Monday, January 6, 2014

Blue Monday

Did you know today is actually known as Blue Monday? It's known as the most depressing day of the year.  I suppose it's natural for folks to feel a little down after the New Year, heading back to work for their first full week of work, after having some time off with loved ones to celebrate the holidays.  This is the week we come to terms with our holiday spending, and overindulgences in food and drink. While there's no scientific evidence for Blue Monday, I'd like to blame my present state on it, if I may.

Have you ever wanted to simply wallow in a dark mood?  That has happened more than once during the past couple of weeks.  I’m sure it has to do with the depression that settles over me when I am forced to face sadness.  Since my father passed away the Sunday before Christmas, it has been much harder to find a feeling of joy.  Grieving is such an unnatural state for me that when I am in that process, I tend to force myself “look on the bright side” and “look for the silver lining.”  That’s all fine and good, but sometimes, like when you have experienced great loss, perhaps it’s important to just let it all go, and mourn.

After six days of sleeping in a strange bed in Virginia, and waking early each day to join my stepmom for our quiet morning coffee time, the lack of sleep was catching up with me.  I hadn’t eaten well when I went home, waiting too long between meals, and seeking solace in the gingerbread cookies Daddy made the week before Christmas.  My tummy didn’t need the cookies, but my spirit did.

Although it was a time of great sadness, I think we all felt buoyed up by one another.  Being surrounded by my family, and so many wonderful friends, was a spiritual lift I hadn't counted on. When it came time to go our separate ways, I began to dread returning to Utah.

After spending 14 hours of travel time flying back from Virginia, my son and I arrived at my brother's house just before midnight.  We slept about four hours, and were on the road by 5:15 Thursday morning, determined to get Bridger back to school that day.

As I drove through the darkness, my mind wandered through the events of the past week.  Daddy was gone.  I was battling emotional problems of my own.  Looking out into the black sky in front of me, I wished a childish wish; I wanted the night to never end.  There was comfort to be found in the night sky.  I felt that I could hide myself and my feelings from the world in an endless nighttime. Perpetual blackness seemed like a good idea at that moment. My surroundings could match my mood.

Eventually, the sky began to lighten with a hint of pink silhouetting the mountains before me as we turned toward Marysvale Canyon.  I didn't want to enjoy the sunrise; I felt I needed more darkness, but I found my resolve weakening, and relaxed into the simple beauty of the sun coming up to reveal a new day.

Thursday oozed into Friday, and Friday bled into Saturday.  Occasionally, I gave into the tears, and my body was racked with sobbing.  The wind kicked up that morning, with ominous dark clouds racing across the sky.  I was so satisfied to see foul weather.  I was becoming a bit of an Eeyore, welcoming my bad mood, allowing it to take up residence in my heart and home. Every day looked pretty much like the day before:  bland and grey, which suited me just fine.

Before I knew it, it was Monday, BLUE MONDAY, I found out later. The sun was shining, and the skies were clear, much to my disapproval.  I found myself once again schlumping around in Daddy's beach t-shirt and my yoga pants. My first wake up was at 2:40, and I watched the rest of the Season Four Premier of Downton Abbey.  When I went back to bed it was still dark, and I was able to sleep in until 7:00. I managed to rake a brush through my hair, but I didn't bother to apply makeup to my swollen eyes and blotchy face.  Breakfast didn't find its way into my tummy until around 12:30.

After an emotion-filled morning, I found myself feeling peaceful as the day wore on.  My heart no longer raced, and my breathing fell into a natural rhythm.  I know there will be moments that will challenge me as January plods along, but I know that this depression is temporary.  I am starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, and soon, I will welcome this new year of 2014 with my face happily turned to the sun.

For now, I will settle in to the last of this Blue Monday, and watch the sun set before me, and welcome the night once again.  Soon it will be Tuesday, and I have a feeling that it will be the start of good things for me.  If you, too, have been suffering with sadness, I hope that you will take heart that there are better days ahead.  "It will all work out," my sweet stepmother reminded me before I left Amherst.  I believe they will, and I am grateful that I have had this time to give the sadness a chance to work itself out of my system.

Happy New Year, Friends.  My goal is to seek peace and happiness in the coming days.  Here's to happier blog entries from here on out!


  1. I ALWAYS get post-holiday blues. Couple that with seasonal depression, and January through February are pretty miserable. This year you definitely have a good excuse to feel sad. I think allowing yourself to experience your grief fully is the best way to get through it. As you said, the opportunity you have to give the sadness a chance is a great thing! As much as today might suck, for lack of a better word, the sun will come out sooner now that you got more of that sad out! Now I think I will go watch Annie! "I LOVE YA, TOMORROW!"

    1. Thank you, CoCo, for sharing your thoughts about the Blue Monday phenomenon. I am so exhausted, but hope is returning to my heart. That's a good sign. Here's looking forward to sunnier, happier days ahead!

  2. Completely resonate with your post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Chrystal, thank you for visiting my blog. I am grateful for your input. As a beginning blogger, I don't get much traffic, but I'm all about the free therapy available to me. ;-) I hope if you've been struggling with the blues, they lift soon for you, too!


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