A Time to Change Things

Every February for approximately the last twenty years, I become convinced that everything in my life is wrong and I must change and rearrange my life to become truly happy. This, of course, is bullshit.

It’s seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that manifests the worst for me in February, and a type that has only gotten worse since the pandemic. Every February, I have to fight urges to fire my best clients, desires to completely change my career, to sell my house and move to the other side of the world. Absolutely nothing is satisfactory, and everything irritates.

February. The shortest month, in actual days, but the longest for me in terms of sheer misery.

I have gotten much better at understanding what February does to me over the years. I browse my Facebook memories in February with a kind of morbid fascination, traveling backward in time and watching myself become more and more unhinged. Self-awareness has not come easily where it comes to mental illness, I guess. Now days, I understand just how crazy I am. Most of my long term clients should probably also know that February is not a month in which I should be taken very seriously, or given serious tasks.

February, for most of my life, has been a month to bear. A month to do little more than survive.

Now the end draws year. The seasons are turning, and, well, I wish I could say I feel better, but my SAD does not respect the temporal boundaries of a calendar. Instead, I feel like I’m a half-dead animal trying to drag myself over the finishing line of a race. Or a dehydrated beast, near death of thirst, trying to pull myself up to the drinking hole. For me, the drinking hole is a week off of vacation.

Twenty years I have tried to change everything about myself, but the one thing I’ve never succeeded at is getting rid of my bizzare need for change in February. Now I just ride it out, as best I can. Still riding it out, but I can see that it’ll be over soon. I owe a special thanks to my friends and family who put up with me in this season.

But… I should consider a career change. Are there still stevedores? I’m not even sure what that is, but I like the sound of it.

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