Annual Sadness

Yesterday the clocks went forward. Tomorrow is the first day of our Easter playscheme at work, and today the sky is blue. But so am I. I woke up feeling sad, and this feeling’s grown throughout the day. This afternoon as I travelled back from town in a cab with Leftwing Idiot my eyes were heavy with tears that I was desperately trying to hold back.

I wasn’t upset because of any particular incident, argument, or disappointment, and as I struggled to work out why I was feeling down, I realised that this annual sadness is not unfamiliar. In fact every year for the last four years I’ve found that when the clocks change, and spring emerges, I’m hit by a wave of inexplicable sadness. It’s almost as predictable as my “biscuit” tic. But I never anticipate it, I just remember it when it hits. It creeps in and I’m only aware of it when my heart’s heavy, my eyes are full of tears, and my mind’s a tempest of conflicting thoughts.

Four years ago, just before the Easter playscheme, I badly twisted my ankle when I ticced on the stairs of my old lair. My mobility had been deteriorating for months and it’d been a long time since I’d been able to walk safely without help. My leg tics had been intensifying, gradually changing my walking from a bit unusual to very dangerous. My twisted ankle brought this into sharp focus. And every spring there’s an echo of how sad this made me feel when I re-live the loss of my mobility. I can’t explain it, but the feeling is intense and very real.

I never expected my leg tics to affect my mobility for as long as they have and the possibility that they could stop tomorrow never leaves me. I regularly test my walking in secret, scrutinising my wobbly movements for any signs of improvement.

But it’s about more than just walking. The sense of time passing has stirred up other frustrations. The internal sensations that my tics cause are constant, and it’s been a long time since I’ve felt really comfortable. Today I felt worn down by this relentless background discomfort.

None of this stuff is new, and there’s no crisis. I know these feelings will pass, and that there’s no point in dwelling on difficulties, and every point in focussing on the amazing things in my life.

I’m confident that acknowledging the challenges I face and the emotions they stir up will mean I’ll be starting tomorrow feeling myself again.

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