What happens when you invite the Muse, but Melancholia is the one who knocks at the door?
I rarely talk about this with family and friends because it seems to surprise me every winter. Christmas ends, the excitement of January plans and resolutions starts to fade, and then gloom sets in. February is the worst – dark, gray days and foul weather just add to my doldrums. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I become clinically depressed. I’m normally a very cheerful person and I can fake my way through social engagements, but work becomes a slog and there is no creative spark. I feel helpless in getting projects finished and all ambition flies out the window.
When my production schedules fall behind, and I really have no one to blame but myself, I feel even more closed down and out-of sorts. Negative thinking rules my brain – “I have no talent,” “I’m lazy,” “I have no one to help me,” “my health is going down the toilet,” “I’m going to die all alone and friendless.”
I know these things aren’t true and that there are things that will help me get back on track: exercise, healthy food, meditation, and a regular routine. But how the hell do I jump start this? It all seems impossible.
But then, I see the magic words on the calendar: March, 20th. The first day of spring. Already the days are getting longer and warmer and brighter. Here in Colorado there will still be days of snow storms ahead, but even the snow has a different quality in the spring and it gives me hope.
Is this seasonal affective disorder? Most likely, but it seems ridiculous to suffer this in one of the sunnier states of the country. I can’t imagine what it must be like in the northeast, or in Seattle. I’m not going to ignore it any longer. I’m coming out of the problem now, but I’m going to get a plan of action in place for next year. Any suggestions would be welcome. I may just have to take a two month trip to Mexico.