November Gray

I can feel depression nibbling at the edges of me. It shows itself in such small ways. The friend I think of calling, but don’t because conversation sounds exhausting, even though connection is the point. The emails stacking up while I seek the energy to answer them. The small household tasks I was handling fine three weeks ago, but which feel overwhelming today. Persistent thoughts wondering why bother. Feeling hopeless and powerless, even when I logically know I am neither. I was doing so well, but then the leaves vanished and the grass turned brown. Even when the weather is warm, all the plants are dormant, waiting. Part of me wants to go dormant too. Sleep until spring.

I can’t of course. That’s not how humans function. Instead I have to see the nibbles and choose to do the proactive, self-care things even though they feel pointless. I have to plant seeds in the hydroponic garden so I can have flowers in January. I have to make myself go for a walk because exercise makes me more resilient to the nibbles. I have to carry on doing all the life-maintenance tasks because that is how I sandbag against the creeping tide of blah. And yes I have now described depression as both seeping and nibbling. Is it water that sneakily causes structural damage or is it mice that chew holes? It is neither and both. If I don’t take action against it, life can fall apart in ways that require large renovation.

Depression rarely goes that far for me. I usually have a couple of down days then I bounce back. But its been a couple of days, and I keep being aware of how much winter is ahead of me, and how many winter coping strategies are disallowed by pandemic. I keep thinking ahead to the holidays and knowing that if I want to connect with friends and loved ones, I’m going to have to figure out new ways to do that. Because I have experience with online connection and parties, I’ll have to lead the way in making the connections actually happen. It is how I serve my communities. It is important. And today the thought just makes me tired. I so much prefer the social mode of showing up and supporting someone else’s event to stepping up and hosting.

November is more than half gone, hopefully I can shake off depression and leave it behind along with the remainder of November.