#1054: The Darkest Winter

RECORD STORE TALES #1054: The Darkest Winter

I think I’m going to go ahead and declare winter “over”.  In Canada that can be a rather meaningless gesture, but I’m going to do it anyway.  So let’s talk about mental health during the winter of 2022-23.

Winter started mild.  Most importantly though, I had this plan, see….

Well you know what they say about plans.

It was a simple plan, and it did work for the first part of the winter.  Because I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, winter can be the most difficult time of year for me.  Winter in Canada can be unpleasant.  Dark, wet, cold, often all three at once.  The nights are long.  The days are spent in an office.  When I arrived at work, it was still dark.  When I left for home, it was already dark.  This takes its toll.  So what was the plan, then?  The plan was to try and see winter through new eyes.  My good friend the California Girl has never experienced winter.  I thought it would be fun to share images and videos of things she doesn’t see every day, like giant icicles, road salt, snowbanks and all the rest of it.  For a time, it worked.  The novelty of it was really fun.  Some of these snowbanks were mountains!  Her reactions were entertaining (especially to the idea of road salt).  However, as the months dragged it, this wore itself out on me.  Every day seemed like a repeat of the last.  The snow lingered and lingered on, accumulating and dominating the images.

Things started to go to hell.  Everyone in my family except my dad has had Covid, including my 98 year old grandmother.

Oh, my grandmother.

She took ill early this year.  We thought was was gone, twice.  I wrote her eulogy!  I came home from work early and wrote a eulogy…and she keeps hanging on.  I have grieved her twice this year already!  But she is currently doing well.

My sister has been sick, my mom has been sick, my dad is feeling the years take their toll on his body.

I’ve been sick twice, once with stomach ailments and once with Covid.  Same with Jen, but she’s had a much longer dance with Lady ‘Rona.  The isolation also takes its toll.

I would say I fell apart a couple times this winter.  Two people thought I should see a psychiatrist and get put on happy pills.  I have tried happy pills before and they do not work for me.  They wreak havoc on my stomach and I prefer to do this without prescriptions.  California Girl expressed her concern that I had fallen into a depression, and I agreed with her.

But then things started to change.  The clocks went forward, giving more daylight during the leisure hours.  The snow started to finally melt.  The birds are returning.  And soon the snow tires will be off!  And that can only mean one thing.  Cottage season!

I’m starting to feel like myself again.

This has been without a doubt the most brutal winter since the winter of cancer, 2018.  Did you know it was actually the darkest winter in Ontario in 80 years?  That means it was the darkest winter most of us have ever experienced.

Winter took its toll, did its damage, but I won.  I am still standing and it is gone.

I won.





  1. What a shit few months. I’m glad things are looking up personally and in terms of the weather. Makes me feel a little bad for enjoying the winter way more than the summer. Although our summers are much more punishing than the Canadian ones, and your winters are more brutal than ours.

    Also a little amazed CG had never heard of road salt. That’s funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well she clarified on Friday – she’d heard of it but never really seen the trucks going up and down like we have here on a daily basis. Also, she thought you could eat it ;)


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