Art: Come Back In One Piece; Tj Agobo
Spending the last eight weeks in quicksand…planning for the next eight.
This is the first time that I am writing about or speaking about my seasonal depression, outside of immediate family- so bare with me. I moved back to the States in early December and there was SO much going on in my life. We had planned to move to NY upon our return, like planned for nearly 5 months to make the move. Then three weeks before we left Jamaica we made an entirely new decision to move back to where I grew up instead. We had a plethora of reasons but nothing planned. So I got to work on looking for a place, a job, a new car, etc. We were also in the midst of transitioning out of our restaurant and preparing to export our dog to America.
We arrived in Miami on December 9th, drove to Atlanta that night and then drove to Indianapolis the next day. The day after that we moved into our new place anddd about 11 days later we flew to NYC for a week to visit with my boyfriends family. I love visiting NYC and I love his family, they’re literally a cast of the funniest characters pieced together for the most satisfying production. I enjoyed my time in the City, we ran around crazy per usual and everyday was filled.
When we left Jamaica the weather was HOT and SUNNY, every single day. To the point where it got to be annoying. We couldn’t workout unless it was before the sunrise or after the sunset, our German Shepherd was constantly panting, and my boyfriend wore a baseball cap every single day. When we got to Indianapolis the sun was setting everyday by 5pm and not coming up until nearly 9am. It was cold enough to snow about two days after we moved into our new place and the sun was disappearing for days at a time.
My symptoms began during our visit to NYC and I didn’t know how to articulate them. I am 25 years old with two college degrees and I didn’t have the words to accurately describe what was going on inside of my head. I would have a really nice day and by the end of it my boyfriend was asking me repeatedly what was wrong, saying that he could tell and feel that something was bothering me. At the time I described it as anxiety and exhaustion surrounding the transition that we were in. Before we left NY, I secured a job and we got the car we wanted. Everything I had been stressed about, God took care of. I should’ve been happy and relieved.
We returned home and all I wanted to do was sleep and stay in, but it was beyond the normal winter hibernation. I had very little motivation and felt like I could cry at random times in the day with no singular cause to point to. My boyfriend starting describing seasonal depression to me. I listened and related to a lot of the symptoms- I wasn’t willing to say I was depressed though. It felt like there was such defeat in that word so I just started to let him know when I was feeling “down” or having a “down” day.
The power that we give words is immense. We connect them to feelings and experiences, to people and ideas, to good and bad things. We accept an attachment of a stereotype or assumption, even if we don’t fit it. I’ve gone back and forth about sharing this with anyone, mostly out of pride but somewhat out of fear as well. I know that I am not alone but I am afraid. Afraid that I won’t get back to the old me, afraid that I won’t be able to manage this, afraid that I’ll miss out on special moments because I’m cancelling plans or just not making them. Afraid that people will think I’m being dramatic or saying something for “likes.” We’re living in a bizarre time where social media has us feeling connected but without truth and transparency. Like most people, I tend to post my highlight reel and my greatest accomplishments. The truth is, right now- my greatest accomplishments are made minute-by-minute and day-by-day in the form of reinforcing positive thoughts, getting myself out of bed, and reminding myself of who I am.
For more information about seasonal depression, possible causes and symptoms- please click here.