Funky

In case you hadn’t noticed, by my super-short and less-than-inspired posts lately, I’m pretty funky these days.  And I don’t mean funky as in "hip," I mean funky as in "if Daylight Savings doesn’t get here soon I’m going to put my head through a wall." 

Funky.

This weekend, my husband must have asked my sorry-looking self a dozen times, "what’s wrong?" until I finally gave them answer that explained it all:  "It’s February."

February has been my hardest month for as long as I can remember.  I find myself frequently curled up in a little ball on the sofa, letting my to-do list grow and grow as I try to clear my muddy thoughts.  Is it the lack of sunshine?  The post-Christmas let-down?  I don’t really know–but it’s very real.  In the days before my depression diagnosis, my February Funk was often quite serious.  I distinctly remember one February, years ago, in which I had a rare chuckle and realized that my smiling muscles were actually rusty from lack of use.  Nowadays, the funk is more of a "normal" wave of the blues.  For that, I’m thankful. 

And of course, here I have to insert the disclaimer where I admit I have nothing to complain about–I have healthy children, a happy marriage, a comfy home, etc. etc.  (That "disclaimer" is never very far behind me, always making me feel guilty for battling the Funk, which in turns make me Funkier, and on and on…)

After many years of February blues, I have managed to learn some little coping strategies:  Plan something to look forward to (this year we’re taking a little mini-vacation at the end of February).  Create something with my hands (which is always therapeutic for me, regardless of the time of year.  This year I’m working on a little dealihoo I might show you if it doesn’t turn out horribly.)  And the biggest thing? 

Remember. 

Remember God’s faithfulness.  Remember how good it feels to laugh.  Remember how much He’s blessed me.  Remember that He walks us through the wilderness sometimes so we can gain a different perspective.  Remember that springs comes, both in the weather, and in my heart. 

Next time you have some time to kill, stroll over to Bible Gateway and do a search on the word "remember", just in Psalms.  So many of those verses talk about how David coped through dark days by remembering brighter ones.  Many more of the verses remind of us God’s faithfulness to remember us, even when we can’t see Him.

A coping strategy I would not recommend is eating half a can of Pringles before lunch.  Which I did today, incidentally.  I didn’t feel particularly perky afterwards.  Just greasy.

In summary?  Psalms=good idea.  Pringles=not so much.

And so, if the tone seems a little blech around here, know that everything is fine, truly, and just bear with me.  When March comes, I turn into a pleasant person again.  Until then, you’ll find me over here on the couch, remembering.

And eating Pringles.

66 thoughts on “Funky

  1. D says:

    I’m right there with you – I, in fact, ate OVER half a can of SC&O Pringles today for lunch. I would have eaten the entire can had I not looked down & thought, “I can’t eat the whole can – what will my hubby think?!”
    Thanks for the reminder that it is not just me, and to remember Who brings the spring!

  2. Jane says:

    I know what you mean about Feb. Although for us teachers it is a crazy busy and mercifully short month. With Valentines, groundhogs, the presidents and black history month there is plenty to celebrate. I have always been so thankful for that.
    Quick question: I made the rag baby blanket from one of your previous posts. It turned out great, but I am worried that the recipeint will have to give it a haircut after each washing. How close to the seem did you cut your fingy edges?

  3. Michelle says:

    February and Funk are synonymous (did I spell that right?) By the time March comes I’m dreaming of Hawaii, or any place that’s not covered in snow.

  4. Robyn says:

    Oh I’m so glad we don’t have the winters that you endure in North America! Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for 12 mths now and its certainly made me cling to my Heavenly Father.
    I do have cravings for Pringles now though! 🙂

  5. ~liz says:

    i can relate. and the cold we’re experiencing now is keeping all of us indoors (bitter temps and babies do not a good mix make!), so my cabin fever on top of the “it’s only february blues” is making for a not-so-very-nice me these days.
    thanks for your “remeber” advice. i think i shall do that before the kiddos wake up this morning! 🙂

  6. Mom In Action says:

    I’m right there with you! Except it’s dark chocolate anything, not Pringles, that is my mood food. I just keep telling myself that dark chocolate is suppose to be good for you so even though I’m in a funk I’m actually adding years to my life with my chocolate therapy.

