The turn of season between winter & spring. The sky is bright but the wind is harsh. Snow flurries appear & then melt while a songbird sings at dusk. And I think about the wine label I saw last weekend that seemed to depict my thawing feelings. The picture was a black-and-white static field with hearts scattered through the negative space. The persistence of life despite the colorless apathy that drifts through my mind.
This winter had been easier than the last. My doctor listened to me when I told her I wanted to fight off the seasonal affectedness as naturally as possibly–simply because ageing has taught me that my mind walks the anxiety tightrope more & more precariously & I try to do as little as possible to interfere. So she did blood work, prescribed supplements & exercise, agreed to me trying out light therapy. All these things worked to an extent & kept my mind alert & somewhat connected to the rest of me.
There were still hard days–days where I did things monotonously for hours (embroidery=productive; reading=pleasurable; video games=wallowing in inertia) or days where taking care of my basic needs seemed almost impossible. But I could say that I made it through the winter with a modicum of vitality & emotion. Success! I was not a zombie; I was not a spiritless blank; I was alive.
And as the days lightened, I started remembering the things I’d let pass unnoticed. The personal ritual of drinking as much water as alcohol I’d consumed hours before in an attempt to deny how frequently it was happening. The small afternoon naps that became hours-long time-killers. The startling wash of cold quiet awareness of my heartbeat: the persistence, the speed, the limited amount of time. Suddenly my gratefulness for the small connection to my emotions became a struggle to manage growing, stretching sensations. The sunlight on my chest & shoulders felt like a burden, my mind argued with itself more vigorously, & somehow it felt like a flint was trying to strike in the center of my head.
Have I ever been so aware of my being trying to revive itself? Probably. Perhaps this feeling was this year’s gift of spring. Awake & ready to rejoin the world? I hope so. Because staring at a wine bottle label thinking ‘that’s my life’ doesn’t sound like the healthiest state of being.