Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing – it’s when you get irritable and depressed when the days get shorter because your body is craving sunlight, and it happens to more than a few people. Since I just have to be different, I seem to have the exact opposite problem.
Today is the Summer Solstice, the day the Northern Hemisphere faces the Sun for the longest period of time in the year. It’s the half-way point; from now until the Winter Solstice, the days will start to creep shorter once more, even if just by a few minutes every day, and while most people find this time of year invigorating and joyful, I feel like I want to fill the bathtub with bourbon and drown myself in it.
I don’t know why it is I would rather slam my genitals, repeatedly, in the refrigerator door until I black out from the pain than actually get up and deal with my life at the moment, but there you have it: depression in the middle of June is worse than a Summer cold. Maybe it’s frustrations with work, or the impatience of having to wait more than a month before we move into a much bigger, much more well-maintained home (the cottage we live in now is beautiful but suffers from about 25 years of a landlord that was sadly neglectful in its maintenance); maybe it’s just that I’m tired. I do have an eight week old daughter, after all.
I really can’t point to my daughter as an excuse here, considering how she’s starting to sleep much further into the night than she used to right after she was born. While it was customary for her to wake up every two to three hours like clockwork no matter if the sun was out, now she’s easily sleeping for five hours straight in the dead of night, which is a welcome respite for both me and my wife. Still I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, even with the extra uninterrupted sleep.
I keep telling myself that this, too, shall pass. It’s getting harder and harder to listen to myself, though; you get to this point where your paranoia and your despair gets so overpowering that you feel like you can’t trust anyone or anything – not even your own senses. You jump at sudden sounds, or tense up when you hear a car drive slowly down the street; God forbid someone knocks on your door without you expecting them. In a way the only respite you seem to get is late at night, with the door locked and the only light being that from the computer screen spilling over your hands and down into your lap.
That might be why I’m so miserable right now. With the days so long at the moment, those quiet, still moments late at night are getting shorter and shorter; the long, bright days leave me feeling exposed and on display, like a lobster waiting to be plucked from supermarket aquarium purgatory and sentenced to boiling alive. The other shoe always seems to drop in the bright afternoon sun, and when there’s hours and hours of it my dread just intensifies.