November 2013 - February 2014. The worst and darkest era of my life thus far. I was in the midwest. I was at a predominantly and historically white institution in a very white small town. I was alone. Profoundly lonely. There was a polar vortex going on. Every week it snowed at least 3 inches but usually more. The wind was brutal all the time. I didn't have the necessary apparel for a midwest winter.
Winter can be very hard for people like me. Seasonal Affect Disorder being a significant contribution. I absolutely hate the shorter days of winter. I hate the cold gray weather that makes real the cold gray feelings.
Another hurdle is the set of festivities associated with the chilled months that bookend the year. I don't assign much value to any of the days. I only recognize that they are approaching because of the dress of a store or the activities of those I interact with. Still, the notion that everyone else is busy celebrating warm and cozy sentiments with their close friends and family while I am not feels pretty bummer. What is worse, is that even if I am with friends or family, I still feel pretty trash. I laugh, I smile, I joke, I eat but on the inside... And as soon as the party ends, as I make my way to my car, the dark clouds roll in. By the time I get to bed, I'm drowning.