Spring is in full-swing and April 1st is here. I have always practiced safe-reading when I open a possible April-fool’s article (i.e.: I scan the content to be sure that the last paragraph doesn’t reveal that the words I have read are all false), so in the interest of saving you from scanning if you are accustom to the same behaviour, I will tell you now that what I am about to share is true – possibly unbelievable – but nevertheless true. Here goes… sunshine often makes me sad. Ridiculous right? Like who would not want to wake up to a beautiful spring day? Who would not feel rejuvenated and alive when they open the curtains to see sunshine streaming down onto the budding leaves? Who would not feel happy on a sunny day…well, me.
I know that I am not alone in this feeling because a friend has shared with me that he feels this too, even before I shared that I experience this alien-like emotion myself. He is a fellow depression and post traumatic stress sufferer, and one sunny day when I was texting him from my curtain-closed, outside-avoiding room, he said that he hated sunny days. He didn’t need to elaborate – I knew exactly what he meant. Sunny days are supposed to evoke happiness and energy. They are supposed to make you smile and put on a nice outfit and go for car rides with the windows finally down. But for my friend and I, a sunny day often makes us feel guilty.
I can hear kids playing outside and the neighbours emerging from their winter hibernation. But if I am having a dark day, the last thing I want is to be reminded that I have no desire to do such things…at all! I can hear the leaf blowers and motorcycles (sure sign sounds of spring), but on a dark day I literally plug my ears over my earplugs because again I don’t want to be reminded of the productiveness and fun others are having at apparent ease. When my depression descends, its darkness smothers the sun with mocking, evil laughs. When I’m in the darkness, a sunny day feels like eternity, and the guilt it induces will inevitably build with every non-constructive second that passes. When depression rears its ugly head, even the sunniest day can’t make the world seem good.
Glum story, right? As I type this I feel like a spring-time Scrooge yelling, “Bahumbug” to the sky and the birds and any potential vitamin D. Oh well. It is what it is – I wish this was an April fool’s joke.
Tomorrow’s a new day.