As previously mentioned -- my Swedish bones believe that this year the wolves probably will eat the sun and frost giants come stomp over the rest of civilization as we know it. Every year when the days grow short, they start prophesying doom. This has contributed to a sense of impending dread and gloom that manifests itself in near hibernation for the winter months.
One can romanticize the depression. Goodness knows that creative artists have a long history of glamorizing their dysfunctions, or having their dysfunctions glamorized. But at the end of the day glamorous or not, it's still there. Everyday, and much worse in winter. Depression is exhausting, and managing depression is exhausting. It's hard to see glamor in something that if I am inattentive leads to being knee deep in squalor, with no idea how I got there and a deep conviction that even if I begin to improve things, I will just fail, so why bother? To say nothing of the fact that the wolves are going to eat the sun any minute now, so even if I succeed, it won't matter.
This year the frost giants are not so bad. They stomped through a couple of weeks ago, brought on by a week of rain and finals stress. But they left again. I hate to admit it, but not being in Alaska really helps. Longer days and milder weather mean more exercise. Exercise is one of the things I can do that actually helps. Frost giants hate long walks*.
Did you notice the silly word game I'm playing -- equating mental illness with a fragment of Norse mythology? It is intentional. If I think about depression as depression -- it becomes overwhelming, and something best treated with medications I can't afford. If I frame it in terms of frost giants, it is still a threat to all I hold dear, but it's something that can be fought -- something that I am bound to fight. This helps more than I can really believe.
*Frost giants also hate clean kitchens, baking, laughter, making things, singing, made beds, and friendship. Frost giants = no earthly fun at all.