Most of the people I know look forward to the holidays. They love to spend time with their families, wrap gifts, flit from place to place finding that special something for everyone on their list. I'm not most people. As soon as the November time change hits my personality takes a dive. As the days grow shorter and Winter peeks out from it's lovelier sister Fall, I become a grump. And this has happened every Winter since I turned 18...possibly even before then. Although I've never been given the official diagnosis, it's safe to say I'm a victim of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. There's a short article on it here and you can find much more information on it on the internet.
Because depression affects people differently and SAD is a seasonal form of depression, I can only assume that the way SAD gets to me is not the same way it gets to everyone else. But basically once that time change hits, I have two moods. There's the apathetic "I don't want to get out of bed and do anything but sleep" mood and there's the "I hate everything in the world and just want it all to go away" mood. When I'm in the apathy mood it's very difficult to get even the simplest task done. My brain feels fuzzy like it just can't seem to grasp ordinary concepts. When I'm in the angry mood I'm at least able to get things done. Anger seems to be the more productive of the two moods. When I get into SAD season I tend to draw back further into myself. It helps my family in that I'm not snapping at them as much, and it helps me in that there's less of the hectic holiday crap for me to take in.
Now, in all honesty I have good reason to be worried right now. We've spent all of our savings account on fixing up our rental home in New Mexico, which is now pretty and sparkly and eagerly awaiting a new renter. Which we don't have yet. And if we don't get a renter in there in January we're going to have to default on that mortgage. That's really stressful. There's also that I just today found out we're going to be losing $165 a month out of our already tight budget because apparently the military gurus don't think we need as much monthly BAH as we currently have. (This has since been revised and we won't be losing any money on our BAH *huge sigh of relief*)
I get to start working on the fieldwork portion of my master's degree in January. I don't get paid for ANY of that. AND we have to pay for someone to watch our kiddos while I'm doing my fieldwork. Which means more money out of our sieve-like pockets. I have MANY reasons to be SAD right now...but I'm fighting it. Because I have three kiddos that I love more than anything else in the world and they need their mother.
Distractions such as listening to my favorite music, reading a good book, and sometimes watching a good television show can help to kick the SAD away for a bit. Unfortunately the book I picked up was The Hunger Games which is NOT a good book to read if you're fighting any kind of depression. And then I decided to catch up on Once Upon a Time and it DEFINITELY didn't help keep the SAD away. I'm just going to call it a day and curl up with one of my Anita Blake books because even though they're pretty gritty...it's always the people who deserve to get hurt that get it in those books.
(If you or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts, please get the help you need. Because there is always someone who loves you way more than you think they do.)
PS. Saw this on Curious George this morning and had to add it. "Winter. It was like a roller coaster of BLAH." Perfect description of Winter for me!