  7. Susan Joyce says:

    I went through a depression time years ago. The best advise I was given was set a time limit and say something like “it’s okay for me to be depressed and I’m allowing myself to be depressed for (15 minutes or 1 day or 1 week… you fill-in what ever period you’re willing to be depressed) and then stick to that time only. I was surprised how just saying this to myself would make me realize I really didn’t want to waste too much of my precious time being depressed.
    My silver hair makes me very aware of how fast time goes and how precious every moment is. I don’t remember growing older!!!

  8. Just Jana says:

    Well, I’m glad it’s not just me! I must say, I had JUST been wondering what was going on around here when I read your post. January was all wonderful, and then FEBRUARY FIRST rolled around and suddenly I was DRAGGING. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been encouraged!

  9. Aimee says:

    Amen! I call it “The Febs” and my coping mechanisms are remarkably similar to yours. Makes me feel less funky already 🙂

  10. Code Yellow Mom says:

    I don’t know…Pringles are somehow good for the soul, too. 😉
    February IS rough, especially when the lack of sun and the cold keeps not just you, but the KIDS, inside for way. too. long. I love your ideas for coping.
    March is only 22 days away!

  11. Leah in Iowa says:

    Shannon~
    I just wrote a post about this a few weeks ago, using the word “funky” and everything!! (I’m a brand new baby blogger and if I could figure out how to send you straight to the post, I would. But I don’t. It’s in the middle of my January archives.) Know that you’re not the only funky mama out there. Realizing we’re feeling a bit blah, and reaching out for the Father’s help (with a bit of chocolate perhaps) is the best medicine! March will be here before you know it. The days are already getting longer here!
    ~Leah

  12. Jan B says:

    Last year I nearly went nuts because I wanted to go to Florida so badly in February. All those ads all the time about the magic in Walt Disney World and we had six days off. I didn’t want to be trapped in the house with everyone, I wanted to GO!
    This year I have taken up painting and that is helping me a lot. I am not dying to just go somewhere and I am enjoying the winter. It’s hard to believe. A fulfilling hobby makes a huge difference for me, just getting my mind OFF the long winter.
    PS. I have buds on my maple trees and we are nearly in Canada, so Spring is not too far away.

  13. Kim says:

    I accidentally put my comment to this post on one 2 down! I’m so sorry….I scrolled down too fast,I think.
    Anyway, The Psalms is great advice for anyone! I’m sorry you are not feeling like your self. Spring is on its way,my dear! Endure!

  14. boomama says:

    This time of year IS hard. It really is. I saw buds on a tree at the post office the other day and came THISCLOSE to taking a picture, just to remind me that warmer, brighter days are ahead.
    Hang in there, friend.
    And I highly recommend the cheddar and sour cream Pringles.

  15. Kim (MercyDays) says:

    The winter takes a toll on me as well. I am usually scattered in the brain but still movin’ around and getting stuff done with some level of enthusiasm. Our move from TX to VA about 7 years ago really through me for a loop. That whole “seasonal” is so for real. Having never really dealt with true winters in Texas and having those burst of summer-like days were just enough to keep me from sinking. Actual COLD days for three whole months shouldn’t be the cause for a complete funk-down but it certainly started the spin. I read your 06′ post and it’s evident that your gift for writing has been used as a gift to many. He uses it all. Blessings.

  16. jen says:

    January is my moth for being Blahhh…..I’m glad its over. February doesn’t bother me as much….I enjoy Valentines Day and the party planning for Madison’s B-Day 3/1….and my wedding anniversary is the 26th….so I look forward to so many things….I hope you feel better soon…I good thing to look at there are only 28 days this month….chin up.

  17. Stacey says:

    Yes, Jan/Feb can be the longest hardest months around here as well! I think I may blog about this as well….
    You are not alone and we all are headed through the homestretch seeking some sun!!

