It happens every year without fail. The leaves start to change and so does something inside of me. I start to feel it as the temperature drops. I have never been able to define what it is, but I know it is there. The trouble is that a gloomy fall usually leads to outright depression once the winter comes. I remember my college professors telling me that I performed in the spring and summer but skipped class and half-assed through the fall and especially the winter. Last year I rarely left my house, my friends worried about me, some thought I was back in the depths of heroin addiction. I remember a conversation I had with TBF last winter about my mood.
“What’s wrong, Cheese, I have lived with you for three years now and this happens every year.”
“It’s the end of football season, breaks my heart.”
He is a strange kid, one reason we are such good friends, and can always tell when something is wrong with me. I didn’t really have an answer for him, I had never really thought about it until then, but he was right. I sink into horrible depression this time every year. Last year it was when I started drinking heavily and using cocaine again. I had lost my job (3 fucking days before Christmas) and was unemployed for almost two months. I had no savings, no ambition, no will, no care, no concern and no real desire to continue in the world of corporate bullshit. I ran up $2500 in credit card debt and managed to be drunk by three in the afternoon everyday. I drove smacked off my ass, fist fought, carried a pistol constantly, snorted and sold drugs, cheated on my (then) girlfriend and essentially swore off any help that anyone tried to provide.
I was a mess.
With the change in season comes an obvious drop in temperature which greatly affects my outlook, not while I am awake but while I am asleep. I dream constantly and have been blessed / cursed with a peculiar talent, lucid dreaming. It manifests itself differently for each individual it affects and for me it typically only happens during pleasant dreams. Being self-aware in a happy dream (ESPECIALLY sexually natured ones) is an amazing experience which helps to clarify the things that happen in waking life.
The opposite is true for nightmares.
They say that sleeping in a cold room will cause nightmares; I, for one, believe that whole heartedly. I also believe that ones dreams (or nightmares) seriously affect the day that follows. I had the worst nightmares of my life during those two jobless months. Meg would tell me that I woke up screaming at the top of my lungs. My roommates would find me asleep on the couch having horrifying conversations with my “executioner.” I would sit up with my eyes wide open and scream like I was being stabbed, typically jarring all of the eight guys that I lived with. Waking up from those dreams is a truly terrifying experience.
When I finally got a job things started to look up, but I still had a long way to go. My depression carried over into the spring again until I thought I was not going to be able to deal with it anymore. Everything kept going wrong, it seemed like my life was being attacked from all sides. It was at that point that I started writing this blog, I can’t even remember what I called it then or what the catalyst was that started it.
I have been going back and reading a lot lately and I have found that I don’t quite recognize the author of this blog anymore. Since I began writing here I have found it easier to deal with a lot of the fears I have and the trials I go…er put myself through. I started thinking about this on the way to work today, as this was the first truly cold morning we have had. I woke up and my sheets were soaking with my cold sweat, the window was cracked open. The nightmare was fading out of my mind quickly as I tried to grasp for a memory. I saw myself in a mangled car wreck with tears in my eyes, can’t remember if anyone was in the passenger seat. A terrifying dream which should have condemned this day, but for some reason has not affected it.
So here I stand at the crossroads, as the autumn winds come in from the west. I have learned a lot, mostly about myself, in these past few months. Things I thought I would never talk about, I talked about. Things I would never admit, I have admitted. I am slowly sorting through the attic of insanity inside of my head. So, as I stand here with the changing seasons I wonder if I will fall into my winter hibernation yet again. I have a few things to help me keep myself in check including (but not limited to) fragile sobriety, a sexy ass woman, a FINALLY bug free apartment and a lack of toxic relationships. This time around I feel like I can beat the winter, I feel somewhat stronger since admitting to myself all of the horrible things I have seen and done in this blog. If it comes down to it and there really is no hope, well than I will always have at least one thing to keep me somewhat sane…