On Being Depressed When The Sun Don’t Shine

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“all my hopes and dreams seemed to be far out of reach…I was embarrassed that I was not happy.”

By NaBeela Washington

Photo Credit: Daria Shevtsova

And the flower slowly drew its face

Away from behind the shield of its leaf

It smiled at the gaze of the sun

And bathed in its warmth

I remember waking up, on what seemed to be a fairly frequent basis, searching for the light and realizing there was none. I remember feeling so utterly helpless, so encapsulated by this feeling of dread and uncertainty.

‘What’s wrong with me’

‘Why can’t I just get out of bed’

‘I don’t want to cancel plans, but I’m just not feeling it’


These were the thoughts that rang all too clearly and so repetitively that I could barely form a new and independent thought.

It seemed as though the darkness would consume me and everything I had ever worked for; all my hopes and dreams seemed to be far out of reach, slipping deep into a trench within an unforeseen rabbit hole I could not escape. I was embarrassed that I was not happy. That I did not feel like the pictures I shared on social media. That I somehow didn’t seem to care about my friends, family, or partner.

But then one day, the sun and its glorious shine came back to my rescue and I could breathe a little easier.

There was pep to my step and the sun’s warmth gave me butterflies. While I dreaded the end of spring and summer, I knew that the darkness I experienced during those darker months did not define me past a season. I knew that it was okay to feel down. To not feel as motivated. To feel deprived of the light I once knew.

And I was so grateful.

Seasonal depression can take the form of an annual or year-long experience that many people suffer from, often in complete isolation and silence. In certain places of the United States, and around the world, winters can be unbearably long and this can lead to decreased energy, and an depressive mood. This can really rattle one’s circadian rhythms and leave one completely miserable. 

But no matter the amount of darkness, remember, there is hope and support from the people that love you and others that struggle with this same experience.

If the weight of how you are feeling is just too heavy to bear, reach out to a family member or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Kashara JohnsonComment