I don’t know what weather you’re currently experiencing, but it’s currently 22 degrees here in the Twin Cities. We had a few inches of snow earlier this week. It’s April. And I am DONE.
I set myself up for this. I know it can snow in May here. I usually try to expect that so that I’m not disappointed when my April turns out like this. But last week it started feeling warmer, and more like spring, and I dared to hope that maybe winter was over. Alas.
But I’ve decided that even though snow in April isn’t that crazy for Minnesota, it’s still just wrong. It should not happen. I should not have to deal with it. It’s unfair.
I’ve been feeling the same way this week about the mental, emotional, and physical issues that I have. And while I’ve been trying to accept that they’re a part of my life and manage my expectations accordingly, this week all I could think about was how mad I was that they exist. They are, like snow in April, a sign of the fall. They’re not fair, they should not happen, and I shouldn't have to deal with them. I don’t want to deal with them any more than I want to deal with this snow. I’ve been feeling very broken and very tired of it, and the things that help me cope have been feeling too hard.
But I know that just like that snow will eventually melt and spring and warm weather will come, things won’t always feel as hard as they have felt this week. I don’t have the guarantee that my issues will go away like the snow will, but they won’t always feel so intense, both because intense feelings seldom last very long in general, and because I will continue to learn how to deal with them better. It may be two steps forward, one step back, but it’s still forward.
And in the meantime, I’m realizing how important is for me to remember that my life is still valuable and I am still lovable even with these issues, even when they seem to be winning, even when I’m not handling them well. Part of acceptance of depression or anxiety or codependency or ADHD or endometriosis is accepting my life and myself with them, and not acting as if my life is only worth living if they’re not there.
This isn’t to say that I need to change my perspective so that my issues suddenly seem like good things, because they’re not, and they’re hard enough to deal with without trying to gaslight myself. Rather, it’s an act of self-care to stop fighting reality, even when that reality isn’t what you want. It may be okay to feel really annoyed about the weather for a month while I’m waiting for the snow and cold to go away. But it’s hard, and hard on you, to spend your whole life feeling angry about conditions that probably won’t.
So while I'm not a fan of snow in April or my issues, and I never will be, I'm going to do my best to accept them.
This post was brought to you by these two memes (thanks, Mrs. Bartlett and Sara Hayes):