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How the Seasons and the Weather Affect My Depression

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I used to love rainy weather. I loved how rain broke my usual rhythm of going and doing and working, and forced me to be still. I loved how it became a soundtrack to my writing and my working, back door open to hear the full effect of the rain pouring down. Growing up, I especially loved storms– I’d sit with my Papa on the front porch, counting the time between the lightning strikes and the thunder rolls, to see when the storm would hit us fully. It brought such peace to my life, this normal rhythm of rain and storms.

It isn’t bringing peace to my life anymore. At least, not right now. 

My depression has ebbed and flowed since a few major life transitions in June, but if I’m honest, it’s mostly been a very low time for me. The worse it’s gotten, the more the little things seem to bring me further down… like the weather.

We’re starting to finally get some cool fall-like weather, which had me perking up… until the rain. The remnants of this busy hurricane season slowly make their way through my state — and with it, my depression goes spiraling.

Now it’s dark outside in the middle of the day. It’s rainy and dreary and muddy and clouded over, no sun or light in sight.

The rain mirrors how my depression feels right now.

It drains me of all my energy; my desire to get things done goes kaput. Nothing feels worth doing; nothing is giving me joy. Even the things I love, like writing or reading or cooking, feel like impossible tasks.

I feel constantly cold from the lack of sunlight and human interaction, and this sense of dread follows me like a cloud hanging over my head.

I drag my feet as though walking through mud, begrudgingly going about my day despite feeling this dark pit of despair in my soul. I stand out in the rain with the dog, feeling like the puddles of rain forming will swallow me whole.

This weather used to be a balm when my depression got like this. It’s now causing me to feel lower, with the darkness from the clouds enveloping me in body and mind. I need sunshine; I need autumnal breezes and brightly-colored leaves falling from the trees. I need the weather to change so I can start coming out from this dark spell I’m in.

But mostly, I need the weather to not dictate my depression — I want the weather to just be weather again.

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Thinkstock photo via carlacastagno

Originally published: November 4, 2017
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