January is a horrible time of year. It's grey, drizzly and cold. The holidays are over, and there's nothing to look forward to until the summer. Frankly, I don't understand why people would want to celebrate its arrival.
It's not surprising that I'm depressed: I've been depressed every January since my teens. However much I say I don't get excited by Christmas these days, I still get over-excited and go through the Christmas week up and down like a yoyo. I dread New Year's Day, because it signals the end of the holiday season. Everyone goes back to work on January 2nd, and people even start taking their decorations down before the 12 days of Christmas are up. I hate it. We're only just past the shortest day of the year, and without brightly-coloured fairy lights and tinsel, it's too dark. Is it any wonder my mood goes dark too?
Plus there is the problem of the "new start" and "New Year's resolutions" that people insist on giving themselves. I haven't made any new year's resolutions in a few years. Already suffering from post-holiday comedown and not enough daylight, it seems pointless trying to make changes in myself that I won't be able to keep because I'm too unhappy: swearing I'll go to the gym when it's too dark at night for me to want to leave the house, or declaring I'll eat more healthily when the only thing I can face is sugar. It would make far more sense for me to make birthday resolutions: in the middle of June with 15 hours of sunlight, I usually feel quite well.
Bleurgh. I was hoping to be spared January depression this year. I'd been planning to not do very much over Christmas, and concentrate on writing my thesis. But then I was struck down with flu which, more than two weeks later, I still have symptoms from. It's not surprising if I'm still ill now to learn that I was too ill over Christmas to get any work done. So I ended up on holiday despite my best efforts. And so now, even though I managed to resolve the main source of my depression in the autumn, I'm suffering from post-holiday comedown again.
I'm just sleeping so much. Plagued by vivid dreams -not even necessarily bad dreams, but ones that are so vivid I wake up exhausted, with my knees and back hurting as if I've been running, and the bedclothes in a tangle around me. It's a cliche to wake up more tired than you went to bed, but it describes what's happening at the moment. I keep crying for no particular reason, and my concentration is shot again. My body just wants to hibernate. I know I'm going to feel like this for at least the next month. What's to celebrate?
I don't want to take my Christmas tree down this year. I think we should buy up a load of fairy lights in the sales, and decorate the house with them until springtime comes.