Monday, January 11, 2016
Dealing with SADness
Lately I've been feeling, well, a bit depressed. I finally have my sleeping schedule back to normal but now I'm oversleeping. I've been eating much better lately but I find myself famished just two hours after eating. I don't really want to leave the house or do anything. I get bored easily and my concentration is shot. My anxiety's returned after nearly a year of having virtually no anxiety. I'm crying way too easily. I mean, I am a sensitive gal and all but I don't generally cry as easily as I have lately. After seeing the "On this Day" memories on Facebook I noticed that I had very similar statuses in previous years. "I'm in need of a hug... and tea... and possibly a nap" a status from two years ago read. I could've very easily written that a year ago or even today.
Looking back, I've noticed that I do tend to feel down during this time. Actually, it usually starts around mid to late autumn and goes through late winter. The pattern is there, without a fail. The shorter months of the year end to make me feel gloomy. As soon as the days get longer and the sunshine is more abundant, I seem to bounce back. I don't think it's a mere coincidence. Simply put, I think my body is missing some vitamin D and that's what's making the SAD worse lately, especially with all the rain and how much I've been inside.
If you're wondering how this is affecting my spiritual life: the dryness wants to set in. I'd rather watch TV or do something else than pray. Do I want to feel this way? No, but it's the reality of it. When you're feeling down, you just don't want to do things like pray or even getting out of bed. It doesn't mean that I don't do it... it just takes me a bit longer than usual to get to it. I'm trying though. I went to confession for the first time in a month this weekend. I haven't missed Mass in a couple of weeks. I haven't missed my daily prayers or Rosary, even if it means I'm falling asleep as I do them.
We do get little periods of sunshine in the house throughout the day, when it's not cloudy nor rains. As an experiment to test my "lack of sun is making me feel low" theory, I'm going to try to get up just a bit earlier and head straight for the kitchen and living room, even if it's cold and my bed feels wonderfully inviting. Since the kitchen and living room have east-facing windows, I'm going to open the curtains and blinds as much as I can. When the sunlight streams in through the living room window, I'm going to have tea time picnics in that little area where the sunlight can actually hit my face. I'll have a snack and play some big band music (my happy music). When I'm ready to move onto something else -- whatever it is that I have to do -- I'll do it. In the afternoon when my west-facing bedroom gets the light, I'm going to get some reading or writing (snail mail) in. I'll once again open the curtains and blinds as much as I can and park myself on the couch (yes, I have a couch in my room) and sip some tea while I read or write. I'll do that for a while until I need to do something else.
"Wouldn't it be easier to just go outside?" Yes, it would but the mechanic is dragging his feet when it comes to fixing my car (it was supposed to be done nearly two weeks ago) and I don't live in the safest neighborhood (crime rate seems to be going up) so going out for a walk -- especially by myself -- is not the best option for me right now. When mom has her days off from work, we plan on getting out somewhere... even if we have to take public transportation.
Have I had the easiest time lately? Nope. Like I said at the beginning of the blog post, not only am I dealing with SAD but my mom's been going through a very difficult time. Despite our opposing temperaments, I'm still very close to her so what she's been going through has greatly impacted me. I really don't want to make this about me though. She's the one who is going through the worst of it, all I'm doing is being there for her because it's all I can do.
It hasn't been all bad though. There has been good news lately. After a trip to the ER on Friday night (long story short: painful stomach cramps due to something I had for dinner that night) I found out that my platelets were within normal range as were my white and red blood count. Not sure how that happened in a month's time but it's been wonderful and has helped exclude anemia (which I no longer have!) and platelets as culprits of my fatigue and general malaise.
My attempted at limited time on social media has been going okay. I've done well with just 45 minutes of Twitter and FB on my Chrome browser. I've also purposely cut back my time online by not allowing myself to charge anything during electrical peak hours. Once the laptop and iPod touch have been drained of battery life, that's it until the base hours return. I'm going to get myself a Kindle Paperwhite with the anticipated tax refund so I don't keep draining my iPod touch battery. Baby steps have been working well. The only thing is that I'm finding it harder to limit social media because of how depressed I've felt lately. However, I'm committed to kicking my social media addiction in the virtual tush so it's just something I'm going to have to learn to deal with. Again, baby steps. :D
Anyway, that's the update from Emmyland. It's been a lot of blah times but some steps forward in the addiction and health fronts. I'm sure once I figure out how to deal with the SAD (acronym is apropo, no?) symptoms, things will look a little brighter. Yes, that's the eternal optimist in me talking again. ;)
I hope y'all are doing well! :D
As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D