Since I moved to Chicago, which is quite a bit further north than anywhere else I’ve lived before, I’ve had seasonal affective disorder, a surprisingly common disorder where one is adversely affected by the winter months more than is normal. It started off being no big deal, but progressively got a little worse every year I’ve stayed here. This year I am trying my best to fight back a little harder than I have in the past.
For those who are lucky enough not to be affected this way by the changing of the seasons, whose brains have a sad every time there’s fewer than 12 hours of daylight, it mostly feels like what I imagine actual clinical depression must feel like: just sorta like your whole life isn’t quite as bright as it seemed before, and you’re not really 100% sure why most of the time. You can be prone to really irrational thought including thoughts of suicide or self-destruction, and you sometimes feel anger that is directed at absolutely nothing in particular. It’s a weird feeling and I’ve usually just sort of powered myself through it, but this year I started taking vitamin D supplements and have just recently started using a light.
Today, just when my new light was arriving in the mail, definitely felt a lot darker than yesterday did. When that happens, I always need to remember to think of all the people who genuinely care about me, and each one of them is like a hand that grabs mine, and hoists me out of the darkness for a bit. Today was one of those days where it didn’t feel like as many people as normal were pulling me up, so I fell a little, but not so far I can’t pull myself right back up again. Pull a little harder, space cadets, I think I can see just a little sunlight.
Update: While I was writing this, my upstairs neighbour got home and just the act of giving her the set of tools I’d got her for Thanksgivingkkah cheered me up a lot. Also whiskey.