  18. Tara says:

    Now that you mention it, it was Jan/Feb when I talked to my OB about PPD. I have something to look forward to at the end of this Feb, a new baby! The eviction notice is signed and dated 2/26/07, so I’m in the final countdown. Now to finish the baby laundry and the quilting project I’ve got started…
    Oh, and last night I bought a king sized Reeses AND a Hershey’s bar with brownie bits (limited edition of course). I think maybe chocolate is what I prefer to Pringles, what do you think??? 🙂

  19. ThoughtfulMom says:

    I’m with you there. February stinks. February 22nd is the worst.
    Know what helps me? Good worship music – Hillsong – Vineyard – whatever is available that glorifies my God and gets my thoughts off myself. We’ll be listening to it in the car this morning.

  20. Susie says:

    I don’t know if it helps or not, Shannon, but you and your blog posts are a bright ray of sunshine for me on all kinds of days, even Funky February days. 🙂

  21. Eva says:

    When I first encountered this blog, I sensed we had several things in common. Now that I’ve looked around a bit, I know we are kindred spirits. Thanks for giving me a cozy little hangout spot on the ole WWW.

  22. Katrina says:

    I’m right there with you, Shannon…right down to the Pringles (what IS it with those Pringles?). The gray days, the cold, the feeling of being trapped inside… it all adds up. I just told myself the other day, “Well, we’re more than a month past the shortest day of the year, so surely things will get better soon.” 🙂

  23. Jill says:

    Thank you for this. I also get funky — and not just in February — and this is a great reminder. It’s also so refreshing to read about other women who struggle with depression. That’s probably the number one comfort I get from reading people’s blogs, realizing I’m not crazy, lazy or some other word that ends in -azy. (((( hugs )))

  24. Vicountess says:

    Shannon:
    You may feel in a funk, but the Lord has used several of your blogs to encourage me lately. I blogged about it myself, but I wanted you to know personally, that even when you’re feeling “in the pit” the Lord is at work in and through you. Be encouraged in that.

  25. Christy in TN says:

    Yes, yes. I’m feeling it, too. I struggle through February every year. February seems to be more blue (gray) than usual this year. I do crave sunshine. Heck, they’ve got Oxygen Bars at the mall … why not Light Therapy Bars in the winter time??

  26. Bee says:

    Yes, it is a blah time. But *remember* that you are such a blessing to so many of us– even when you’re feeling “blah”. THAT must feel WONDERFUL! If you can’t enjoy it now (and I certainly understand not being able to enjoy something now)… make a note to enjoy it later!

  27. Rose says:

    February Funk! Yes it is real! A dear friend was told by her mother to never make life altering decisions in February. It is a difficult month for us as well. My Dad took his life in Feb. Check out some sites on Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is a sunlight ailment. It has helped me very much to know that the spring will come.

  28. Rose says:

    February Funk! Yes it is real! A dear friend was told by her mother to never make life altering decisions in February. It is a difficult month for us as well. My Dad took his life in Feb. Check out some sites on Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is a sunlight ailment. It has helped me very much to know that the spring will come.

  29. Trista says:

    I am right there with ya. I went to bed last night at 9:00, which is a big difference from my usual 2 or 3 am. I have a nasty cold with a HORRIBLE sore throat. I feel like I swallowed a ball of fire and it got stuck in my throat. Anywho!
    I too feel like February is a bad month! I don’t know what it is, it’s just not a “happy” month! Well, besides Valentine’s Day and it’s the month I met my hubby!
    Hope you get to feeling better. I just ate a big bowl of ice cream to see if it made me feel better.

  30. Robin says:

    I have to say that I started eating Lay’s Stax b/c they were on sale once and I like them now so much better than Pringles. Have no idea why, but I won’t go back.
    Also, I’m just going to enjoy the 65 degree day today and not think about the snow we’re supposed to get tomorrow! Oops. Not thinking about it, not thinking about it…
    Good thing Feb. is at least two days shorter than every other month in the year.

  31. Robin says:

    I have to say that I started eating Lay’s Stax b/c they were on sale once and I like them now so much better than Pringles. Have no idea why, but I won’t go back.
    Also, I’m just going to enjoy the 65 degree day today and not think about the snow we’re supposed to get tomorrow! Oops. Not thinking about it, not thinking about it…
    Good thing Feb. is at least two days shorter than every other month in the year.

