I always forget about SAD when I’m sad

Posted by Beth Cyr Kroh on

Let’s talk about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) Every year I forget. It’s a slow creep and I’m unprepared until it’s in full swing and it’s not until I totally break at the end of February that I remember “February is the worst”. And seriously, I always forget. The brain is funny like that. 

As winter starts to settle in, it’s the holidays, the New Year, things are busy and stressful and I keep plowing through until February which feels like an unavoidable black hole that sucks me in. I don’t remember why I feel so awful, only that it’s a struggle to not feel awful. And I’m not even aware of what is happening until it’s too late - until it’s so bad and I’m wondering wtf is wrong with me, why am I such a failure, maybe if I curl up in a hole I can just wait it out. I feel like an energetic dark cloud and I don’t want to be around other people and infect them with whatever plague I’ve contracted.

 

I grasp at all my usual feel good things - exercise, yoga, meditation, eating healthy, taking all the supplements - but just grasping and doing my best isn’t good enough. 

As the light starts to change I remember. Oh! It’s February. I’m not a failure, my brain just ceases to function properly and tells me I am. I start to crawl out of the black hole once I realize that I’m in it and by the next fall it’s such a distant memory I forget to prepare. It’s hard to get out of something you don’t even realize you’re in. When you’re happy and feeling fine and functional it doesn’t seem like it’s possible to end up back in that place.

 

One of these years I’ll have enough money to take the whole month off from work and take a trip to avoid the usual daily routines that become so difficult by having unusual daily activities in a new location. Taking 2 weeks off is one of the few things I’ve experienced that when I looked back I was like “oh, hey! that February didn’t suck!” Do you have things you’ve done that help you through the winter darkness?

 

I’ve set a reminder on my calendar for January 2020 so I don’t forget. 

Ps - started a new painting. It’s probably going to be titled “Don’t get sucked into the black hole” - maybe I’ll hang it in my bedroom as a reminder.

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