Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snow, Ice, and Ativan

It seems to have happened again. Winter has managed to sneak up early and wrap her icy grip around our house and around my heart. Accompanying the layers of powdery white snow that covers every branch and surface of our small New England town, and the darkness that ensconces us at 4pm, comes the heavy feeling of profound worry that eats me up inside.

Call it what you will, seasonal affects disorder (SAD, my favorite acronym of all time), or just the normal reaction to a dark, cold, depressing reality, it really only makes sense to hibernate. No reasonable people should be expected to stay awake all winter, it's just not natural. Except for those skiers, they've got it made, lucky bastards. A whole season for fun downhill swish-swashing and jolly hot chocolate drinking in the lodge, that might be a good solution, but probably not going to happen. (Note: I have lived in New England for most of my life and I have never once even touched a pair of skis).

My reaction to the winter misery is to have gripping, powerful anxiety surrounding winter driving and airplane travel. The way I become aware that the season is really changing is when I start to imagine I am on a plane while falling asleep in my bed each night. I feel the feeling of take off as I lie there, and the panic starts to wash over me as I realize I am trapped like a rat on a moving vessel I can't control. Except for that I'm not, I'm in my bed and I'm fine. Holy fuck, I think, is this what crazy feels like? Where did that Ativan run off to?

I am fighting one of my winter fear battles especially hard this week, the winter driving. Unfortunately Mother Nature has made this one particularly challenging quite early this year, as we have been pummeled with snow and ice and the roads are complete shit almost everywhere you turn. I had no idea how lame the Honda Odyssey is to drive in the snow. Man, that bad boy can skid on even the simplest of turns. So yesterday I strained the hell out of my credit card and invested in studded snow tires. An expensive, yet amazing investment in my sanity and my family's safety. The difference is uncanny, I am not sure why I hadn't thought of this before (or why I perhaps didn't think to buy a car with 4 wheel drive when I am pretty sure I will live here forever).

This morning I am trying desperately to motivate to get all of the pre-Christmas errands done before I head in for three nights of work, but the urge to stay nestled by the fire in my unattractive long underwear and bed mussed hair is a strong and powerful force. But no! The car needs to be inspected! We are out of milk! But it's sooooo cold out there. I will probably get it together soon and force myself to get this crap done so I can hurry back to the living room and hunker down once more. Maybe I'll go out and do some major donuts with my new snow tires, that'll show you Winter.

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