In retrospect, I should’ve spent the fall inhaling berries until I was nice and plump, readying myself for hibernation. The most effective way to combat gloom has been with sleep. Can’t be depressed when I’m asleep!
Danica (probably) correctly guessed that the Velcros haphazardly stuck down my doorframe once held up a magnetic screen door. As such a thing would’ve predated my roomie who has lived at this address for six years, it explains why most of the strips are long gone. Also long gone are the icicles that formed while Victoria was getting a comically large–but no longer unusual–dumping of snow last week. 36 cm of snow would’ve been manageable in Montrèal, a city with a fleet of plows in assorted sizes. But in Victoria? Most people in this fair city don’t own a snow shovel. This didn’t stop my roomie from clearing the sidewalk in front of our building. The resourceful bastard used a canoe paddle. Meanwhile, most people opted to do nothing. Absolutely nothing!
Snow days used to mean no school or work. Now that I work retail and have done so for the past fifteen years, capitalism trumps public safety. Of course, this wouldn’t have happened if not for all the desperate last-minute holiday shoppers who showed up that day. Why close if there’s still profit to be made and just enough staff can make it to work?
The reason I won’t be going to work for the next three weeks isn’t climatic: I’ve taken a leave of absence to deal with my mental health. Or, it’s so that I don’t subject others to the effects of my unravelling mental state.
Being the lone deaf person in a group setting has never been easy. During the holidays, when I was living at home, I was expected to pretend that I was thrilled to spend time with the family even though they’d exclude me from conversations. Most of my family never learned to sign. If I started complaining or acting bored, my mom would get upset because it meant I was making everyone feel uncomfortable.
Indeed I have learned that I am expected to deal with multiple people, many of whom either can’t or won’t deal with one person: me. This is a year-round problem that’s magnified during the holidays. At least during the summer, I have extracurricular activities to look forward to.
Right now, I can’t put on my usual performance of pretending to be unbothered about being excluded from group conversations. And there’s the paradox of being unapproachable while wishing people wouldn’t avoid me. I haven’t figured out the best way to cope: that’s why I’ll be starting therapy in 2023.
I’ve tried therapy in the past without much success. I am more optimistic this time around, though, because this therapist is also deaf. Having a deaf therapist means I’ll get to bypass the part where I educate the therapist about the difficulties I face as a deaf person. I am an extraordinary human who requires unconventional solutions! Perhaps a canoe paddle will be the solution to my problems?
In between all the sleeping and moping I do, there are still moments of delight. I received this adorable card in the mail today:
I don’t even mind that I got glitter on my hands from it.