Every winter, like clockwork, I. get. sad.
Like really sad.
It’s most difficult at night or on overcast days. Last winter, it was so bad, I started attending counseling. And I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t understand why it was impossible to feel motivated, why I felt like curling up in a ball and crying in the evening hours, why all I wanted to do was eat or sleep, why I gained weight so quickly. I didn’t understand it, at all.
Until one day last February, when I woke up to the sun shining and the birds tweeting and an unseasonably warm winter day and I had the best day I’d had in months. I was singing in the shower. I was smiling at strangers. I felt like I had energy zinging from my fingertips and the ends of my hair.
It was like someone had flipped a light switch.
And when other people comment on the change in me, I knew there was a connection.
I feel a little like a mad scientist somewhere is screaming, THROW THE SWITCH, IGOR! THROW THE SWITCH!
Like any other kind of depression, seasonal affective disorder stems mainly from things outside of my control. I can’t send the heavy Ohio clouds away or keep the sun from going down by 5 pm all winter. Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in a fog or weighed down by a heavy load of bricks. For someone like me who is constantly moving and doing, this lack of motivation is confusing and frustrating and disempowering.
This year, I’m trying to be more proactive about my SAD. I may not have control over the weather or the sun. But I do have some measure of control and I am determined to find it. More on that, next post.
Anyone else suffer from seasonal depression? How do you take care of yourself?