Day after day the past few months, this has been the scene outside my office window. One word: GREY!
Seasonal affective disorder… it’s real. I remember the first time I was able to identify it. I was in my early 20′s and I realized that every year like clockwork I started to feel down in late January/early February. And that down feeling usually stayed with me through March and sometimes April. I had no identifiable reason for feeling down… nothing major, anyway. I had always been a very happy person. So, back then, I did a little research to try to figure out why I felt that way and discovered seasonal affective disorder. Since then, I’ve tried to be aware of it and be proactive, and I can usually fend off most of the blues.
Unfortunately, it hit me again this year. It descended upon me in January and nothing I did made a difference. One particularly gloomy weekend, I went shopping- I love shopping- but all I could see were the extra 10 pounds I’ve packed on in the past couple of months, and suddenly I was sitting in the dressing room at Macy’s sobbing. “Why am I so fat/ugly/worthless?” Do you see how it spirals? And it was all in my mind. I had lost touch with reality. Reality is: I am not fat. Have I put on some weight? Yes. Would I like to be thinner? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No. But in that dressing room that weekend, it certainly felt that way.
For the rest of that weekend, I was in a downward spiral of self pity. All of my positive self-talk could not bring me back to reality. I was hypersensitive to anything Jon said- poor guy. Every comment he made felt like an attack. I felt like the worst wife on the face of the planet. I felt stupid. I felt selfish. I felt inadequate. I felt ugly. I felt hopeless. To put it simply, I was depressed.
I kept telling myself that I could shake it. I recited all of my positive mantras that usually pulled me out of such moments. It didn’t work. My mind was too far gone. One particularly out of control moment that weekend found me lounging on the couch in the dark, drowning in my own negativity. Jon came in, turned on the light and told me to sit up. He said it wasn’t healthy to sit around in the dark being depressed. I lost it. I started crying. I told him not to tell me what to do. My reaction was an overreaction and he didn’t know what to do- so he walked out of the room, which sent me into silent hysterics. I had lost my mind.
Bless his heart, Jon is an extremely caring and patient person. That is why I know he will make an excellent nurse when he finishes school. He saw me floundering and did some research to help me combat the blues. A few days later, he came home with B Complex and D3. I’ve been taking those vitamins every day since late January and what a difference it has made. I call the two super vitamins sunshine in a bottle, and I tell anyone who will listen about them.
So take that Indiana winter (and most of Spring). I’ve found the cure to your relentless grey haze, though, I still can’t help looking forward to blue skies, green grass, and the puppies playing in the back yard.