The seasons heavily influence my mood. It’s not necessarily a clear-cut “today is a bad day” when the clouds are overcast, but it’s like there’s a gloomy filter placed on my body, especially as wintertime casts its shadow.
Winter is not my favorite time of the year. I get cold easily (did you know that redheads are more sensitive to temperature than most people?) and I hate it. And I’m not going to lie, I really don’t care for driving in the snow. (This is a very anti-Colorado stance. Locals love to claim competence and being comfortable driving on icy and snow-packed roads. Weird flex but ok??)
I also feel anxious, and am reminded of winters past, which were never fun.
Here’s to those of us with seasonal depression, filling our hearts with the desire of spring.
Originally posted in the November 2015 edition of the CU Denver Advocate.
As white flakes drift from gloomy and foreboding clouds, I will begin to want nothing more than sunshine and rugged, dry pavement. Winter is coming. It’s just about here, and I’m hardly ready.
Gunnison is infamous for their snow-capped wintertime, and known for the far-below negative temperatures. Growing up, I never had a single snow day. In fact, Gunnison School District RE1J has not closed their doors to snow since 1974, despite facing storms with over five feet of precipitation overnight.
Our tears froze to our faces, but we roughed the weather and made it to class every single day.
When I think of winters, however, I don’t just remember my breath freezing mid-air as I walked to the bus stop, or the recesses we spent outside shivering, waiting for the bell to ring so we could go back inside. Winter, to me, means anxiety. It means darkness and dizziness and a lot of sweating.
I spent my winters playing basketball, and I was haunted by the transition from a star athlete to a bench warmer. I wasn’t naturally talented, and my coaches never had a problem reminding me.
While developing my fundamentals as a basketball player, my anxiety also spread.
I wished that winter would plague me with the flu. As I drove, I would contemplate the benefits of the ice throwing me off track, and was horrified at the darkness. I used sit in my car before school, squeezing my eyes together, imaging the cold infecting the halls of the school.
Desperately, I wanted basketball practice to be cancelled, and for my mind to echo the stillness of the winter frost.
By the time I played my last game of basketball, I felt both relief and warmth, and an unexpected sense of nostalgia. For years I had been yelled at, humiliated, and reminded daily of what I couldn’t do—what I did wrong.
My knees had bruised alongside my ego. Tears were more fluent than laughter. And yet, I was almost sad to see it all go. Wintertime sadness had taken its hold.
Snow is trickling down and starting to stick, and I’m doing everything to quiet my anxious thoughts. The fact remains: I survived those harsh winters. And another is coming.
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