After a couple of seriously shitty weeks, I went back to my doctor for a check up yesterday. It was time for the regular check in, getting bloods done again etc. and she knows me well enough now to know when something isn’t right. While we chattered away I mumbled away about how shitty the last couple of weeks had been and she remarked that this particular low that I was having was pretty standard for me at this time of year.
I must have looked at her like she was speaking another language, because she sat down and started explaining. She said that while my perception of my mental health was accurate, and my fears of how my genetic code contributes to my health was completely normal – this time of year, this weather – is always a trigger for me. She suggested that perhaps this year was worse than before because there had been so much upheaval and change, but that ultimately, looking through my file showed a definite pattern in low mood and increased anxiety over winter.
I thought I was pretty self aware of what the patterns were, but I never really thought that it might be something to do with the weather. It was like being in a cartoon for a minute there, you know, those light bulb moments that the cartoon characters have. Not an idea so much, but a realisation. She was right. Winter is not very good for me. I really enjoy the odd dreary day, curled up drinking tea and reading an amazing book. But winter seems to last so long now that I am older. The cold seems colder, seeping into my old bones so that no matter how long the shower is I cant quite get properly warm. And night time… the darkness last so long. Being an insomniac doesn’t help there, and I have these crazy teenagers that are such incredible sleepers and once they go to bed, it can sometimes be a long lonely night.
We decided to monitor the situation and see how things go. I’ll admit, I was somewhat relieved to know that this is something of a pattern for me – because I have made it through 33 winters nearly, so I am pretty sure I can make it through this one too. Winter is not going to last much longer, soon it will be spring time and being outside will be more appealing. I am going to hang in there and wait it out. I am not sure if its always this way but I am looking forward to the sunshine.
I had heard of SAD before but I honestly thought it was a myth, something that people said to explain away the winter doldrums. How do you cope with winter?
Stalking the sun…