It is March. We are a quarter of the way through 2016 already and it barely feels like a week since New Years. Despite what the delightful Cornish weather would have you believe, Spring is just around the corner. The season of rebirth, rejuvenation, bunnies, lambs and flowers in bloom. Daffodils are in abundance, the evenings are getting brighter and the warming Sun hints of a Summer yet to come.
And yet, I feel like finding a dark cave, crawling in, curling up and sleeping for 6 months.
A little backstory……
Seven years ago I suffered from depression. It was a direct result of life being rather unkind for a few years. My own ill health, the deaths of friends, and then the icing on the misery cake, my home and everything I owned burned to the ground. The continuous stream of negativity became too much for me, I couldn’t put a brave face on anymore and I fell. But, with the help and support of my family, friends and medication I got through that darker part of my life and was able to move forward and get better.
I am only sharing this about myself so that you understand that I know what it is to suffer from depression. I know the difference between having one bad day and not being able to remember the last good day.
A large part of my personal recovery involved making changes to the way I saw myself and how I interacted with the world. Boiled down, I realised that “you get out what you put in”. I started to see how other people would always approach life from a negative position. Never seeing the positives in life. If there was a downside to any situation, that would be all they saw. And this negativity would act like a virus. Spreading from one person to the next.
I couldn’t live in that toxic environment and expect to survive so I made a decision.
I would be HAPPY.
I work hard every day to see the positives in each situation. If it is raining, I see happy flowers in my garden. If it is cold, I know I am going to get extra warm cuddles from my husband. I see people who seem to actually go out of their way to be miserable and I feel sorry for them, but I wont be one of them.
This brings me to my current yearning for a dark cave.
I understand that the Winter months can be a source of misery to a lot of people. The weather, the early nights, the dark mornings and even the expense of the festive season over-ruling the joy the you are supposed to be feeling around the holidays. I know that the financial “hangover” can lead to people not being quite right until February or March (this is a subject I will cover at a later date). All of this can and does lead to some new year blues. I get that. I really do.
I am not suffering from New Year Blues. I am suffering from the people who are.
As I am sure you know by now, I am my happiest, sparkly self in December. A large part of that is because I see people walking by with a smile on their faces. People in general are nicer to each other. They are the best versions of themselves. There is excitement in the air. Holidays from work, time spent with families, parties, presents and plenty of food!
Then January 4th rolls around and they revert back to their hunched over, scowling faces. Never smiling. Back to work, paying bills. A tangible air of negativity hanging above them. This negativity is precisely what I choose to avoid. I refuse to allow it in and I work hard to put good vibes and happy feeling out there. I am silly, I make jokes, I smile at strangers. I strive to make my loved ones laugh. I make plans to get excited about, I am creative, I am positive.
And I am tired.
I totally understand how salmon feel, constantly swimming upstream only to be eaten by a bear! It is hard work, walking through the town and seeing nothing but blank, miserable faces. Trying to keep my sparkle in a sea of grey is not an easy task.
So… to kind of tie in the title of this meandering warble…. I need to reconnect my charger. I refuse to let my positive outlook be worn away by other peoples negativity. I need to take a step back and look at the big picture. I have so much to be happy about! I have amazing family and friends that know me, love me, challenge me, encourage me and believe in me. I have a husband that drives me crazy sometimes, but I know, without any doubts, that he is the one that makes me whole.
I have a life worth smiling about. I just need a bit of time to recharge those happy batteries.