Summer Depression

 Disclaimer: I am not medically qualified or trained in mental health in any way. All information provided is derived from my own experience alone.

 “Summer depression comes every year
I just want to disappear.” – Girl In Red 

Summer is often posed as the perfect time for reflection and recuperation for those in education. The academic year ceases, the pressure lifts and one is left with a feeling of absolute purposelessness. No essays to write, deadlines to meet, lectures to attend. It all ties to a halt. 

For many, Summer comes as a celebration; a celebration of the fact that you made it this far. I want to congratulate you if you did make it through whether that be uni (as in my case), A-Levels, GCSE’s or even a year out. 

You made it through and that means something. 

But is it enough? 
What comes next?

Time becomes overwhelming. The day filled with hours of guilt for what you could be doing, boredom over what you are not doing and pleasure for what you have previously done. Speaking as someone with diagnosed depression, I particularly relate to the feelings of guilt and emptiness when there is no structure. My body thanks me for the rest I grant it after three terms of running around coffee shop to coffee shop, train to bus. Yet my amygdala refuses to settle; it waits impatiently like a dog ready for its walk. “why aren’t you training me anymore?”. 

I feel like my purpose has been removed. And it gets harder to switch off at night. I question whether I am using my Summer productively or simply waiting:
Waiting for September
Waiting for the deadlines to come round
Waiting for someone to give me permission to Have A Fucking Break!

Countless amounts of times people have told me that I am too hard on myself. Notably, my sister always tells me that I am impossible to “pin down”. Why can’t I just be? Accept that I do not need to push myself at this moment in time. It is like I can’t win. In exam season I lust over the idea of reading for pleasure and having time to do what I want, yet when faced with weeks of unmade plans I feel anxious; desperate to go back to the safety blanket of work and the idea that I am doing something with my life. 

Hence, part of the purpose of writing this blog is to reassure myself or hope that I am not the only person who feels like this. So here I am giving you permission to switch off. You do not need to be doing a million things at once. It is ok to sit and be. Let your mind wander. Allow the day to take its own path. 

After being abroad for two weeks it made me reflect on how busy my daily life is. Always running from chore to job without appreciating what I am actually doing. It sounds pretentious and like I have been watching too much reality television but it is true (probably doesn’t help that my mum is a psychotherapist). Even taking five minutes out of your day to sit down and write down a few things you have appreciated in your day can make a huge difference to your mindset. 
Equally, we can all have rubbish days where we feel like life is testing us. Recently one of my beautiful cats has been in and out of the vets with cancer. It feels like a huge cloud has been hung over the family. Amongst feeling devastated, beside myself I feel anger. Why should such a kind-hearted creature have to undergo so much pain? Why her? Why our family? But I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. After seeing her deteriorate has only made us appreciate Violet and her sister more. And I keep promising myself that we will get through this. She will get through this.

All in all, I feel this Summer has brought me some extremely valuable memories (Miami blog coming soon!!!) as well as some that I wish I could forget for Violet's sake. But I want to be proud of myself in September for getting through the past few months by working with myself. We are only ever against ourselves.

As ever, I am only ever a message away. Thank you for reading.

Lots of Love,

Is xxx

Isabella Clark ©

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