This weekend has not been a good one, and in fact has been the worst that I’ve had in a while. Whilst for the majority of the week the weekend is the holy grail which seems like a glorious mirage when imagined on a sleepy Monday morning commute to work. And yet by Sunday evening the mirage has been replaced by a desolate wasteland, and my feelings of positivity have morphed into resentment and dejection. Often I find myself looking at the clock on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and thinking ‘how is it only 2 o’clock’ or ‘I wish it was 7pm as I could then have a shower, eat, watch TV and then go to bed.’ It’s bad enough having these thoughts on a weekday, but to experience them at the weekend feels tantamount to treason, as these should be the days that you look back at on Monday morning with a great sense of accomplishment and nostalgia. Instead its merely another case of time slipping by, and the mantra of ‘living life to the full’ being so far from the truth that it would be laughable, if only it wasn’t so heartbreaking.
This weekend’s lack of fulfillment, and the consequent feelings of frustration and melancholia, was enhanced by the extreme exhaustion that I felt, significantly more severe than it has been for many months. Both Saturday and Sunday afternoon I had best part of 90 minute naps, and also went to bed early on Friday and Saturday night, and yet the utterly debilitating lethargy that coursed through my body ensured that even if I had wanted to do something with my time, I physically wouldn’t have been able to. On Saturday afternoon I tried to sit in the park and read, but had to call it quits after 30 minutes as I was so fatigued that I could barely read the words on the page. In fact all weekend I probably spent a total of 2 hours outside of my flat, and therefore the sense of isolation and frustration were at maximum levels come Sunday afternoon.
It didn’t help that the weather was glorious on Sunday, because you can get away with locking yourself away on a cold winters day, but in the summer months it just leads to headaches and more lethargy. It’s one of the reasons I dislike the summer months so much, and why I have a kind of reverse seasonal affective disorder, which actually affects about 10% of SAD sufferers. I can only hazard a guess at why this is. Possibly it’s the crippling lethargy caused by the warm and humid weather, which amplifies an already anxiety induced weariness. Or it could be that the longer days means there is essentially more time to fill, and thus its highlighted to me even more clearly that I achieve very little in my personal life. Or it could be that the warm weather and school holidays inevitably leads to people/families/partners etc enjoying happy moments together, which augments my own sense of loneliness, and need for human relationships. The short, cold, dark winter days can mask these truths, and the bleakness that manifests in those months acts as a kind of bandage, covering up a wound and allowing you to temporarily mask the cause of it.
In the past I was optimistic enough to make plans for weekends or evenings, or life in general, even though predictably I would cancel them or not gain any sense of enjoyment from them. Now though, I don’t posses the self belief or hope to even do that, and accept that getting through each day is the only achievement I will be able to have, or the closest thing to success. I’ve mentioned numerous times the cyclical nature of depression, and my weeks tend to epitomise this model. As the week progresses there is universal excitement of the approaching weekend, which everyone experiences in unison. But then almost as soon as 5pm on Friday hits, there is the reemergence of the anxiety, depression, tiredness, and all sense of joy at the prospect of the weekend evaporates. I don’t have the physical or mental energy to do anything with my time, but the lack of activities and engagement then precipitates a disintegration of the already diminished stamina. It’s a cycle that I‘m unsure how to break free of. As I sit here writing this I feel utterly drained, unrefreshed, and categorically dejected. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that I’m feeling these things, or the fact that I’m resigned to them never changing. The lack of hope, and admittance of defeat, is perhaps the greatest tragedy.
Check out this blog post from My Anxiety Companion which helpfully voices some of the thoughts and feelings that anxiety can represent: http://www.myanxietycompanion.com/blog/13-things-anxiety-sufferers-need-you-to-understand