Saturday, November 12, 2016

Varjoja odotellessa / Waiting for the shadows

Heräsin varhain keskiviikkoaamuna siihen, että Chris ei ollut tullut nukkumaan lainkaan. Laahustin olohuoneeseen, jossa mies istui sohvalla ja tuijotti telkkaria katse lasittuneena. Ei minun tarvinnut mitään kysyä, mutta kysyin kuitenkin. Floridan äänet oli julkistettu hetkeä aiemmin, joten se siitä sitten. Jokseenkin koko päivän tarvoin Helsingin lumisilla kaduilla, kuin epämääräisessä sumussa. Pakotin itseni olemaan liikkeessä, koska se tuntui auttavan edes vähän.

Jo viikkoja olen odottanut vuotuisen kaamosmasennuksen saapumista. Herään kyllä aamuisin väsyneenä, mikään unimäärä ei helpota. On vaikeaa löytää motivaatiota oikein mihinkään. Keskiviikkona ajattelin, että nyt jysähtää, että olenpa ollut typerä kun olen antanut itselleni luvan toivoa, että tänä syksynä en masennu, kunhan vähän nuokun vain. Valmistauduin henkisesti vaalianalyysejä lukiessani: antaa tulla vain, kyllä mä jotenkin kestän. Mutta tänäänkin, tässä olen ja odottelen. Pimeys ei ole laskeutunut vieläkään. Pärjään ihan hyvin. Kestää aikansa, että pääsen aamuisin sängystä ylös ja saatanpa olla vihainen maailmallekin, mutta epätoivon tunne ei vie mukanaan. Olen ihan ookoo, ja siitä tavattoman kiitollinen. 

On ollut kylmää ja lumista. Eilen kävelimme Chrisin kanssa pitkän lenkin harvinaisessa marraskuun pakkasenpuremassa auringonpaisteessa. Ihan kuin olisi ollut tammikuun loppu tai helmikuun alku. Lumi narskui kenkiemme alla.

It's been cold and snowy here. Yesterday Chris and I walked a lot. It was a rare, beautiful, crisp and sunny November day that felt more like late January or early February, with the snow crunching under our feet and all.

I woke up on Wednesday morning when it was still dark, to the sudden realization that Chris hadn't come to bed at all. Startled, I staggered into the living room, almost half asleep, and saw Chris sitting on the sofa, staring at the TV with a desperate, glazed look in his eyes. I didn't even have to ask, but did anyway. Florida had been called not too long ago, so that was the end of that. I spent most of the day in an incoherent haze, walking through the snowy streets of Helsinki, forcing myself to be on the move. Motion seemed to help a little.

For weeks I have been expecting my seasonal affective disorder to set in. For some time now, I have woken up tired every morning, feeling like no amount of sleep helps. I have had to really push myself to do something, or anything. On Wednesday, after the election results came in, I blamed myself for having been so stupid: I had thought that perhaps I could avoid it all this year, that I'd just feel a little off for a few months. "But now, there's no way," I thought, "so bring it on, I can get through it somehow." And yet, here I am today, still waiting. The darkness hasn't swept me up. I'm getting by. It might take me longer to get out of bed in the mornings than usual, and I might be angry at the world, but none of it feels overwhelming. I am okay, and for that, thankful.


  1. Tiia, all I can say, on behalf of my country, is how sorry I am. Another blog post I read this morning stated very bluntly, "Running away won’t save you; there’s nowhere on the planet that won’t feel the effects of what is about to come." I ache not just for my fellow citizens, who are already being victimized by hate crimes as a direct result of this election's outcome, but for the most vulnerable people in our world right now whose suffering will not be alleviated in the years to come. I have made some painful realizations about myself and my own privilege in the last few days, which have me feeling intense shame on top of my own selfish grief and fear. I am writing this not just for you, but for any non-American who is baffled by my country right now. Believe me, we are too. My facebook feed is a churning mess of all the various stages of grief - we are reeling. The thing I have had the strength to do, and what gives me purpose this week, is reach out and connect with people who lift me up - including you, who I don't even really know but feel a kinship with. If you find my post too inflammatory and want to avoid any conflict on your page (I myself have no desire for any back-and-forth arguments in any comment thread ever), I absolutely respect your choice to not publish it, I just wanted you to know how I feel.

    1. Dear Robin, I am so sorry, too, for your country and for the world. It's not just president-elect Rump (that's what I now call him; Chris came up with the name), but it's a larger phenomenon that includes Brexit, Marine Le Pen in France, press that is no longer free in Hungary, and also the current right-wing government in Finland that's cutting from education and care for the elderly, while pouring money into a mine business that's been failing for years. It's a scary, ugly world we live in right now. I am having trouble dealing with my anger (all of those election analysis pieces that say that liberals who live in a bubble should just look in the mirror because it's all our fault - god they make me angry!), but I can't help but think that things will get better. They might get a whole lot worse before they get better, but things will get better with time. They have to. And in the meantime, we need to stick together and defend those who are less fortunate than we are, and we need to believe that there's a better world out there. It will take a whole lot of hard work to get there, but I hope and believe that it will be worth it. <3

    2. Thanks for your response!