SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. A.k.a., I-told-you-winter-made-me-sick.
I was doing really well, and thinking maybe it wasn’t going to be so bad this year. Then I slammed into it like a freight-train into a mountain side. And now things are not good.
It feels like being sick. I get up and take a Vitamin D and a St. John’s Wort, and a cup of coffee with cocoa and no sugar in it. Then I feel less sick, and I operate life for a while. It wears off. I can’t bring myself to do that whole routine more than once a day. So I go back to feeling sick. No sniffles, no coughs. Just that deep-seated “ill” feeling, where you might be suffocating under the fog. It’s hard to tell, because you might not care about breathing anymore, anyway.
I sleep. I sleep and I sleep and I sleep. Do you know when I sleep the best? With the sunlight pouring into the room. When it gets to be afternoon, the sun is angled just to come in the window. When it goes down over the hill, I wake up. But I sleep at night, too, and I will sleep most of the morning, if I’m allowed to.
Everything is pointless. Work is pointless. Playing is pointless. Creating is pointless. Being around people is too much work. But if I take Vitamin D and St. John’s Wort and a cup of coffee with cocoa and no sugar, I can paste a smile on a pretend to do it anyway.
Sometimes, I count the darkness. The darkness comes in November. November, December, January, February, March–yes, March. 5 months out of twelve. It’s not just “cabin fever” because that word is not strong enough. I made it to January before I wanted to cry. It will start getting better in March.
And I catch myself thinking, “I can’t do this.” I can’t spend the rest of my life struggling 41.67% of the year with darkness. I can’t spend 41.67% of my life longing for sunlight. I can’t spend at least two whole months, 16.67% of my life, feeling seriously ill and depressed and medicating myself into existence.
The thought makes me feel kind of panic-y, because it makes feel trapped. It makes me feel like I have no choice. I can’t do this. I have to go. Go where? Go anywhere. I can’t keep slipping under the water.
I huddle. I huddle in chairs and in corners and under blankets. I hide behind screens, I hide under blankets. I don’t tell people I feel sad and miserable, because then they say “Why?” and I would say, “because it’s winter,” and then they say, “oh.” Oh, that. Oh, we all don’t like winter. Oh, it will pass. Oh, it’s not that bad. Oh, you’ll get over it. Oh, nothing I can do to help you with that. Oh, suck it up–deal with it. Oh, come on.
My ancestors came here hundreds of years ago. From all reports, they were quite depressive, too, but they stubbornly stuck it out. There’s a heavy concentration of their descendants yet. It feels shameful to run away from them all, and stupid to stay.
And when the panic-y feeling comes, I realize that a lot of it is that I don’t want to do it alone. I could go anywhere, if I had someone to go with. But to go alone. . .? Which is worse, to be all alone in the sunlight, or to with, yet alone because of the darkness? I don’t want to have to make that choice. . .