I’m sad. With a capital S-A-D. As in Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The cynical part of me is sneering right now. “Don’t tell me you’re buying in to that disease of the day crap,” it’s saying.
My conscience is scolding me. “Get off your duff and do something productive. That’ll cure your sadness.”
My left brain is advising me. “If you’re really worried about this, investigate ways to get some light into your life.”
But my right brain seems to be winning out over all these other voices. “Go back to bed with a heating pad, blanket, and book. Take two dogs for company. Drink hot cocoa and come out in May.”
I’m tempted to scoff at SAD, but I think I’ve fallen victim to it this winter. It’s one of the darkest winters on record, and I haven’t seen the sun here in nigh on two weeks. We’ve had some amount of snow every day this week. The other day I cried half the way to work. Right now, I’m summoning up all my strength to get out of the house and go to the library, a place I usually need no encouragement to go.
Last night I was talking to a friend of mine, one of the most practical, down to earth women I know. She always amazes me with her vigor and physical strength. “I haven’t been out of my room all week,” she told me last night. “I haven’t even washed the dishes since Sunday.”
“What’s the matter?” I asked, aghast.
“It’s SAD,” she replied matter of factly. “This is the worst winter I can remember.”
“What can you do about it?” I inquired.
“Wait until spring, I guess.”
My left brain doesn’t want to accept that answer. It sends me directly to my favorite on line medical site, who concurs with my own opinion.
Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own — you may have seasonal affective disorder. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications.
Apparently you can go out and buy ultraviolet light to enjoy in the privacy of your own home. Imagine that…all it takes is money, and you can have a little sunshine any time of the day or night.
Of course, this is when I start to think about my house in Florida – the Sunshine State, right? – that’s sitting there empty and waiting for me. It’s such an obvious solution, but one that eludes me year after year. Next year, I tell myself every winter, a refrain that echoes the sentiment expressed by Jews the world over – “Next year in Jerusalem.”
It seems to be my own version of The Impossible Dream.
And that makes me sadder than anything.