SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Sucks!

The sun is shining today and the house is filled with light.

If I were to leave you all with just those words in my post today, I have no doubt it would resonate with more than just a few of you. Those, like me, who suffer from SAD, would know immediately that it means the difference between having a good day and a bad one. A good day is when you don’t hate yourself or where you are, and find yourself dreaming of all the possibilities that still lie ahead. A bad day is when you are immobilized with self-loathing, regrets, and can’t face the future because you fear turning your back to the past in case it comes up and bites you in the ass.

That’s what winter does to me. It covers me in darkness. It isolates me. Like a child cowering under blankets in a darkened bedroom, it fills me with fear and I tremble with my guard up, awaiting the boogie man with every shadow that passes across the wall.  My past is the only compass I have to keep me from going in the wrong direction again so I dwell on it constantly; lest I let go of it for a moment and lose my way. It’s only once the sun illuminates the room and I can make out the shapes around me that I feel safe again. I don’t have to cross the threshold of the doorway. I just need to be able to see it and know it’s there if I need it.

This winter has been an especially harsh one. Unlike the others, I haven’t had a crutch to get me through it. For many years I had the sound of children and tending to their every want and need to distract me. Later, I had work, a social life, and friends to fill the void. Then came a time when I was alone, that medications and/or alcohol replaced the human contact I so desperately needed, but wasn’t getting. This is the first winter; in as far back as I can remember where I haven’t turned to others, or to some thing to ease the pain and uncertainty. I’ve refrained from picking up the phone and reaching out when the days and nights become too long. I’ve given up on medication and refuse to take it. I have little if any desire to pour a drink when reality becomes unbearable. And I’ve been unable to write because of it. To me, that has been the harshest result of all. Words have always been my voice in the darkness to remind me that although I may not be able to see my reflection, I am indeed still here. They, too, seem to be failing me as of late. No, all I’ve had is me—and frankly, I can think of better company—and the powers that be—stubbornness, strength, and hope—that miraculously still manage to push me forward.

It’s been a long winter.

Lil Girl is pregnant again. I’d intended on having her spayed after the first batch of puppies, but when the time came for the appointment I backed out at the last minute. Sadly, I admit, I did it for selfish reasons. After they all went to their new homes I missed them. I missed how busy they kept me, how much they needed me. I missed how rewarding it felt to watch them grow, learn; knowing it was as much my accomplishment as theirs. Most of all though, I missed the way they responded when I walked into the room; how each one would cuddle up to me when I would take them out of the box individually and lay on the couch with them, and the smell of that wonderful puppy breath. I did it for those reasons, but can’t deny the fact that it brings with it an added bonus in the end; the sale of the puppies. The possibility that it might provide me with enough to free me from the shackles that bind me has preoccupied my thoughts lately.

Dare I dream of a life beyond this one? I talk myself out of it all the time. Nagging worries of being too old to reinvent myself, forge ahead alone, and find love once again plague me. Doubts about my usefulness, skills, and what contribution I could make lingers in the forefront. I find myself cursing my bad judgment and the years I’ve wasted. Was it not for the promise of warm weather approaching and with it abundant sunshine, I would be a victim to these doubts forever. But the weather will warm again, the sun will shine, and the depression will lift. When it does I hope I am brave enough to do what needs to be done.

I question how much of my current life and loneliness is misfortune, and how much of it actually might be God’s way of allowing things to happen to groom me for a better one. I’ve been forced to live without close relationships, unhealthy distractions, luxuries we all take for granted, and learned to depend on myself. I have little need at this point in my life for human interaction, passion, or perfection. I’ve considered, perhaps, that my life path is intended to take me elsewhere; a new beginning in a new town, in a little hovel of my own I can fix up. Perhaps that’s where the Words are waiting for me. And if I’m not that brave, perhaps the money will at least afford me a vacation I so desperately need. Sitting on the beach in front of the ocean can make for great inspiration.

I renewed my blog again for this year, which I admit, I sometimes wonder why in light of the current circumstances. But since I have and the deed is done, I now feel somewhat forced to figure all this out and try to make it work. Because of that I may be temporarily making it private in the near future to try and make some minor adjustments to it. I’m hoping if I clean up the clutter a bit, add a little color to it, etc., it might make it more desirable for me to write. Any woman knows, it’s always easier to get over the boredom and tediousness of cleaning house if you rearrange the furniture, buy a few throw pillows, and light a couple candles to add to the ambience. I’m hoping a new theme will do just that.

