Seasonal Depression

Every year, I experience seasonal depression. After Thanksgiving, my husband heads off to hunting camp with a group of fellow hunters. It ruins my holiday high and leaves me feeling less than jolly.

I feel an overwhelming quietness. Spending most of my days alone and writing means this is not an unusual occurrence; however, it is after 5 PM. Knowing there is no reason to be on guard for that quietness to be interrupted after a certain point in the afternoon is strange. I know to expect this quiet, emptiness, yet it brings about a feeling that home is no longer home.

I am the quiet one. I relish the quiet moments where only my novel playlist is droning in the background of our tiny, glorious space. My husband blares music whether showering, washing dishes, or doing any kind of yardwork or housework. He comes home and the dogs yowl and yip in excitement.

When he tells me details of his days, his voice often booms and rattles me due to the quietness of my space (depending on how deeply I have sunk into my writing). Sometimes, I admit, I lose focus of his work stories and start thinking of my novel or what we will have for dinner.

His presence is noise, so, in this echoing room, there is a bittersweetness to this quiet space. I will admit I miss his storytelling, and the loudness of his voice the more enthralled he gets with each detail he must relay. When I miss him, it almost baffles me that I can tune him out and continue wondering what we will eat instead of hanging onto every word.

To my defense, these stories rarely have a sequel. They are short stories, which sometimes are better left to be expelled than to resonate within the swirling consciousness of my own thoughts. Though, I, like many wives, am like an elephant. I may not follow each detail like it is a literary masterpiece, but I pick up many pieces and usually retain the important bits if we ever circle back.

I am a happy introvert who revels in her quiet time and often grimaces at the thought of leaving her hovel to enter the world. Unless, it is for those whom I love or for a purpose of necessity (like food). Despite being an introvert who wilts after so many exposed hours of social interaction, I miss my companion.

I can already hear the grumbly voices: “Don’t you eat deer meat?” or “I thought you loved deer bologna!” and “Well, how do you think you get it?”

And I have no qualms about hunting itself (sometimes I think it is better than farming, except for trophy hunting). I let deer skulls stay mounted on the wall (not for much longer I’ll admit) in tribute to the meat that was harvested and my husband’s ego. I eat meat, so I understand animals must die for me to consume them.

But seasonal depression hits annoyingly hard. Perhaps it is worth it. That old saying flits through my mind: “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I roll my eyes at it, but there is some truth to it. I refuse to count this as a dependency issue because I am an extremely independent human being who usually does not ask for much help from my companion. But I am human.

Humans are social creatures. Whether introverted or not, we need people to recenter us. It is hard to admit that I need someone. I could probably lose every other person in my life (with great sorrow), but he is my chosen companion. My mate that I have chosen to settle with, and I am diminished to a whining, lonely heart after a few days of his absence.

I write to expel my feelings, but I find empathy for those who have lost their companions. I have barely an iota of the amount of emptiness they must endure each day and night. We are not dependent, pathetic, lunatics. We are humans who ache for companionship based off evolution (though, the romantic in me says love). Being independent is a beautiful thing that takes a while to craft into a healthy nook for us to enter while alone, so being alone can be a magical time, too.

If there is a catharsis, then I suppose it is that my hunter will return (hopefully with meat but definitely with plenty of stories for me to possibly tune out). Maybe the catharsis is my opportunity to experience alone time and recenter my gravity of self-love (though, I am not sure that has ever been centered). I am sure my husband thinks the catharsis is that he gets to participate in his most treasured activities of delving into the forest, becoming one with nature, and getting some deer meat, but this is not his blog.

Perhaps someday I will beg for my husband to leave for a few days to have uninterrupted moments of strange quiet. At least, I know I can count on hunting season each year, whether it brings a bout of seasonal depression, a bout of much needed me time, or a mixture of both.

PS – Thank you to all the deer that nourish those of us who enjoy eating venison.

Comments are closed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: