The Snow Was More Lonely Than Cold

After two days of snow that didn’t seem to end, there finally was a break. I shoveled around my car and removed the snow on top, and while I didn’t do a perfect job of it, I figured the sun could manage to do the rest. There was at least two feet of snow surrounding my car, as it was up to my hips as I dug through it, and another foot of snow on top of my car that the wind hadn’t blown away.

It snowed again today.

I watched the snow fall as I responded to an e-mail. The gently falling snowflakes were the only things calming me down today. The e-mail I had received was in response to one I had written where I was so down on myself, I was pretty much saying that I didn’t deserve the other person’s time and energy. The person’s response felt like kicking me when I was down, adding to whatever emotional pain I was probably self-inflicting. I ended up getting defensive at that point, though I could have easily gone on an attack.

I’ve been trying to adjust my circadian rhythm after Daylight Savings Time went into effect, going to sleep at an earlier time on the clock when it would already feel earlier to my body to go to bed at the normal time. Perhaps I’m sleep deprived, or maybe sleep came too easily, because I curled up on the couch and passed out for a nap by accident. I was trying to drown out the high-pitched squeals of two young boys who were entertained by Mario Kart 8 on my Wii U, so I had my headphones on and drowned out the outside world with my music set to a higher volume than I normally tolerate. But I listen to music at night, though at a much lower volume, and so I’m used to falling asleep to the same songs every night. Things lined up just right that I fell asleep, though maybe I needed it.

When I woke up, I felt half-awake for a while, and then I just felt lousy. I didn’t have any remorse for the e-mail I sent, however I wondered if I should have come back fighting.

I thought about how I was talking about one of my other friends, my friend Pete who lives in NYC. Pete has depression, although I believe the diagnosis was changed to say he’s bipolar, but I still focus on the depression that he goes through. Oh, I wasn’t saying anything malicious about Pete, not to worry. The person with whom I was exchanging e-mail messages suggested some nasty things about Pete, so I was quick to defend Pete’s honor.

Depression looks like laziness to anyone who has been fortunate enough to not go through it. If you’re lazy, the bed is too comfortable to leave. If you’re depressed, there is nothing worth getting out of bed for, except maybe to urinate. If you’re lazy, you procrastinate on making dinner until you’re starving, and then maybe you just get takeout. If you’re depressed, it doesn’t matter if you’re at a grand feast where all of your favorite foods are being served, because nothing appeals to your taste buds and you really don’t want to eat. A depressed person might get a little behind on things, like cleaning and such, because what’s the point of doing something like that when it’s going to get dirty again anyway? Cleaning won’t improve a depressed person’s mood, but they might look at all that needs to be done and get overwhelmed, which really doesn’t improve their motivation in life.

I might be tasked with getting Pete back to some semblance of living, to catch him up in some of the ways he’s gotten behind. I thought about what condition I myself happen to be in, being so quick to understand depression as if I’ve lived in Pete’s shoes. I’ve been through grief after losing my parents, I’ve been through a breakup that went on for hours over instant messenger and left me wanting to stay under the comforter the next morning, and even now I have mornings when the only things getting me up are the urge to go to the bathroom and also knowing I do have to get vertical if I expect to do anything productive. If I can get myself up to get Pete out of bed, it will be a miracle.

I’m pretty sure that what’s got me down is circumstance, a sense of hopelessness and worthlessness that will fade away if the situation changes. I should be so thankful, but thankfulness won’t change anything, perseverance will change things.

The title of this post comes from a Savage Garden song called I Don’t Know You Anymore, off the album Affirmation. I always looked at the lyric and thought it meant that the feeling of loneliness came from the snow that was everywhere, that coldness didn’t feel as lonely. Soon after I typed the words into the subject line, I considered that the snow didn’t make the singer feel cold, it made him feel lonely. I think the snow falling on my loneliest days was coincidence.

On the bright side, spring should be around the corner. I feel like this spring will be a time for rebirth, as it should be. There are things that I need to let go of, and things that I’ll need to improve upon. Change is coming, and I feel like it’s the beginning of something good if I’m willing to embrace it.

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