The other night I cried as I fell asleep. This morning I woke up dissociated and looked around my strange room and wondered what was wrong with me. I have had quite a few moments over the past month or two where I wake up and as soon as I open my eyes a twinge of sadness sets in right after I get over wondering where I am. Where I am is single in February in a new apartment by myself for the first time in 8 years, and today it wasn’t a twinge but a convulsion. It brought an alien logical realization; ‘Oh, yeah, there’s the depression…’ The realization didn’t make me happier, but it set me up to cope.
February is always a dark month for me. Usually depression has long set in for months prior but if it hasn’t February brings it out. For that reason I’ve always been very fond of Valentine’s Day. It’s brilliantly set in the middle of a month where there generally isn’t much else to look forward to. Distraction as therapy, my husband and I would buy each other all of the stupid things at the drug store for weeks. Teddy bears and frogs holding hearts, cheap heart shaped boxes full of mediocre chocolate, and of course new cock-rings or jockstraps. Valentines day contains echos of other older celebrations civilizations placed in February, celebrations of bloodletting and purging followed by sensual excess. Wise hopeful dreams made into pageants and rituals to relieve the harsh bleakness of the post-solstice, pre-bloom gray. I’ll still take it.
I am glad to be working with a February onset of light depression rather than the year-and-a-half deep crippling one that helped destroy the marriage I am now without though. I still have most of a year of first-withouts ahead of me. I slid under the wire of my first-without my ex holiday season. Tomorrow is my first Valentines-without. I don’t know if I’ll try to leave the house. I didn’t buy any heart-shaped anything holding anything this year and I’ve been able to mostly avoid the stores that remind me of that. Today I slipped on a cock-ring to love myself before I ended up sobbing while leaning into my closet and feeling ridiculous and dejected. I decided to stare out of the window at the snow for a while instead.
I have friends arriving this week. Everything is manageable, these are my mantras. Things aren’t as bad this year. Rinse and repeat until it’s clean and true. Here’s to purging the darkest moments before spring.