Someone on facebook mentioned this week that today is known as Blue Monday, that annual celebration of January funk (and not the cool George Clinton kind.) The sort of funk that causes a noticeable bump in suicide and depression rates. It makes sense, we are still, no matter what your climate in the dark days surrounding the winter solstice really, and while the days are getting slightly longer, it's unnoticeable and probably only by seconds at this point. The deep freeze in most of the country does not help, nor does that sort of post-holiday deceleration. I have always been careful to not let my anxiety tendencies turn into depressive tendencies, but once, when I was 23, I spent the entire month of January alternately sleeping til sunset and then sitting in the dark and crying all night (there were factors, mostly to do with uncertainties about life choices) all of which sort of steamrolled me into a bad patch that I have been careful never to repeat. (or if I feel it starting to replay, to get that circling the drain feeling, which comes and goes, to make efforts to stop those thought patterns and just be kinder to myself and focus on other things.) It's partially the everyday anxiety blues, but also a touch of seasonal affective disorder I imagine, so January can be a doozy for a lot of people already prone to these things.
To be truthful, December is shaker ground for me than January lately (mostly because January at least is past the stressor of the holidays and somewhat on the way to springtime (while those seconds are infinitismal, don't think I'm not counting. Still I find myself avoiding a lot of things to keep myself sane..the news, politics, the dumpster fire that is the soon-to-be regime. I'm wading through a lot of other folk's weird battles and insecurities that nonetheless have ramifications for me (as much as I try to distance myself from depending or relying on other people too much.) Therefore, here come the unsettling dreams about trying to run a ridiculously complicated karaoke contest in an indoor swimming pool all by myself. This morning I actually intended to get started on a collage project for our upcoming MY BLOOD VALENTINE exhibit that will be going up and realized that hunting down vintage murder scene photos was very much not a good idea in this mindset. It made me sad and panicky in a way that did not bode well for the rest of the day. So I've been rethinking the project in other ways.
Focusing on good things helps--writing projects (at least ones that are going well. Some more ink paintings and watercolors over the weekend (my kindest and most forgiving technique.) Also minor dumb things like coloring my hair and painting my nails and eating enjoyable food smooths things out and makes the days a little less ragged. All I can do is keep my head down until it all blows over, I guess, or all blows to hell if that's the case,