I fucking hate Winter. That single, solitary sentence probably sums this entire post up right there but I need to bitch and your presumably here to listen so I'll continue with my seasonal tirade. I FUCKING HATE WINTER! I hate everything about it. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I hate the bare dead fucking trees but more then anything I hate the dark. I hate, hate, hate the goddamn dark. Those smug pricks in the shrink community have coined a cute, nifty little term for my affliction. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Oh how clever you little Sigmunds are- "I'm not depressed, I'm SAD" - Fuck you, you malignant motherfuckers, fuck you oh so very much.
Any-who, I have long suffered from more mental issues then I can fucking count but they all seem to get worse on the first Sunday of November, my second least favorite day of the year, when the clocks are turned back and the kinetic magic of October gives way to the dull ache of late autumn. The days grow short and grey and everything hurts just a little more. The regrets of my squandered youth. The fading memory of girls loved and lost. The sick hatred of all the things I fail to be. The roaring rage at the perseverance of the pathologically normal. It all just hurts so damn much, too damn much. There are days when the very idea of leaving my bed, let alone my house, feels like an unbearably heavy cross to carry. But November is nothing. November is pussy shit compared to the frozen hellscape of January and March.
You see the very worst day of the year, for me at least, is the first Monday of January. The day Christmas is officially pronounced dead. December is like a weird little oasis in the frozen desert of my seasonal depression. It's still fucking there but the pain is muted by the warm morphine drip of the Christmas season with it's twinkling lights and fresh baked cookies and shimmering evergreen majesty. It's like falling to the bottom of the deep dark sea only to discover a hidden civilization of glowing, luminescent sea monsters dancing about the abyss. It's the one month of the year that I truly believe in god until it's all over and the lights come down and the cookies go stale and god dies and the magic beasts scatter, leaving me alone again on the ocean floor.
This year's post-noel ocean floor seems even bleaker then usual. January began with a rusty harpoon right to my aching heart, when one of this wretched planet's brightest and most beautiful sea monsters, David Bowie, lost his long secret war with cancer and departed to a celestial plain more befitting a Star-God. I spent a solid week listening to "Heroes" over and over again and writing DAVID LIVES in all caps on the back of my right hand in black ink. Melodramatic I know, but I didn't know what else to do. I still don't.
As if the death of my heroes weren't enough, I'm also subjected daily to the garish spectacle of the most depressingly hopeless and depraved Presidential Election in recent memory, with the GOP's demonic clown car and the rise of the Killary juggernaut. In past election seasons, though still soul-crushing, I usually at least had an underdog or two on the fringe to root for. In 2004 there was Dennis Kucinich. 2008 gave me the rare double-barrel gift of Kucinich and Dr. Ron Paul.The latter hung around to offer a fleeting glimmer of hope in 2012. But in the cruel winter of 2016, even my beloved fringe has been infected by the gangrenous scuzz of Washington and Wall Street. On the right we have reactionary racist attention whores like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, not to mention the Greek Tragedy that has become of the good Dr. Paul's sell out, fortunate son, Rand. On the left we have Bernie Sanders. Another trigger-happy Fabian fraud who the cheery little, cell phone-sick millennial sheep have once again convinced themselves will save them from the purgatory of there own party. The whole sick, stupid fucking circus makes me so ill I could literally puke my fucking guts out. I just want to scream in these peoples stupid little faces "YOUR NOT MAKING A FUCKING DIFFERENCE MORON! IT'S A RIGGED GAME!!!". Even the second Sunday of March can't save me from this darkness. It might as well be Winter until November. Then it will be Hell-arry.
& believe it or not, that's not even the worst thing about Winter. The fucking cherry atop my frosty sundae of misery is that satanic little greeting card boondoggle known as Valentines Day. A holiday that seems to be tailor fucking made to exploit my crippling fear of dying alone in my own arms with nothing to show for my lonely existence but a pair of swollen, royal blue balls and a crumbling pile of saccharine poetry devoted to girls who could barely remember my name a decade ago. Fuck Valentines Day.
