SAD

Sadness is a super important thing not to be ashamed about but to include in our lives. One of the bigger problems with sadness or depression is there’s so much shame around it. If you have it you’re a failure. You are felt as being very unattractive.

~  Mike Mills

I experience episodes of melancholy between fall and spring when the weather is overcast and rainy. I have been told that my bouts of sadness are due to low levels of vitamin D. I live in my many self-imposed caves. I dwell inside at home, at work and in my car. Because I spend so little time outside, I end up feeling like it is my own fault that I am experiencing the blues. If I only spent more time outside, if I exercised more, ate better, had a good night’s sleep more regularly, then maybe, maybe I would feel better. At times, even if I exercise, the effects are not lasting, and I will notice that even the effect of laughter wanes.

Unfortunately, knowing the cause of one’s melancholy does not always make it easier to deal with it. Knowing why we feel blue can make things worse, cause extra stress. The stress can make it hard to function, make it difficult to act or feel like oneself. It can even feel like we are to blame for our own state of misery.

Life feels even more uncertain during uncertain times.

I am not very productive when I feel down. I second-guess myself regarding the quality of my work. I find myself doing busy work, tiring myself out and feeling worse for not doing what I need to get done. I feel tired so I sleep more. But, no matter how much I sleep, I do not feel rested. When this happens, I feel like I am caught in a self-defeating cycle, like nothing I do will or can make a difference. I wish for a magical Magic 8 Ball to tell me that everything will be okay or for my future self to show up to reassure me that I will be okay. I wish for certainty more so during uncertain times and feel flustered for not being able to reassure myself of a positive outcome.

I am one of the lucky ones. I know people who suffer from depression and struggle to cope with depression every day of their lives. In my case, if I take Vitamin D or spend more time outside in the sun, I start to feel like myself again. I begin to feel my energy levels increase and find myself thinking more positively and clearly. I think to myself that I should I write myself a note for when I am experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms again; granted, I never do, but if I did, I think my note to myself would say something like this:

Dear Elizabeth,

Take your vitamins. Drink more water.
Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
Try not to think about the weather, 
the clouds will pass and so will this.

                      XOXOXO,
                          Me, Myself and I

P.S. Try not to be so hard on yourself.

For those reading this post who also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), let me know through the comments section what are some things that seem to help you get through the “winter blues”.