seasonal depression, winter

Overthinking Everything: Seasonal depression may come but it’s okay

Winter is On Its Way and for the First Time, I’m Looking Forward to It

I’ve never liked winter. Its arrival casts the Earth under a dark, gray blanket. Days fade easily into nights, robbing us of precious time, and seasonal depression sets in. By March, I long to be awakened by Persephone’s return, desperate for the first sign of spring. Yet, as the golden leaves of fall have recently begun to disappear, I find myself surprisingly eager for the quiet, slow days of winter to return.

Looking out my window at the people in long coats and knit hats, I’m reminded of this time last year. The scene is one I’ve witnessed before and with seeing it again, I recall the heaviness that winter brought with it a year ago. Before then, seasonal depression and I were no strangers, but depression arrived early in 2020, as it did for many of us. I tried as best I could to brace myself for what I anticipated would be a long, draining few months ahead.

I think this thought scared me more than I could admit at the time. Or maybe scared isn’t the right word. I was already numb when the cool air began to seep through the cracks of my apartment. Most days were spent lying on my bed, exhausted even before noon, and staring out my window at those walking past. Every day it looked the same. Every day it got darker and colder. I didn’t expect anything would change. I didn’t believe I could get better. But then, in the midst of a cold and snowy winter, I did.


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It’s because of this, I think, that I’m more open to winter’s arrival this year. Instead of darkness and the anticipation of seasonal depression, I feel warmth. I’ve learned to derive comfort from rooms where candle-made shadows dance on walls. I’ve discovered joy in opening the curtains to a sheet of freshly fallen snow; in spending nights at home painting and sipping tea. While I used to think winter dragged on far too long, it’s this slowing of time that I’m now looking forward to. There is a stillness about winter that I’ve come to appreciate.

I don’t know for certain that this winter will be without a few dark days. But I do know I’m in a better place now than I was before. I’m choosing to accept the cold rather than allow it to be tainted by fear. Will I probably still complain about it at some point? Yes, most likely. But with the arrival of a new season comes proof of how the world is ever-changing. And with it, the reminder that we too can grow. For now, that’s enough.  


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