.

  13. My slogan for February: Do it anyway – and plan something good for March. The month doesn’t pass any faster, but when I look back it doesn’t seem so bad.

  14. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my chipped coffee cup, surrounded by a smoky kitchen, for I burned the French toast that I was trying to cook to cheer myself up. Woke up to 4″ of snow, surprise!!!! Hubby just walked by and said in a bright happy voice, “look at the large snow flakes coming down, WOW!” I just looked at him with glazed eyes. No school again….and I’m going to crawl down to my studio to stare for awhile. Eventually. Later. Probably. Maybe. February is by far the longest month.

  15. Oh, I so totally feel you. Truly.

    This is my first year working from home and Feb is a KILLER for me. It’s cold, my house is cold and drafty, I am sluggish and like you, feel my tendrils of depression creeping in, trying to make a home. I cannot wait for warmer weather.

    I should just move, you know? 🙂

    March IS coming and it’s gonna be so welcome!

  16. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    February is 60 days long. And that is the best description of the type of malaise weighing me down this time of year.

    Thank you for writing this. I’m sorry you feel this way…but grateful to know I’m not alone.

  17. I shared this post with my Facebook page (facebook.com/thedailyawe) and it seems to be resonating with quite a few folks. Myself included. We are so close to warmth, sunshine, happiness.

  18. I love your posts, but this one has been my favorite thus far. Completely resonated with me. This February has sucked. SUCKED. My depression has been at its worse, I caught a cold (I only get colds once every 2 or 3 years, this is my 3rd one this year) and I want to do nothing but sit in my room and never leave. I recently booked moved to GA from NC to become an actor and I recently booked a role on The Originals, and I can only sit here and think “what is going to happen to fuck this up?” I am over February.

  19. I take comfort in knowing I am not the only one struggling with this. A thick fog of fatigue and lethargy has set in for me as well. My couch and a cup of hot chocolate is all I really want right now.

  20. When I moved into my apartment, the first thing I asked about was the number of windows and how much light the rooms get. Winter and early evenings make me gloomy, so I can try and understand how you feel about February. Its a lonely and dark month, one that drags more than it should. Hang in there. Spring is just around the corner!

  21. Nice piece. — I share you blahs … and most of the time I am grateful that I am able to go to work and fake it til I make it. — I am thankful that there is only one more week of February. The change to Daylight Savings Time will be a big help to me, with more light in the evening!

  22. Thank you so much- I have been feeling EXACTLY ALL OF THIS and now I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and some other people who are trying to reach it too.

  23. I am so with you on this. I was just telling my therapist yesterday that February is always the worst & hardest month for me. It just feels like winter will never end & I have no motivation or energy to do anything. At least this year I am more aware of that so I feel more hopeful knowing that I will feel so much better once this month is over & spring starts to arrive. I actually wrote a post on my own blog entitled The February Depression last year about this exact phenomenon. Here’s to hoping that March brings much better things for all of us. 🙂

  24. I hate that you feel this way, but a part of me is comforted by the fact that someone out there has the same slumps I do and the same thoughts cross your mind that cross mine. Thank you for always being so open and real. ❤

  25. Thank you. You’ve put into words how I feel this week. This month. How I’ll probably feel later…when I’m stuck, making a mental notes instead of written ones…people I mean to send a note card to, call back, go to yoga with, laugh with, take out to dinner. You’re not alone in your February yuck, or your coffee tears!

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