there has been a lot of chatter lately about the depressing state of the weather in these parts. in fact, it has been noted that the Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a fairly mild (cool) summer with lots of rain. there is a small handful of people in the are who welcome this forecast, and then there are those who were looking forward to a nice hot summer.
and then perhaps there are those of us who suffer through winter just to get to summer and do not want to accept a cooler than normal summer because it is DEPRESSING.
i talk a lot about how i’ve become a lover of all things SUMMER. i love the heat, the sun, the swimming, the outside time with my family. i always used to look so forward to the autumn and then the holidays and never thought twice about how long a winter could possibly last. until recently…
since moving up here, winter has become the enemy. i know that sounds so dramatic. i don’t know how to put it any other way. because it really feels like an enemy. i don’t like to be reclusive. i don’t like to be stuck inside. and i don’t like to be cold. i don’t like to be cranky to my kids and my husband. i love to feel alive and busy and social and active and productive. but that is nearly impossible in the winter months.
winter has become that nagging “thing” that you try to keep in the back of your thoughts, and ignore it and try not to count down the days when you have to deal with it again. i don’t want to think of winter, but i can’t help but dread it more with a forecast of a cooler-than-normal summer. i need a good, hot summer in order to prepare for the upcoming harsh winter. and when this past winter still feels as though it’s hanging on (in the middle of MAY), i want to go back to bed by 9:00 a.m.
i looked up “Seasonal Affective Disorder” just for kicks and thought i’d outline it here, for those of you who think i’m just whining too much about the cold spring and possible summer we are about to have:
- Afternoon slumps with decreased energy and concentration
- Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more typical of other forms of depression)
- Increased sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness (problems sleeping are more typical of other forms of depression)
- Lack of energy and loss of interest in work or other activities
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
- Social withdrawal
- Unhappiness and irritability
if I’m going to be honest, i will admit that i’ve had 100% of these symptoms for the past 6 months. the weight gain included and ask my husband…definitely the “unhappiness and irritability.” the afternoon slumps saw me retreating to a hot shower until the hot water ran out, or standing near our fireplace for warmth, staring out the window and not talking. that makes for a really fun mom, doesn’t it?
i think i’ve lost friends over this. i don’t return emails, phone calls, stop making social plans in the winter. i don’t want to be “outside” so why plan an outing?
the weight-gain has been the most depressing and embarassing. i don’t want to admit that i over-eat (pure carbs, not veggies) and don’t exercise in the winter. i don’t want to own up to the tightening waist on my jeans. i just wear sweats with elastic waists and promise to start the elliptical in the spring. and eat another christmas cookie to make me feel better.
there is no medicine for SAD (not that i’d go that route any way). it’s something that you just have to deal with and treat naturally. unfortunately, it has that stigma that people attach to things like fibromyalgia (the “its all in your head” disease). but it’s real. even if it is in your head (SAD, not fibro) it still affects you.
so please let me complain about the weather because it’s affecting me worse than it’s affecting you. understand that depression in some is hard to kick, especially with never-ending days of cool temps and rain. i’m thankful that i was aware of this all winter long, and actively tried to get out of it. but it wasn’t easy.
in the meantime, just pray for a good hot summer, okay?