Summers great isn’t it, the heat, the sunshine, the euphoric laughter of free spirits (as seen in every advert past February)? You’d have to be insane to dislike summer! Who the %$*> doesn’t love summer?! WHO THE %$*> INDEED?!!
As one of those rare freaks, who hates summer and dreads its unrelenting, punctual return each year, I can tell you the reaction received when I inform people of my curious disposition can lie anywhere between mild confusion and mass hysteria. Although I’ll admit the reaction itself is understandable, my inability to find the kindred spirit I so badly yearn for escapes my understanding.
The statistics, however, not only challenge the validity and basis of my surprise and frustration but smash it into tiny pieces, while reaffirming my fear that I am the minority (and could possibly be a reasonable proportion of it).
For example, studies estimate around 5% of the UK suffer from seasonal affective disorder (depression cued by seasonal changes). You may be thinking “Hear that Boiler? You’re not alone!” alas that is not the case! The majority of these cases are winter SAD (the type of SAD that can be biologically explained by a lack of vitamin D and is described on Wikipedia as the “classic” kind), only 10% of all cases worldwide are SAD caused by summer and its incidence drops the further away from the equator you get. Therefore, as I live in “sunny” old Britain, not only does my summer blues make me one of a kind, it also makes me ungrateful.
So I am fully aware that you are, by now, screaming at your computer “WHY? WHY DO YOU HATE SUMMER? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU FREAK?” well don’t worry, I shall tell you before the suspense causes you to rip out your hair.
Firstly, I hate the constant sun. As someone who doesn’t learn life lesson first time round, I usually manage to get heatstroke regularly each year which makes me lethargic, unmotivated and sucks the enjoyment out of everything (playing a gig with your band in front of six people, including staff, can easily make you depressed, but doing it with heatstroke is a completely different experience).
Don’t get me wrong, all this warm weather does have its perks. Girls enthusiastically free themselves from the shackles of suffocating layers and squeeze into short shorts and slip on summer dresses, and I look forward to this as much as they do, if not more… believe me! That is, however, the only benefit of this warm weather, and it is cancelled out by my own stubborn fashion sense confining me to a sweaty prison of skinny jeans and long sleeved t-shirts primarily consisting of more shades of black than you would believe existed.
The other main reason I despise summer is the lack of routine I experience during the holidays. I can’t stand having nothing to do for days on end (“woe is me”, right?), I waste my days, stay up late and scroll through facebook (the internet equivalent of a sensory deprivation chamber!), and then wake up late feeling tired, and emotionally flat.
Now I know you’re thinking “God, this guy is just some sort of creepy loner with no social life” and while I’ll admit I am no Robert Downy Jr, or Keith Richards, I have a reasonable portion of close friends and frequent many social circles thank you very much! I just seem to shut down socially in summer, and the main reason for my social hibernation is the self-esteem, depression, and paranoia issues I have struggled with throughout my teenage life.
Some of you may hate getting up to drag yourself to college and work five days a week but I honestly loved it because I got to enjoy the company of my close friends as well as interact with a smorgasbord of other lovely people. Although at times I found these numerous and intense social interactions stressful and tiring it was also the most fun I’ve ever had and improved my self-esteem and made me grow as a person.
Let’s be honest, the whole point of life is to enjoy the company of those you love and care about and I would go to hell and back to keep the wonderful friends I made at college in my life! SO WHY THE HELL WON’T I PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM!!
Unfortunately, it turns out that when routine and constant social interaction is swept from under my feet my paranoia and depression are set free to run riot, unmaintained by consistent reassurance of my social worth. I turn into a hermit (a pretty one without the beard though). This results in a downward spiral, I sit around just making myself more depressed and unmotivated, and therefore more socially isolated.
The final reason for my hatred of BBQ weather, despite the fact I love BBQs, is last summer was the worst of my entire life!
The truth is last summer I just seemed to “run out of steam”! I was tired of failing! I was tired of my faults! And I was tired of trying to be someone I wasn’t! It was my first summer since I had broken up with my first girlfriend and was the first summer that was stealing me from the college I loved and not the secondary school I despised. This caused the darkest and deepest depression spell I had ever been in, a depression with the smoothest sides I had ever seen and an exit so high I couldn’t be sure of its existence.
Like a man terrified of the dog that attacked him I am phobic of summer and, unlike the fore-mentioned man, cannot avoid it.
So I’ve rambled on and if you’ve had the patience to keep reading, not only do I apologise, but I commend you. I tried to keep this short but failed miserably. I want to assure you that although I feared this summer like a man on death row, I was determined to not let this one almost kill me. That is why I have promised myself to keep busy and use this time productively and one of the products of this promise is this very blog.
However, to be completely honest with you, a small part of me had actually been looking forward to this summer in a tentative, paradoxical way. I was excited (and TERRIFIED) to see if my new positive, sunny, “brush it off” attitude, formed while recovering from last years summer, could protect me from my Kryptonite. Furthermore, this is, in some way, the last summer of my Childhood, and I was looking forward to getting to see all my old friends, hanging out and having a laugh in the sun just one more time as teenagers before everything changes again. In doing this I have started breaking my classically conditioned hatred of summer and replacing it with more positive associations.
The heat already seems less scorching and less exhausting!
So far I think I might make it out of this one alive, it’s touch and go, but I’m feeling lucky!
Please contact me if you wish to discuss my views on summer, if you yourself are the kindred spirit I seek, or you have any comments or criticisms about my blog or my writing style. I’d love to hear from you
Thank you for reading
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