Warning: There are a lot of metaphors in this entry. There is also some onomatopoeia.
I spend most of the winter dreading February. It's the shortest month of the year, but by the time I reach it, it seems like winter has gone on eternally, and spring seems too far away to bear waiting for. In February, I start googling plane ticket prices to Hawai'i, South America, southern California. I'm almost afraid to get in the car some days, for fear I'll just keep driving until I'm somewhere warmer, or where the days are longer. Somewhere where the pavement is still warm under your feet at 10 pm.
I always feel sluggish in February. Like I'm fighting the urge to hibernate. I understand, intellectually, that I should exercise or something, that going on a walk would probably help me, that my body is a tool to help me accomplish amazing things. But commanding my limbs to do that seems as futile and as pointless as telling molasses to do jumping jacks. I'm the molasses, and the natural state of molasses in February is sitting in front of the space heater, eating an entire cinnamon crumb cake and reading "Harry Potter."
I called this entry "February Slump" because the word "slump" seems so fitting. It's almost onomatopoeia. "Slump." The sound of a wet comforter falling onto the floor. Who wants a wet comforter? Nobody. Slumps are the worst.
This February would be tough even if I didn't get the winter blues. I've felt disconnected from myself lately--spiritually, intellectually, artistically. Just in general. And that makes me feel disconnected to everything and everyone else. I'm an actress feeling the "rejection blues." I almost never have access to a car, making any errand or leaving of the house at all a long and expensive ordeal of public transportation. Jacob and I work almost exactly opposite schedules, so the only time I see him is a brief kiss (if he's awake) when I leave in the morning at 7:30. (Seriously. I haven't talked to Jacob in person since Monday.)
I recently re-read "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl." In one entry, Anne talks about feeling depressed, and how it would sound silly to the grown-ups, but she's really just a young girl in need of some good rollicking fun. I feel sort of like that. I need a rehearsal where we can't stop laughing, or a good session of binge-watching some television show with Jacob, or a road-trip to someplace I've never been before. I need spontaneity, and to ignore my responsibilities and pretend I'm 21 instead of 29 and get out of my house and under some lights or onto some road or just anywhere where people know me deeply and that's not this apartment where I sit and snack instead of eat meals and watch documentary after documentary and then go to bed at 9:30 and then wake up the next day to the same thing. I need to be doing THEATRE because I need to be connecting with other human beings without the small talk and theatre is the best way I know how to connect to people.
Looking at my circumstances, I can see that I have all the tools I need to help myself. My life is a good one, with good opportunities and good people. But that's the thing about depression. It doesn't take away the tools. It takes away your own hands...your ability to grasp and use the tools you're surrounded by.
I'll be all right. I'm always a little afraid when I write things like this that people will worry. But by the end of March, as the days grow even longer and the sun grows warmer, I'll be less like molasses/a wet comforter/someone without hands and more like my truest self. Right now, I'm far from the darkness and helplessness of deep depression. Just a mild case, and I know it will pass. This is just part of who I am, and even though it's rotten, I don't think I would change it.
So for anyone else out there in the throes of a February Slump, we've only got one more day to go. Spring is three weeks away.
We can do this.