  32. dcrmom says:

    I’ll join you in your February Funk. Unfortunately mine starts on January 15th and doesn’t end till the temperatures are consistently 60 and above.
    Feeling your pain on the couch here in Philly…

  33. Melanie says:

    Feb. is bad for me, too. Valentine’s Day has never been a huge help, although I know my husband loves me and he shows it, blah blah blah, the Depression Monster doesn’t tell you that.
    Doing something for someone else (usually outside of the family where you can’t really get a thank you or response of any kind) helps me out of my funks. This is partly how I began making and giving valentines for the nursing homes.
    And crafts + doing for others= therapy for me. Paper hearts and stickers are much cheaper than a shrink.
    :>) Thanks for the encouraging (and honest) words!

  34. Shalee says:

    Move over lady and pass the Pringles. We need a fun time around here too. Mr. Right is in a funk too, and I have to admit that I don’t know what to do with him at that time. There are times I just want to tell him to “Snap out of it!” but I know that he has no control over his chemical imbalance. So when he’s down, it gets me down too because I can’t fix it.
    But your remember advice is so apropo. I remember that I married him for better, for worse, in sickness and in health. I remember that God will not give me more than I can handle. I remember that my trying to deal with Mr. Right’s depression is nothing compared to the dealings like Kelli, Emma Grace, baby Eliot…
    May God send you several sun-filled days to help you through your funk. And some really good chocolate wouldn’t hurt either.
    Hugs to you, dear honest friend.

  35. Maggie says:

    I have renamed February Forever-buary in my mind. The shortest month but it seems the longest. I have discovered Truffle center Hershey’s kisses. Oh boy!

  36. Melissa says:

    Thanks for sharing this today… I am a newer reader, and it was nice to see I’m not the only one who suffers from the lovely bouts of depression; especially the post-Christmas-endless-dreary-winter kind.
    Thank you for the encouragement and reminder to remember God’s past faithfulness to me.
    😉

  37. Tamara Cosby says:

    I just thought you would like to know one of my coping mechanisms…eat lots of starches (my new favorite, julianed potatoes with french onion soup mix on them and baked…YUM) and corn…and noodles with tomato sauce…pringles are a great thing compared to this…and it was my lunch…I think I understand your issues…praying for you!

  38. Kathy says:

    You are a wonderful writer and I LOVE reading your stuff! I’m glad to hear there are so many other members of Club Funk out there. Three cheers for February being the shortest month of all!

  39. Antique Mommy says:

    You are the 3rd or 4th friend who has mentioned to Jan/Feb funk or the DOWF as I call it – the Dead Of Winter Funk. This year, winter has seemed longer. I think we’ve had too much indoor time lately.

  40. barbie says:

    I guess I’m not the only one feeling blue with February blah’s. Thanks for the tips on what to do and not to do. It is sooo easy to sit on the couch.

  41. Aunt Murry says:

    Lights – Lots and lots of lights. I have the same problem. I really want to be in my dark place right now but I have way too much to do. Not the least of which is going to home to Tulsa to work in my friend’s flower shop (that always makes me happy!) Anyway, I ended up purchasing one of those lamps that has the same spectrum as sun light. You see it advertised in various magazines. It helps when I remember to turn it on. I tend to be a bit of a miser and don’t like to turn on the lights. This is where I make the exception. It was worth the money cause I’m not quite so blue. Hope this helps.

  42. Jennifer, Snapshot says:

    Yes, whenever I get into a funk, I have to insert the disclaimer as well, and yes, it makes me feel even worse to be in the funk. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not the only one.
    I love that Bible Gateway idea. I will try it out.

  43. J.Fergie says:

    As usual, your post is exactly what I needed. I’m in so much of a funk that I don’t even really have the energy to write a good comment. How pathetic. Thanks Shannon 🙂

  44. elizabeth says:

    One Saturday in late winter my husband went to work. I went to the paint store. When he returned a short time later I had “painted” the dining room with a washcloth. It was yellow like a maila folder. (The next room had been red for years.) Until the day we moved, which was years later, my brain, even when blue, would shake and shimmy in my skull as I’d pass through that room. Seriously, I was brought back to life by some yellow paint. God loves the dingbats.

