Tell 'Em Why You SAD, Son!!!: The angry side of seasonal affective disorder

Tell 'Em Why You SAD, Son!!!: The angry side of seasonal affective disorder

Just call me The Madd Writer.

I woke up EXTREMELY angry this morning. Not because it was back-so-soon Monday.
Not because it was dreary and rainy.
Not because I was voluntarily going into work early.
Not because of PMS (I'm still taking those calcium chews and I think they're working!).

I was angry because it was still dark when I had to get up. My anger increased because it was still dark when I finished getting dressed and made my trek to the train. I love autumn, but it just hit me this morning how much I really hate the change of seasons. To pinpoint it, I hate that it's dark when I leave for work and when I leave from work.

I understand about the Earth's tilt and why we have more darkness than light, but I think it's slowly killing me. It's all psychological, I'm sure. I know nothing has really changed between this morning, and say, a Monday morning in July. Same Earth. Same morning routine. Same commute. But I think my psyche is creepin' on a come up to its breaking point. I feel like the day has completely passed me by and it's one continuous loop of darkness.

I usually go outside for lunch because I need my midday dose of natural light and air that's not recirculated, but during these autumn/winter months it just feels like a tease. I know when I step outside at the end of the day the light will be nowhere to be found, and unlike joy, the sun will not come in the morning. At least, not on my schedule.

I've heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) before, but I took some time tonight to really read up on it and I think I'm experiencing it.

Winter-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include:

Loss of energy
Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
Social withdrawal
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
Weight gain
Difficulty concentrating


Looking at this list and thinking back over the weight I gained last year eating pasta three to four times a week, it makes so much sense now. Recognizing how I'm feeling with the change of season and knowing that this is treated as a legitimate disorder, I'm thinking about things I can do NOW, before it gets deep into the winter, to treat this and keep my spirit and energy where it needs to be.

One thing I've learned about myself this last year is that I do well when I dangle carrots in front of myself. Sometimes I need a really good incentive to do things. Food is usually my carrot of choice. Maybe some mornings I'll treat myself to a really nice breakfast. Not just grabbing a bagel at Panera, but going somewhere to sit down, get some french toast or something and read.

I thnk for me, it's going to be important to have something that I really look forward to waking up for. Every day is a blessing--a blessing just to wake up and a bonus blessing to be employed and make money doing something that I like. But, the Pisces in me seeks out adventure and ways to make life interesting and more extraordinary. Life should be about more than just being alive and working. I need a bigger carrot than that. Maybe I'll dig back out the trusty yoga DVD. At least if I wake up angry I can make an effort to get that off of me before I leave the house.

I'm thinking I may also invest in some drapes. I don't have any blinds or curtains up to my front windows now and the view is one of the things I love about my space. Having an unobstructed view of the morning was nice in the spring/summer, but maybe I need to switch it up for the winter. Play a little mind game with myself. Instead of seeing darkness outside first thing when I wake up, I'll contain myself to my own indooor world. Cut the lights on and keep it moving. I'll see what's happening outside when I walk out.

Maybe I need to be like the bird tattooed on my shoulder and fly south. One of my favorite Sandria-isms is, "The world is my office!" Just take my laptop and go.

I'm a morning person and I want to hold on to the cheery disposition I usually have during the rest of the year. I don't mind 'The Hawk' of Chicago winters; the winter coat I bought last year from Burlington has got to be the best purchase I made all year. I'm good with the cold and snow. This darnkess is a whole 'nother animal. I WILL proactively fight this! SAD is not going to get me down this year.

Filed under: health

Tags: SAD, seasonal affective disorder

Leave a comment