I sit in my kitchen and I hear the wind whistling through the buildings. It’s a low, plaintive sound; almost the stereotypical sound of winter wind, but there is something else mixed into it. It’s that icy December wind that is bound up with the death of all things and the darkest days of the year. At two in the afternoon, the sun has already begun to sink lower in the sky and the shadows have lengthened. The sky is a purplish grey and the clouds are hanging heavily. Perfect time to brew a cuppa and curl up with book or holiday movie, I think. I seem glued to my chair though, not even wanting to stand up to turn on the light switch. The kitchen was getting quite dark, but for some reason I was finding the oddest comfort in sitting in the shadows listening to the howling of the wind.
The past two weeks, since I had returned from London had been difficult. My unhappiness with the programme, at least where the education project was concerned, had begun to take its toll and colour the rest of my experiences. My first summative assignment had been returned and for someone who is obsessed with being perfect, coming just shy of a first was still maddening. Thanksgiving had come and gone and it was the first one I had spent so far from my family and friends. Though I had managed a fairly good representation of a Thanksgiving dinner, it was still a Thanksgiving dinner for one. By the first week of December, I had begun to feel slightly less down. I had made an appointment to see my course director to discuss the education project and my inability to find an Easter work placement. I had jumped into the next assignments and was pouring my energy into the choir for our first performance. I was still on a high from the performance the next afternoon when I received some news that brought on the worst bout of depression I’ve had in over ten years.
Knowing that life continues without you is difficult. It makes you feel inferior and expendable. It also reminds you of all of the other times you’ve been hurt and all of a sudden you’re brain finds more and more to be upset about. It becomes a feeding frenzy with your sanity and happiness as the prey. I spent three days in that frenzy with those sharks ripping away at my self-esteem and future plans. I had none of my usual comforts like flooring it down Rt 295 at 75 mph, running around with my ferrets and cuddling them when I felt like I needed a hug, or watching endless replays of My Little Pony (don’t judge, I’m sure you watch bizarre things, too). I might not have had MLP, but I had QI and The Thick of It. I will be forever grateful to Malcolm Tucker for managing to make me laugh in the middle of that dark place. I also had my friends, both here and at home. I spent hours talking with them and they spent hours listening. I managed to wake up Saturday after a particularly difficult evening and finally feel something other than sadness or numbness. I woke up on Saturday and felt more like myself. It took a few more days to get back to feeling 100% but even now, occasionally one of those sharks will start to swim closer. For the moment though, they are serene.
The wind is whipping up again even more now. I smile and shake my head. What an amazing sound, I think. An hour later and the shadows have all but taken over. The purplish grey sky is now a darker blue grey and the orange lamps have been switched on. I finally stand and switch on the light. Time for a cuppa and that movie, I think.