Depression is so often likened to physical sickness or injury.
But to me, that doesn’t quite cut it.
With illness, there are clinically proven antidotes.
With injury, there is surgery. Replacements and prosthetics.
The mind is a much smarter, and much meaner enigma.
It doesn’t heal quite so easily.
So this is how I explain it.
Mental illness is weather.
Regardless of the forecast, you must endure whatever conditions you wake up to.
In our minds, we all go through seasons.
We have hot and heavy summers, optimistic springs, contemplative autumns.
We can all also go through dark, frigid winters.
And some people really feel the cold more than others.
It would be a beautiful thing if our psychosocial seasons were synchronised.
But face it, we’re all in different hemispheres, time-zones.
We’re combating societal global warming and natural disasters.
There are so many elements outside of our control.
And even on sunny days, there can be unexpected showers.
For me, winters are long, unbearable.
My fingers turn blue, my teeth chatter.
I can’t leave the house, for fear of frostbite or hypothermia.
It can make me so irritable, stuck in this cabin-fever of low mood.
But even on those days of such little sunlight, I know that the seasons will change.
For those in an almost eternal summer, I understand you can forget what feels like to freeze.
But the lucky sun-seekers must look out for those that are shivering.
We all need to be each other’s fireplace sometimes.
The cup of warming comfort in the dead of winter.
Because come spring, we all bloom again.