When Winter Depression Leaves You With No Motivation


It’s that time of year again — the time I dread more than anything.

I think I’ve always despised winter — those dreadful months between October and April.

I hate the cold and the shorter days. I’m not a summer person either though, so it’s not about the longer days. In fact, I really couldn’t care less. But the shorter days, the darker ones, the colder ones: I hate those. And I’d never thought about why, but I guess it’s partly because they remind me of me — always so cold, unwanted, so ready for the day to be over. A dark gloom. The worst parts of winter.

It occurred to me randomly. It wasn’t even 5:30 in the afternoon, but the sky; dark blue, and the wind; so loud, snow blowing. Another reason, perhaps the bigger reason, is that I become restless near the end of September waiting for the inevitable — any and all motivation left in me starts to disappear once October 1st hits and the season starts changing. I see it coming. Every time. I can feel it in my bones. I can see it in the grey-blue clouds. I know I’m going to be living in what feels like the worst head cold and become a little more numb as the days go on.

Motivation ups and leaves. Takes a vacation as winter rises from fall and my very will to live goes into hibernation; starved and unsure if I’ll make it through the cold of winter to see a future.

It’s maybe the worst place to be when you have a mental illness — in the middle; empty, numb. In my experience, anyway. And it’s not that I’d rather be on one side of the extremes, they’re both just as dangerous. I can’t stand the feeling as I start to notice that I’m just going through the motions, knowing there’s not really anything I can do about it. Because I lose every ounce of motivation for anything, even the things I enjoy, the things I love. I just want, and try, to sleep as long and as often as I can. Just stay in bed. Except my mind keeps me awake. Exhausted from all of the nothing.

Motivation.

It becomes a foreign word, something long forgotten. Every day is an unanswered question of, “How am I going to make it through today?”

My mind and body are drained simply from thinking, from wondering. So as the cold takes over and spreads, and before the frost can render me frozen, I go into my own kind of hibernation — isolation. And every day, life’s expectations weigh heavier on me — a weight I’m afraid I am no longer strong enough to carry on my own. But that’s all I ever am — alone. Isolated. And the loneliness that comes from that is heart-wrenching.

I’ve got failure and disappointment down to a science.

The days will continue to go on and I will continue becoming numb.

Nights like these, it’s a shame. I am the worst part of a season I hate. Trade this cold reminder for brighter days. Who knows if I’ll be seen again — it depends on motivation.

Motivation, I need you to hold on tight to me. I’m losing grip fast and once you’re gone, I fear I’ll never get you back.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via thepraetorian


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Major Depressive Disorder

girl, grunge background, flower and dragon - surrealistic seamless pattern

The Question I Dread Facing as Someone With Depression

It’s been 10 years since I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I remember sitting in the psychiatrist’s office, a scared 17-year-old. I had pushed my GP to send me for this consultation. He was convinced I had an eating disorder because of my rapid weight loss. I knew that wasn’t right. I had no appetite and [...]

To the People Who Love Me, Mental Illness and All

I consider myself to be brave. Getting out of bed each morning may not seem brave to most, but most people who have battled through the self-eclipsed war of depression knows otherwise. When the voices and forces within you want nothing more than to bring you down, you need to rise above. And that is [...]
Man walking on a boardwalk in the fog

The Reason It Took Me So Long to Realize I Had Depression

When I woke up to the news about Las Vegas, I felt nothing. Not on purpose, not out of spite, not because I “knew something like this was going to happen,” not because I didn’t think it was a tragedy, but because I have depression. I was diagnosed with it this past year, and although [...]
A man climbing into a women's head

9 Signs Your Psychiatrist Isn’t Right for You

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication. “I think you should see a psychiatrist,” my primary care doctor told me. “What you need is outside of my scope.” “At least she knows her limits,” I thought to myself with a sigh. Generally speaking, my psychiatric medications can be managed by [...]