This is a shout-out to anyone out there who suffers from depression and who is beginning to notice the adverse effects of shorter days and longer nights: It’s okay. It is completely normal for your depression to worsen during these darker months, and it’s not something you should be ashamed or frightened of. It doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong or that you’re messed up.
I promise: we’re going to get through this.
I want you to understand that I know it doesn’t just affect your nights and evenings. Those shadows that creep around at the edges of your mind become bigger and darker the deeper into Winter we go, and it takes less and less for your innermost demons to rear their ugly heads. I know you don’t know how to explain to your friends and coworkers that even though their well-meaning “but it’s daylight right now” doesn’t help to rebalance the chemicals that were thrown out of whack the minute you thought it was midnight at 5:15. And that’s okay. It doesn’t make you a lesser person, and you don’t have to make them understand. You just do what you need to do to make your own mind a comfortable place to live again. Because you are going to live through this. And you’re not alone.
If that means that your prescription needs to be increased for a few months, then do it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and using a higher dosage prescribed by a person who knows more about what you’re going through than your friends ever will does not have to be justified. You don’t have to look in the mirror thinking that you’re worse now and that means you’ll never feel like you did a month ago. You don’t have to feel like you did something wrong or that you deserve this. You don’t have to think that this is a burden that you alone must carry.
Instead, I hope you’re able to look in your mirror tonight and declare with complete certainty and confidence: You’re going to be all right. I’ll see you with the dawn.