For most people, "spring fever" means they get excited for spending more time outside after being cooped up and cold all winter. Bike riding, walks through the park, ice cream... whatever they have been missing comes back like a big, warm gust of wind.
However, for me (and many others with seasonal disorders) spring means preparing myself for the fact that I'm going to have a near-irresistible urge to destroy the entire life I built.
The claustrophobia comes on at the same time as the warm weather and when the days get longer, my patience gets shorter. I become overwhelmed with everything spring represents: rebirth, renewal, love, and growth, and I feel the walls close in around me, squeezing the air out my lungs, stopping me from experiencing those things - what I deserve to get to experience.
Suddenly my responsibilities feel like a bad ex boyfriend, pulling me along, forcing me to see how it's holding me back from what I could be - who I could become without out, and I start idealizing a life without these superficial problems. As the claustrophobia mounts, I start to feel like I would do anything to get out from under this crushing weight and it becomes desperation. It's easy to start looking around and think, how easy would it be to quit my job? It would take 5 minutes, maybe less. Maybe I could just leave - and not come back. It would be so quick. Then I wouldn't feel this way anymore - I would be free.
And I know this is ridiculous - like anyone who suffers from anxiety or a variety of mental health issues, you know it's a bad idea. You know it's just an impulse and you wouldn't be better off at all. In fact, I know I would a LOT worse off. But the desperation sinks in and and I can't help but feel completely powerless.
Mania tells me: You could be anything. You could live in the forest and be with the trees and feel reborn and wake up with the sun on your skin and live the way God meant for you to live. This life you are living is holding you back. You are bigger than this. You could be everything. And years ago I would let it convince me it was telling me the truth. I would leave relationships, I would run away from home, I would quit going to school or quit my job. I would let it whisk me away with a promise of a deeper truth, a deeper happiness that I was missing out on.
But when the mania ended, I would be left broken. Whether I was penniless, homeless, or alone, I was never happier. Depression sets in, along with guilt, that I was fooled again. And when I stopped giving in to the overpowering voice - the depression didn't stop. That's where I am now. But I take it for what I know that it is - mental, predictable, and temporary.
For now, I will throw myself this pity party. I will drink wine and watch 100 episodes of trashy tv and question why the world still turns and then I will pick myself up, and brush myself off, like I have always done.