Wednesday, 11 November 2009


As you may know, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. People don't really tend to take this very seriously, I've found. After all, doesn't everyone get a bit down in winter? Well, yes, probably in our country most people do, but what I get is actual SAD, real dperession, which I struggle with most winters.

And this winter, it's set in very early due to the dull weather and being unable to get out of the house very little the last few weeks due to illness in our house. Winston Churchill wrote about his depression as being a 'black dog', but I find mine to be more of dull grey fog which settles over me and muffles everything. I find I lose my creativity and inspiration which also has a knock-on effect of its own on my mood. I feel exhausted all the time but when I go to bed I can't sleep for ages. Then in the morning I can't wake up and feel really sluggish. That's if I'm lucky enough to get a full night's sleep at the moment. I find that getting enough sleep and in a regular pattern can really help the SAD, but my son seems determined to deprive me of this right now, thus making everything much worse.

Another reason for the early onset this year is that my son has finally been cutting down on the breastfeeding - I'm losing out on all that lovely, mood-enhancing oxytocin from those long early morning feeds we used to have. And my body doesn't seem very good at producing mood-enhancing chemicals on its own.

I find myself craving all the things which I know from previous experience actually makes the SAD worse - chocolate, sugary and stodgy foods, staying in bed in the morning for hours given half a chance, giving up trying to achieve anything. I know that regular bed time and getting up time, enough sleep, good food, chocolate only in moderation actually help, but I can't help but think 'oh who cares? I can't be bothered'. It all seems such an effort.

Every day I drag myself out of bed and force myself to do all the things I should be doing - cooking, shopping, studying, allotment - all the jobs to keep the house running well but my heart just isn't in it right now. It just all feels dull and grey and thankless and without end or satisfaction. I can't manage to write.

I should probably dig out my sunshine lamp, which I haven't need the last few years due to breastfeeding hormones and getting out in the daylight during the day a lot more - but I can't be bothered. I'm falling into fiction again to escape the nothingness of my own brain, but I'm not sure this is quite the healthiest thing either - living vicariously on other people's vividness and then feeling my own life to be colourless in comparison. I tried to summon up a bit of enthusiasm for my birthday, coming up soon, but making actual arrangements for doing anything remotely enjoyable just seems so difficult that it seems easier to let it go by, even though I would actually like to mark it somehow.

I'm hoping for a sunny day soon to lift this feeling before it sets in for the whole winter. I don't want to feel like this any more. I'm sick of making the effort to carry on as usual. If anyone can send me some sunshiney thoughts, I'd appreciate it. I'm struggling.


bethnoir said...

I send you -beacon, blaze, brightness, brilliance, brilliancy, bulb, candle, coruscation, effulgence, emanation, flare, flash, fulgor, glare, gleam, glimmer, glint, glitter, glow, illumination, incandescence, lambency, luminosity, luster, morn, morning, phosphorescence, radiance, ray, refulgence, scintillation, sheen, shine, sparkle, splendor, sun, sunbeam, sunrise, sunshine- get that lamp out and feel better soon xx

Mummy Zen said...

It's often the last thing you feel like doing but exercise can really lift your mood, even a vigorous walk on a dull cold day (if you wrap up warm). A nice long soak in the bath before bed might help relax you so you sleep better. Dinner or even just a drink and a good chat with a friend whilst your little one's at home with Dad can also be good to cheer you up.

Sending you bright light in every form!

Gina said...

Sending the brightest blessings to you Liz

Love Gina xxxx

Carolyn said...

I read somewhere about embracing melancholy but I don't really think that applies to SAD. I have been suffering really badly too, hence no blog post for over a week, but yesterday we got out for a 9 mile horse ride (me on my bike) and did some foraging for damsons and wood and manure and stuff and felt so much better for it!!
Get out there and do stuff is the best way to combat SAD I think, although so much easier said than done.
Sending you hugs and smiles,
Carolyn xx

Missy 'Lou' said...

Go dig out those sun lamps.

do some vigorous exercise.

even it you don't want to.............just do it.

Laura said...

hope the lamp is helping. sending you brightest blessings.