altNow that it’s the middle of spring, there’s something I want to get off my chest. First of all, there are a lot of things in life you know you can depend on. For example: within a 24-hour period in most inhabitable parts of this planet, a brilliant yellow-orange orb will rise into the sky from the east. When this happens, it means morning has arrived. Many hours later within that 24-hour period, that same orb will set in the western sky, and night will begin. There are also other signs of nature that happen at timely intervals, like flowers blossoming, birds singing, and, at least once every 17 years, cicadas mating at 100 decibels. All of these things and more let us human beings know that the natural clockwork is holding firm, at least for the time being.

I, like everyone else, take this for granted. With the exception of a couple of years when I lived close to the equator, I could count on the four seasons arriving on time. This is important to me, because I love to take advantage of the sunshine in spring and summer, and relish the cooler temps and colors in the fall.  All of this is in preparation for the winter, when it will be cold and cloudy, with days of snow, ice and the shadowy chill of Seasonal Affective Disorder – that which I’ve come to know and love like some obnoxious fifth cousin who shows up at family events saying, “Pull my finger.”

Over the years, I’ve invested a lot of time and money in order to deal with SAD.  I’ve had therapy, anti-depressants, LED lights that burn 24/7, and all kinds of Ayurvedic Ghost Whispering to make sure winter will be bearable. I’ve learned to circle the wagons and fend off the demons of depression so much, that it hasn’t only become a symbol of my continuing struggle with life on this planet, but it’s also a way of defining my victimhood. Frankly, it’s such a big part of my life that I couldn’t imagine NOT being seasonally depressed.

altWell, we all know what happened this winter. It never got here. It got a LITTLE colder, but not cold enough to justify a full-blown depression. There was extra darkness, but without the cold and precipitation it was more a novelty.  In fact, what we used to call “winter” sucked so much this year that I actually began to feel cheated out of my depression. I mean, after all the time and money I spent getting ready for my seasonal Dark Night of the Soul, the atmospheric conditions that bring about the condition DIDN’T HAPPEN!!

If this were any kind of commercial transaction, I might have legal grounds to sue along the lines of pain and suffering. But seeing as how THE LACK of pain and suffering is what I got, what do I do? Sue for warmth and contentment? 

Apparently, I’ve lost my chance to “suck it up” with any kind of seasonal incentive, so now I’ve got to learn how to move on. I’m not used to this. Since Global Warming is probably the culprit here, the lack of winter could very well be here to stay. Therefore, I’m going to have to find something I can depend on if I want to be depressed.

Maybe it’s time to start Internet dating.

Paul McDonald is a writer, educator and graduate student who thinks too much. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.