I know there are many people who love winter. Skiing, snowboarding, skating and trucking through the woods sporting snow shoes. I do love taking my dog for a walk when I can snuggle up and there is a soft snowfall. I like snow for Christmas. But come Jan…I am done! I live in a Province where we only have 2 seasons. Summer and Winter and winter is the dominant season. I think we had about 3 days of spring. We had a frost warning then within a week people were at the beach. The saying is: “if you do not like the winter…just wait a moment.”
I am one of those people that is very much affected by the weather. I remember the first time I went away to write. The cabin had 3 walls of windows. The bedroom had a skylight. The first morning it was brilliant with sunshine. I think I wrote for 11 hours. I was so up! And for someone who has struggled with low energy…I had plenty of it. Having light can make all the difference in how I feel.
So winter is not my happy time. Hubby always says that Dec 21 is my favorite day of winter because after daylight saving’s time the days get longer. Having it get dark at 5:00 PM does not make me a happy camper! Even though it can be snowing though there can still be sunlight. It is not the cold that does it to me. It is all about the light. Where I live now has small windows and I hate it. We are planning on moving in the Spring and my criteria for a new place to live is first and foremost lots of windows.
It is the rain that does me in. The dark and the dreary. When I have to come downstairs in the morning and turn the big light on in the living room. I tried one of those lights that people with SAD use but it had no effect on me. The directions stated that the closer it was the you the more effective it would be. I had my nose pressed up against it but no luck. I honestly have no idea why because my symptoms are exactly the same as for someone who suffers from SAD.
I try so hard. I do everything in my power to bring up my mood on the rainy days but rarely does anything improve. Now here is the part that is going to seem ridiculous. During the day I want it bright. During the night I want it dark. So as long as it is evening and supposed to be dark out (I think my cut off time is about 8:00 PM) I will turn off the lights and watch television in the dark. But if it is dark during the day…I am lucky to get off my butt to shower.
I can even go the opposite way. If I am running on even a slight high and it is a beautiful warm sunny day I can hop into mania. So really I have to be careful. But the mania only happens occasionally…the feeling like crap is pretty consistent. Hubby is lucky if he even gets a meal on rainy days. I do not necessarily have to sink into a depression. I just feel like the ghost of Morley that visits Scrooge. Covered and dragged down with heavy chains. I am not flying into the dramatics when I say I can feel like I weigh more because it is so difficult to move myself.
I cannot imagine people who live up North and half of their year is spent in the dark. Either you will find no one with depression or you will find an influx of it. I can say in honesty that I would not be functional. I would have myself buried in a state of depression that I would not be able to recover from. It would just keep on going as long as the dark followed me which would be months. I cannot imagine with the way I am that there could be a worse way to live.
The best I can do is save special projects. I love redoing old furniture. There are also different crafts I do. I will pick something I really enjoy and do that on the dark days. I cannot even write because my mood will carry into my words. I have tried writing during a time of depression and it did not go well at all! Usually when Fall hits (the week or 2 of it) I am usually deciding what project I am going to take on. This year it is redoing my bedroom set. As long as I have something to focus on I am much better. Physically having to move is important for me. If I am doing something sitting at my laptop I will not do well.
Funny thing is as much as I try to make myself move….I have absolutely no desire to direct my energy into housework. I am pushing myself to move so trying to make myself do something that I do not enjoy is just going to be a waste. It really does have to be something that can motivate me. Especially like my painting. I am working towards an end result and the anticipation can push me. I want to see how it is going to look. There is something that drives me. There has to be something external because I cannot count on my own strong will.
I cannot change it. I can try everything in the book but I never expect that I am going to wake up on a miserable day and bounce out of bed. I will be dragging my ass. What I can do is do what I can to help me get through the day. Unfortunately sometimes the day can spread into days. I stay on task. I know on these days I am going to need to nap and I accept that. I know my energy runs on extra low during those days. Even if I am on the go, I am pushing myself with all my might. I mean I can do it. But boy do I crash when I get home!
I have learned that I always have to have some sort of project going. Even if it is to clean the closets (that is not dusting or washing floors). I still have something. If I just leave myself with no direction on days like these I am going to run into a problem. If I leave it unchecked for a few days I can get knocked right on my butt. I am sure I am not the only person who does whatever is necessary to avoid such a thing.
My glorious summer is drawing to a close. I will miss it terribly! I always say I can go outside and be sitting in the sun and I can feel my body sucking it in. Like a dried up sponge. I know the months ahead will be more difficult for me and my mental health. So I try to be pro-active. Hubby is not a fan of my coping mechanisms because I drag him into them. I am not going to let him sit there and watch me paint. He has to join in on the fun. I figure by the end of the month I will have to purchase my paint. Hubby hold his breath for the months following Christmas. That is mega project time! This is when I decide to build a piece of furniture where I have no idea what I am doing. I will say this. Requiring a project to keep myself has been a great learning experience. I have learned all kinds of new things. He is just happy we rent. Cause if we owned…it would be a yearly event to paint the house!