In Tough Times It’s Important to Seek Out Whatever Sources of Comfort You Can 

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I wake up from a nightmare, as I normally do, freezing and with a full bladder. It’s dark outside. There’s a storm underway. Thunder booms. Lightning crashes while I use the bathroom.

I wrap myself in more blankets as I go back to bed, trying to get warm. As dark as it is, a small part of my brain guesses it’s probably about 3 or 4 in the morning.

But that part of my brain is wrong, fooled by the storm. It’s more like 6 or 6:30. My partner’s alarm goes off before I know it. And the day begins.

I force myself out of bed. Start doing my morning routine. Bring everything to my desk so I can get to work. And as I do, I note that I feel so cold. So lonely. A little depressed to be honest. Which isn’t at all like me. Usually I’m upbeat, positive.

But the last several weeks have been trying, for a variety of reasons. And those trying weeks have been tacked onto a very trying spring and summer.

And something within me is struggling in a way that it hasn’t struggled for years.

I felt it the other night, too, when I was going to sleep. There was a heaviness sitting in my stomach that wouldn’t go away — a somatic tell of mine for depression.

I responded by reading a book I liked as a child on my Kindle. I’ve been doing that a lot more these past few weeks — rereading books I read as a kid. And they help some.

Seek Out Whatever Sources of Comfort You Can

On this dark and stormy morning, sitting at my workstation, I rise suddenly. I walk across my apartment to find my partner. This is not something I’d normally ever do, I think, as I go to him.

We’ve managed this new normal, with both of us working from home, by staying out of one another’s offices during the workday.

But I find myself walking there. “It’s cold, and I’m lonely,” I confess.

“Awww,” he says and wraps me into a tight hug, as he sits at his workstation. We chat a little about the weather. The cats.

“It’s really funny,” I say. “I seem to have sources of comfort. Physical warmth, sunlight, food, and hugs.” It’s a cold rainy morning, and I’m on a diet. “So when I’m low on the first three,” I continue, “I’m lonely, and I need hugs.”

He laughs. Hugs me. “Poor thing,” he says. “We’re into the wet season it would seem.”

And as I walk back to my workstation, trying to get my mind into a state where I can get some serious writing done, I remind myself that in tough times it’s important to seek out whatever sources of comfort you can.

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