(Oh, dark misery!)
I’m going to admit something to you.
When I first heard about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I may have laughed out loud. I was in college at the time and I could not imagine anything more ridiculous than a sort of depression that came and went with the months of the year. I mean, sure, NO one loves endless grey days, but it’s not something to cry about! . . . Right?
When I went on antidepressants for a brief stint after C’s birth, I was reminded of SAD when they advised me to wait until Spring before attempting to go off of them. Apparently, winter months are not a good time to wean off of these medications because of the lack of natural sunlight. Okkaaayyyy…
And, people? I am EATING MY WORDS. Because, you see, I now strongly suspect that I am one of those individuals who does suffer, to some degree, from SAD. Oh, the irony!
When the days grow ever-shorter through late November and December? I mope. I stare out the dark kitchen window when I cook dinner and– I’m not joking here– I cry. I feel lost and hopeless.
On grey, drizzly days, when everyone else talks about snuggling in blankets and eating soup, I grow pale and vacant. I don’t feel cozy– I feel trapped and depressed.
I find the endless snow and ice and slush of winter to be oppressive. I don’t actually mind the cold– some of my favorite days are bitingly cold with glaring sun in a piercing blue sky– but I can’t handle the overcast, monochrome skies.
I don’t want to be melodramatic here. I most certainly manage to function (and without medication) throughout the short days of winter. But I can’t say it doesn’t affect me. It does. A lot.
And, as I mentioned earlier, it has nothing to do with the cold. I actually prefer being chilly to being overheated. But, oh, I need light. I crave that sunshine so very much.
Just yesterday, as I suddenly saw sunlight spill in through our bay window, I tweeted excitedly:
Ooh ooh! I think that’s SUNSHINE I see!!!
— JessieLeigh (@micropreemies) February 12, 2013
It is hard for me to even express the joy that surged through my body at the sight of that light. We haven’t seen a whole lot of it lately, what with that blizzard and all. I felt energized and bubbly and… happy.
So, my friends, it with a wry smile that I tell you that, yes, I do believe I suffer from a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m going to be doing a little more research on the subject and see what I can find out about natural treatments and management. I certainly don’t think I need any funky doo-dads to cope with this, but I feel like it’s time I own up to it.
Are any of you familiar with SAD? Do you feel affected by the shifts in light and seasons like I do?