Monday, February 6, 2012


Because of my bipolar depression, I’m careful to note changes to and patterns in my mental state.  This past November was rough, despite the fact that autumn and Thanksgiving are some of my favorite times of the year.  I love autumn.  Its cooling temperatures are a relief after a baking hot summer.  It heralds the start of school, and even though I’m not a student, it still fills me with optimism for the upcoming year, and feeds my hungry need to keep learning new things.

No, it’s February that’s supposed to be my worst month.

I first realized this when I was in college, even before I knew I was bipolar.  Like any good liberated woman on campus, I listened to my fair share of chick music; Ani DeFranco, Dar Williams, Indigo Girls, etc.  I was only a few steps away from dreadlocks and patchouli.  Fortunately, I liked washing my hair and smelling like flowers, albeit chemical flower odors manufactured by brand-name shampoos.  Don’t judge; this was before I knew about Aveda.

Anyhow, my senior year in college was marred by a rough February.  The thing is, nothing was really going wrong.  I was getting straight A’s in school.  I had an awesome group of friends.  I had a loving boyfriend who would later become my husband.  I had a part-time job in student leadership that was fulfilling enough that it would command a place on my resume for the next five years.  Everything was going right.

So why was I so depressed?  I wondered.

Walking to and from class and work, I’d listend to *OLD LADY ALERT* mixed-cd’s on my brand-new discman.  Every time this particular song came on I’d cry.  Despite the tears, I always seemed to listen to this song rather than skip it over.  I think, in a way, it was cathartic.

From “February” by Dar Williams:

First we forgot where wed planted those bulbs last year,
Then we forgot that wed planted at all,
Then we forgot what plants are altogether,
And I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting and
The nights were long and cold and scary,
Can we live through february? 

You know I think christmas was a long red glare,
Shot up like a warning, we gave presents without cards,
And then the snow,
And then the snow came, we were always out shoveling,
And we’d drop to sleep exhausted,
Then we’d wake up, and it’s snowing.

So... that's it.  February is here, and I'm on alert.  So far I'm doing ok.  I have a lot of anxiety about something that I can't discuss here right now.  The anxiety is bad, and I'm fighting to keep it at bay, lest it render me utterly catatonic.  But it's entirely situational and as time passes and life events unfold, it will hopefully ease up.  

Until then, I'll continue plowing through February, one day at a time.


Anonymous said...

I hope you do well. Although, I think I need to take a better look at myself and Februarys of the past. I'm not sure it's a good month for me.

Fox in the City said...

February is a rough month. Keep us up to date and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. You ever say you are in need, a Canadian care package is in the mail . . . I mean how can a touque, some maple syprup and ketchup chips not help but brighten your mood! ((hugs))

Lindsay Schultz said...

One of my favorite songs.

February is such a metaphoric month.

Betty Fokker said...

Have you tried a sun lamp? February may be rough because you might have a touch of SADD.

Carmen said...

well eff - it's a leap year, which means an extra day this month - BUT, it also means another day with an excuse to drink wine, so there's that.

but in all seriousness- I'm up for adding Timmy's coffee and a hockey stick in with Jenn's Canadian care package - nothing makes me feel better than a Timmy's and a hockey stick. Well, that's not entirely true, but it was the only other things all-Canadian I could think of after Jenn stole all the good ones.

Maybe I'll just throw in some wine.

<3 thinking about you

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Joshua - February can be a tough month for a lot of people, I think. Too much winter.

@Fox in the City - Thank you for your support and friendship :) It really helps. Also, ketchup chips? I'm intrigued!

@Lindsay - one of my favorites (despite the bad memories) too.

@Betty - I'm starting to think I should call up my doctor to talk about the possibility of SADD. I've noticed a pattern that my worst months are during the fall time-change and February.

@Carmen... I do like wine :) And thank you too for your support and friendship. Being able to spill the beans to my friends in the blogging world actually brings me a huge sense of relief.

Handflapper said...

Meh. I'm feeling you, girlfriend. February is my worst month, too, and I know I have SADD. And there's nothing to make you feel more depressed than realizing you really don't have anything to be depressed about and it's your own fucked up brain doing it to.

Hope your "situation" works itself out soon and relieves you of your anxiety.

Sarah said...

It's good to watch out for the signs and I hope that this February is not too bad for you.

I find January and February hard each year. I regularly feel panicky, I think it's the long nights and the Christmas come down. And we're always sick. Always.

Take care of you.

Ixy said...

That's when I knew that something was really not right - when I could no longer blame my sadness/anxiety on circumstances, because everything really was perfect.

Winter isn't great for me either - January and February especially. I bought a light box, but I haven't been using it, so I don't know if it would help.

Being aware of signs of slipping is the first step in dealing with it - hope things go ok the rest of the month for you.

Marianna Annadanna said...

I had a bad January. Turns out it was mostly reminiscent of last January - like I was absorbing my vibes from last year. Blah.

Feel better. Call if you need a listener.

Marianna Annadanna said...