  45. Anita says:

    Wow! Do you have ESP or something? I was just on the phone today with hubby crying about the “funk” I was in (I used that exact word!) And this is not typical for me. I never knew about the February thing though! I was also telling myself that I need to sit down and spend some time in the Psalms “remembering.” The only differance is your Pringles were Doritos for me! I just ate almost half a bag-“Black Pepper Jack” ones! Mmmmm!
    BTW, this is my first comment, but I’m enjoying your blog so much! Especially the post “It gets easier”- so encouraging!! Thank you from a fellow Arkansan!
    Signed,
    Greasy in L.R.

  46. annette says:

    You sound like you have Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s more common than people realize and the treatment is to sit under a special light. You should look into it!

  47. Amy says:

    It is amazing as I read your post and then the comments that followed how God continues to put people in our lives that we can see Jesus through. I always think to myself, no one has ever experienced this or had such a terrible time with that, but your post was a reminder that others have been there, done that!
    Thanks for the Psalms tip! I’m going to check that out.
    God bless you!

  48. Eve says:

    “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of. -Pascal”
    JEREMAIAH 29:11-14
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and fine me when you seek me with all of your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back from captivity. I will bring you back from all the places and nations where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

  49. Overwhelmed! says:

    Yuke! My stomach is revolting at the thought of Pringles right now. I’ve eaten a whole can of those myself in the past and it was not pleasant.
    Hope your funk lifts soon!

  50. Lei says:

    “Psalms=good idea. Pringles=not so much.”
    Lol! Thanks for this… I have the Feb blues/Christmas post-let-down/funk, too. Your advice is great! Especially gettign involved in something and remembering the goo dthigns.

  51. Loni says:

    THanks for sharing your heart here. I loved the Psalms/Pringles. I’d just substitute chocolate for the pringles though! LOL!
    Thanks for being a blessing.

  52. Stacey says:

    I’ve been in a funk lately, too. I’m glad you’ve got a vacation planned to just get away. I want to see what it is you’re working on, even if you think it’s not good enough.
    Have a great day even if it’s a little funky!

  53. Mommy Dearest says:

    I am so very sorry. My mother struggled with depression when there was less daylight and sun – it really does make a difference. Obviously, just being aware of the February blahs is helping you. Enjoy your vacation and your handiwork. Prayers going up.

  54. Polly says:

    I am always down on my birthday, Feb 18. I never was able to pin point why. But now as I have gotten older I realize it’s because February stinks! I finally realized this when my husband had a business trip to Las Vegas the week after my birthday about 8 years ago. As we were driving south the black clouds (litterally) began fading and SUNSHINE warmed my face. I began talking and chatting and laughing. My husband had to (not so nicely) ask me to please be quiet. That was the best 6 days in February EVVAH! So Shannon, hop on over to Nevada and we can head south together!
    Regarding remembering to be happy: We have a friend that is THE most positive person you’ll ever meet. You’d hate her if she wasn’t so darn wonderful. He husband says she reminds him of the old Waylon Jennings song “Good Hearted Woman” because “She just talks about the good times they’ve had And all the good times to come”
    If you apply that country music philosophy to your life, it actually works. Scary that a life lesson comes from a ’70s country hit, but it does. So when I get down, I TRY to remember lovely Linda and of course, Waylon.
    Thnking of David and the Psalms might be a nice addition to my February funk too!

  55. Deena says:

    Thank you for sharing that! I struggle with February days as well…I always thought it was because we have 3 children’s birthdays within days of each other, which stresses me out every time…but I think it’s the unusually short month, not long after the holiday rush, and the dark clouds of winter…Golly, I feel better about myself now…I’ll be praying for you…So glad God used you in my life today!!

  56. Debbie says:

    I have the opposite problem – I get unbelievably depressed in JULY! I hate heat and the summers drag on and on and on for me. I grew up in Texas and spent half of the year depressed. I live up North now and love, love, love February. March gets a little old because it is soooo long and by then I’m weary of the snow. Not the cold so much, but the snow. (Hate snow, but that’s another story). Plus, I’m dreading the end of winter and the return of my least favorite seasons – spring and summer. Yes, I’m a freak, but there is such as thing as “reverse seasonal affective disorder” and I’ve got it in spades. Ahhhh, a depressing month for everyone!

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