This Little Light of Mine

Fall is tough for me. I’ve mentioned this before.

Everyone is giddy over crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice everything and I feel like poor Ned Stark.

winteriscoming

If hibernation were actually an option, I would totally do it.

I hate fall because I know what’s coming next. I grew up in New Hampshire, went to college in New York, and live in Massachusetts (state motto: all the snow of NH, but half the plows!). This ain’t my first rodeo and any magic the snow might have once held for me is long gone.

If you’re thinking SAD, yes, you are probably right. Self-diagnosed, granted, so take that with a grain of salt. All I know is that as the days grow colder and darker, I feel like all the energy has been drained right out of me. I don’t want to leave the house. I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t want to do anything other than sit under my fleece blanket and sleep and watch whatever channel the tv is currently on, because the remote is sooooooooooo far over there and what the heck, Judge Judy isn’t so bad, after all.

I’m kind of poking fun at this because I don’t want to come across as all doom and gloom and woe is me, but after seven winters of this (it didn’t get really bad until after I graduated college), it’s really not working for me.

Last winter was sheer misery for a whole host of reasons. I was a walking zombie because Natalie was still waking 3-4 times a night to nurse. I still had a healthy dose of postpartum hormones sloshing around inside me and making me feel ALL the feels. I hadn’t done a super job reaching out to other moms, and felt alone most of the time — because I was alone most of the time. The true low point came one morning in late February as I sat on the kitchen floor crying, sobbing over nothing at all and completely unable to stop, while Natalie watched me from her high chair with a bemused expression on her face.

The next day we bought a plane ticket for my mom to come a few weeks later and stay with me and Natalie while Will was away on a business trip. I wrote about this a little bit in one of Natalie’s letters, but didn’t feel the need to mention anything about the uncontrollable crying. In fact, browsing my archives for February and March…HOLD PLEASE…

::scroll scroll scroll::

…I did not breathe a word about how terrible I was feeling. I think I just didn’t realize how awful I felt until I was out of the metaphorical woods and I felt the actual, literal sun on my face in the springtime.

Things started to look up in late March and April. I got serious about my attendance at our workout class, started regularly hanging out with some truly wonderful mom friends and their kiddos, and, most importantly, the friggin’ snow melted. The sun came out. We changed the clocks and the daylight hours stretched into the evening, instead of ending abruptly at 4:30 p.m. when the heavy winter darkness came crashing down.

I’m working on maintaining a positive outlook about this winter, but it’s wrapped around a seed of dread that snakes nasty little roots into my every thought. Eating well and exercising regularly are essential for me, but that can only take you so far.

So I’m looking on the bright side.

Literally.

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I got this light therapy lamp last week, and it’s too soon to say whether or not it’s helping. I sit in front of it for 20-30 minutes every morning, and man, is that sucker bright.

This little light of mine?

…is not actually little at all. It’s HUGE.

Even though it’s too early for conclusive results, I can say that I really enjoy sitting in front of it. I used to have another, smaller, crappier light that was supposed to help with SAD, but all it did was give me headaches. Today is day 5 with this light, and so far, no headaches. It’s a light, not a heat lamp, but the light is bright and warm and comforting. I’ve been using my time in front of it to read blogs and relax. Lovely.

From my research and in reading customer reviews, it looks like it’ll be another couple of weeks before I see any results. I will report back and let you know how it goes. With the time change looming (noooOOOooooOOooo) I feel like I’m racing against the clock to find a solution that doesn’t involve medication. And that isn’t something I’m opposed to; I’d just prefer to start with the light therapy lamp.

Do you have any experience with SAD? Have you ever smacked someone for using the term “winter blues”?  

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