Do you suffer from SAD?
by JACQUES NECHQUES. Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this piece:
WHILE BACK I posted a delightful little very-short story, titled East Wind. It’s destined to become nominated for a Rashy (and win), I’m confident.
I have always loved the East Wind. Yet, I know not all Greshamites share my love of it. My Mom, for one, doesn’t like it one bit. Me, though… I love lying in bed (I've also been known to lie in bed, but that's a whole nother story) and listening to the dark, mysterious power outside. That’s why I wrote that story: to give words to my fascination with it. (That, and to win a Rashy and some other prestigious, artsy-fartsy writing award. Is there a Nobel Prize for Blog Posts? Edward R. Murrow? I have it on good authority that a Rashy is pretty-much in the bag, anyway.)
That said, I’ve recently realized that the bleakness of winter,† in the Wind, can wear on me after awhile. You know, after the holidays. Yet this February has been pretty good, weatherwise, no? But still....
HIPAA guidelines prohibit me from divulging any health issues I might have, but I will admit that I’ve occasionally suffered from depression (although not “clinical.” Rest assured, your RASH webster may be tormented by any of a number of disorders, but MDD isn't one of them—that I know of).
Moving on, I’ve (also) never been diagnosed with SAD. Maybe I’m susceptible. Yeah, I think I am.
If Seasonal Affective Disorder had an epicenter, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that spot was somewhere pretty-close to Division and Eastman. What with the gray skies, short days and dismal gloom that blankets us this time of year, if anyone is entitled to get a bit down, it’s us, right? As a native Oregonian (and lover of the aforementioned bitterness of the East Wind) I’ve always prided myself on being immune to the winter depression that seems to plague so many. But it might be that I simply try to put my best foot forward. I guess it’s a love-hate kind of thing. I love winter; I love all four seasons that we (or is it us?) Oregonians enjoy. Yet maybe I’m simply getting older and I’m losing my tolerance/affection for “nesting.”
Never has my tendency to feel the January Blues been more apparent than this year. Don’t know why. Maybe I need to up my meds.* Yet things are going quite well in my life right now: I have my loving family close-by. I am the publisher of a new, wildly-successful news website/blog (the one you’re reading right now) that has the potential to change the entire world. My toenail fungus is in check.* No cavities last time.* And although I’m not rich, I’m comfortable and content with my financial situation.
So, why so SAD this year?
One contributing factor is my weight, I’m sure. I started in on an ambitious healthy-eating and daily-exercise regimen in the fall, and it was going very, very well. Up until Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And New Years. And Kwanzaa (and I don’t even celebrate Kwanzaa). I’ve pretty-much gained back all of the 15 pounds I had lost. That said, I’m only THIS FAR from getting back up on that horse.
So anyway, the purpose of this post isn’t to lament my situation. Especially when, like I said, things are going well. Upshot: I thought I should explore the possibility that SAD might be sumpin’ I need to deal with.**
What I found is that during the winter (short, dark days), SAD people need to expose themselves to more light. I think I’m going to think about bright lights. Think about them anyway. If I could figure out how Uncle Fester did that thing with the light bulb in his mouth, I’d try that. (Well, I did try that. No luck. The bulb lit up, but I’m still depressed.)
Do you have any thoughts? (We at The RASH hope you do, ‘cuz, like, it’d be even more depressing to find out that only the thoughtless visit here.) Care to share? Let’s talk (or, at least type). Please note that yours truly reserves the right to completely tear apart your thoughtful, deep, carefully-crafted, brilliantly-written, serious email and take everything out of context, make fun of you, and basically make you look like a dufus. (But we won't use your real name.) A little laughter for the CWS goes a long way in battling SAD.
If you want to share, lemme know. I’ll send you the HIPAA forms.
† You simply MUST watch/listen to the video/song at the jump at the link: "bleakness". It's from my absolutely-favorite-of-all-time Christmas productions: Sissel with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (2007 I think). I bought the DVD after watching this production on PBS a few years ago. Now, I listen to it every year. Just a beautiful, fantastic, wonderful, amazing (insert more superlatives here) experience. The music is off-the-charts beautiful; the whole production and choreography... the Choir... the Orchestra... if you are hankering for a new Christmas tradition, I highly recommend you get this DVD. Then, sometime every December, plop your buttocks in your Barcalounger®, and enjoy. If you enjoy wonderful Christmas music, and delicious orchestration, etc., you will NOT regret this purchase. [NOTE: There are TWO versions of this production out there. The good one is OUT OF PRINT, but you can get it HERE (for a price). Do NOT get the abridged version. It's weak.]
* Dang! Did I just say that? Thank goodness I’m not an actual medical-care-provider type person. I haven’t signed any forms giving myself permission to release any medical information.
** Please note: Whenever yours truly ends a sentence with a preposition, he knows what he’s doing. Please save your grammar/spelling corrections for errors that are not on purpose. Thanks.