Feeling a little depressed yet? Welcome to my world asshole. But before you begin rifling through your sink cabinet for razor blades, listen to some of my tips on how to survive this ugly fucking season with your wrists in tact.
The best way I've found to cope with the Winter blues, aside from pharmaceuticals (which are excellent) is to try and focus on the little, seemingly insignificant things that keep you distracted from your misery and even give you something to look forward to. It sounds almost stupidly simplistic, I know, but take it from me, it can make the difference between a twelve gauge face-lift and making it to Spring. It's different for everyone but the main things that keep me going during the shit months are listed below in no particular order.
MUSIC- Music has saved my life quite literally and repeatedly through out the years. I doubt very much that I would even be here typing this right now if it weren't for artists like Kurt Cobain, Henry Rollins, Courtney Love, Morrissey and Lou Reed. Sometimes just one great anthem at the end of a terrible day can give you the strength to survive another one. My go to comfort music during these dreary months tends to be up-tempo but wistful stuff like Hole's Celebrity Skin, the Smiths' Louder Than Bombs and pretty much anything by the Velvet Underground, the Replacements, REM or Belle & Sebastian.
CANDLES- There is just something about that mix of Pyromania and Aroma Therapy that buoys my mood on a cold Winters night. Yankee Candles are the best and yes I'm well aware that that sentence makes me sound like a fucking limp-wristed pussy so fuck you. Candles are the tits.
PETS- The importance of human-animal companionship to mental health can't be stressed enough. I personally am a cat lover and my geriatric old tuxedo Killian has been my oldest and dearest friend for well over a decade, even if she does drive everyone else in my house berserk. She sleeps by my shoulder on the couch every night and there is something that is just so wonderfully uncomplicated about those quiet moments we spend together late at night, especially during the frozen heart of Winter when we're both driven by unseen forces to hibernate. All the petty bullshit of the outside world just evaporates into mid air.
CARTOONS & NATURE SHOWS- I know I'm sounding more and more like a crazy person here but ever since I was little, whenever I found myself trapped in my deepest, darkest moods, cartoons were always one of the few things that could lift my spirits and this has rang true through out my often dreadful existence. When I was a kid it was Hey Arnold, Daria, Doug and Recess. During my first nervous breakdown Futurama was the only thing that could get me out of bed. During my second it was Bob's Burgers and the Cleveland Show of all things. Lately it's been Archer and Rick & Morty. Nature shows also seem to do the trick, especially anything underwater. Planet Earth is the best.
FOOD- I can just here the food police creaming themselves over this one as we speak. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's not healthy to use food as a coping mechanism. Shut the fuck up skinny people, I've heard your gripe before. But you try struggling with crippling depression without a fucking vice. It's either cake or heroin, pick your poison. When the world is a vampire, sometimes one good meal or even a midnight snack can keep you going and nobody and I mean nobody turns to fucking kale for comfort. My drugs of choice are Denny's and Trader Joe's Mac & Cheese. My Aunt Barbara's chocolate cake is also better than 90 percent of the smack on the streets today though I'm pretty sure she cuts that shit with Fentanyl too. When it's all said and done I'd rather be fat then sad any day of the week. It's the same reason I chose to stay on the anti-depressants. Atkins be damned.
FRIENDS & FAMILY- When life really hits the fucking skids having even just a few good people by your side can make all the difference. If it wasn't for my family I probably would have ended up chewing through a straight-jacket in some laughing academy decades ago. They've put up with all my bugshit weirdness for longer then any saint ever could and for that I couldn't be more great-full. People are a strange species. Just when you've all but given up on them in exasperated disgust, they do something amazing. They make quiet little miracles out of mid air.
The only thing that shocks me more then the human race's bottomless appetite for depravity is there divine ability to redeem themselves through random acts of kindness and it keeps me going, more than anything else, that keeps me going and so does this blog and all the beautiful, nameless, faceless motherfuckers who stop by to give it and me the time of day. It just goes to show even if you think you have no one and nothing, reach out, the results will surprise you. I guarantee it.
Hold on dearest motherfuckers. Together we're going to carry that weight until March.
PEACE, LOVE & EMPATHY.