Seasonal affective disorder has hit hard this year. Despite the aptly named S.A.D. light I’ve been eyebrow-deep in doldrums.
Having battled depression and anxiety in the past I can say the past weeks feel both familiar and different.
The glumness is just as I recall it: a cement straitjacket that impedes my ability to move, let alone achieve much. What’s new, and worrisome, is that I’m having a devil of a time talking myself down from it.
In years past I got through the season – heck, through my life – thanks to the sheer number of Things That Must Be Done. Should those things not have gotten done I would have been letting someone down: my child, my then-husband, my employer, my friends.
Or I’d do what I privately think of as a Full Pollyanna and create my own personal glad game. Just look at what I’ve got going for me: a daughter I love, health (mostly), family, friends, a job I love (mostly), a roof over my head, plenty to eat, etc. etc.
Generally that worked, either because it made me realize how lucky I was or because it embarrassed me off the self-pity path. Hasn’t worked lately, even though I can add astounding midlife love to the plus side of the ledger.
In fact, it’s made me feel worse. To be clear: I’m fully aware of how blessed I am. It’s just that sometimes none of those blessings can get through the fog. As Sinclair Lewis put it, “It has not yet been recorded that any human being has gained a very large or permanent contentment from meditation upon the fact that he is better off than others.”