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Every October, my soul aches. And it continues to do so — more than usual that is — until March.

During this period, I’m wracked by an overwhelming bitter cold sadness and a longing for home. And by home I’m not necessarily referencing a physical place.

The rational mind would hypothesize that the longing and sadness is linked to the winter months due to the holiday season. I recall reading somewhere that the holiday season actually has one of the highest suicide rates.

But I don’t think the holidays play a role in my personal discomfort, because I’ve never been a holiday person. I barely celebrated with loved ones or made appearances at family or friend gatherings even when I was able to.

At the same time, it has everything to do with the holiday season. That unequivocal bliss, love, peace, and sense of completion from togetherness that people feel at this time of year is something I’ve never felt even in the midst of loved ones.

I believe that it’s also the finality of yet another year, and the ever looming start of another that makes me realize how much potential and time I’ve wasted, and how little time I have left to meet my own high expectations. It’s always the winter months that make me wish for more time, but time is something we can never get back.

I don’t know what it is exactly that causes me to ache all winter long. Or what it is about this time of year that intensifies my pessimism, cynicism, skepticism, procrastination and fear. All of that then loops me back around to realizing I’ve wasted even more time, which depresses me even more.

The saddest part is that I notice the vicious cycle, yet I still can’t seem to break it.

One thing I know for sure is that I’m running out of time.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

B.C. Brand is the pen name of a writer and transgender activist incarcerated in Michigan. She is the author of two collections of poetry and an upcoming collection of short stories about the Black experience.