I thank those of you who continue to ‘peek’ in on me to see how I’m doing, and those of you that have been brave enough to email me and ask. Your concern hasn’t gone unnoticed. And I apologize once again to those of you I haven’t looked in on and/or responded to. I’ll say it once again, misery doesn’t always love company. As soon as I’m able to pull my head out of my ass you’ll be hearing more from me. Till then…..

Love you all!

11 thoughts on “SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Sucks!

  1. Peeking in, indeed I am – and yes, to see how you are going. I am hoping you are beyond this day, well beyond.

    I have yet for Daniel to leave home and for me to NOT be distracted with raising him, or attending to his needs, his life. It will be very very different, and truly will need adjustment by me. I really feel for you in that, then, and think I can understand why Lil Girl got pregnant again!!

    Sincerely, especially since your comment the other day: I do hope you are getting on okay. It is tiresome and exhausting, but we need to keep paving a way, a life, finding a joy, for ourselves. May you find that.


    1. Your thoughts and well wishes are welcomed and appreciated. And don’t worry about me…if anything I’m a survivor. You have to be to make it to 50–as I am–in this dog eat dog world.
      Oh, enjoy the time you have at home with your boy while you can. Mine are all out of the house now–something I looked forward to–and now all I want to do is spend time with them again. ((sigh)) If only I knew then what I know now…and if only they would’ve stayed little forever.
      I hope things are going well with you, Hon. Keep the faith and let hope light your way.

  2. Popping in to say hello and remind you that you have friends out here in cyberspace who care about you and are supporting you with prayers and good wishes. It’s March now… spring IS coming! Hang in there!

  3. Sometimes we just like to wallow in the depths because we find comfort there. It’s familiar. It’s self-absorbing. Sometimes self-defeating.

    I am fortunate to have a place near me, Longwood Gardens (former DuPont Estate) in PA, that has a beautiful conservatory loaded and exploded with images of the impending spring. Colorful bulbs everywhere. The aromas are toxic perfection and clear my head and soul of winter’s grays. I promise to go there SOON and share photos with you.

    Surround yourself with color, uplifting music, read a good novel, eat some sharp cheese or watch an old episode of Golden Girls. : )

    1. Hey Ed, it’s wonderful to hear from you! I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.
      Your Longwood Gardens sounds wonderful. I’m glad you have a place close where you can go that brings a little magic back into your life when you need it. I’m sure if I were to venture out the hour it takes to get into Omaha I could probably find somewhere myself to go that would do that for me, unfortunately I’m not that motivated. It seems easier just to hole up in the country and ride out the winter months the best I can. I do read a lot, listen to a lot of spa music, and lighting a fragrant candle does wonders for my moods, so I’m getting through it okay. I got puppies coming soon, so that will give me much to smile about.
      Yes, do send some pics. I would love that! I’m always more than willing to enjoy things vicariously through another.
      I’m glad to see you’re alive and still kicking around, my friend! Ha..Ha.. I missed you. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Donna. It’s been a while since I have though, huh? I can honestly say it’s probably been about a year. The winter is just so much worse.
      I hope things are going great in your world, girl! 🙂

  4. I have a nephew who suffers from SAD. He lives in Buffalo, not a good place to have SAD, though he’s better now that he’s older. His brother who also has it is in Los Angeles and so he’s much better now. Me, I just suffer from chronic depression that’s under control at the moment, but not so far away that I don’t remember the horrible feeling that depression brings with it. I hope the light keeps shining bright for you and the depression lifts, at least for a while. A break woud be welcome, I know. You are in my prayers.

    1. Hi Hon. Thank you so much for dropping me a line.
      Oh, I’m familiar with chronic depression and know how you feel; I’ve been battling it for years. I consider myself a sufferer of the SAD disorder more than anything though, because the winter months are incredibly harsh for me, and I, at least, find the depression bearable come Spring and Summer. This year I’ve been cold turkey without meds, so my panic disorder has kicked in also. Knowing the least little trigger can set it off has been frightful.
      I’m glad you’ve been able to keep the ‘blues’ at bay, and want to thank you for your well wishes. Hopefully soon, I’ll find my wit and backbone again and get back on track. I miss all of you!

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