Saturday, October 17, 2009

rows of houses bearing down

Is there such as thing as late onset Seasonal Affective Disorder?

I have always loved cloudy days and have even gone so far as to alienate myself from most of the population of this city by complaining that it is too sunny here. Lately though, I find myself having to retract those words.

Maybe it's because I don't need to drive as much as I used to this winter, so I am not spending several hours of the day with the sun directly in my eyes, attempting to control a 2000 kg urban assault vehicle by prayer alone. Maybe it's because this house looks better in the sunlight. Maybe it's just because of my forced inactivity during my eyeball convalescence, which has pretty much turned me into a slug.

But whatever the cue, lately I find my energy and motivation popping up and down like a Whack-a-Mole on speed. The sun peaks through the clouds - oh I'm going to vacuum, exercise, go shopping, clean the bathroom, write that article, do the filing. A minute and a half later, the sun ducks back behind perpetual autumn cloud cover, and it's oh no I'm just going to sit here, whatever was I thinking.

I am not unhappy or anything, just lazy. Of course it does not help in the slightest when friends send me monster awesome parcels that make me just want to curl up all weekend and explore my new goodies. No, this does not help in the least. You are an enabler.

Do you ever get SAD?
How do you keep your energy levels up in the winter?
(and don't tell me to go skiing)

17 comments:

kelly said...

I'm aware of a number of wet coast people that experience SAD. As your daughter will soon tell you we can go weeks without seeing the sun. One really notices a sunny day, when people seem to step a bit livelier and are more cheerful. I don't think I have been affected, maybe because I do get out a lot with jakethejerkdog. I know pharmacies sell SAD lights which have been shown to help people deal with it. What you need is a mid winter trip to Hawaii, say from November to March?

Jas Bhambra said...

I like cloudy weather but not more than a couple of days, then I start getting depressed and unmotivated to do anything at all. The sun drives me! Out here past few days we got to see sun, otherwise it had been days of rainy, cloudy, dreary weather...makes me miss the sunny Calgary...I won't mind the snow!
Maybe I should jut come back!

How are the eyes doing post surgery, I hope you are taking good care.

John Mutford said...

I'm sure I come close a clinical diagnosis of SAD every year-- odd since I choose to live north of 60 where it's darker and for longer.

Charlie said...

Clouds do not exist here in the desert--I'm so sick of the sun I could puk . . .

And I'd rather look like Brian Wilson than Keith Ricards.

leazwell said...

We are all in a torpor here from a stretch of cold, cloudy, rainy days. Waiting for the lift.

Wandering Coyote said...

What do you mean by "late onset" SAD? This is exactly the time of year this starts happening to people who get SAD. The days are shortening, the weather is changing, and anthropologically, this is the time of year when we start storing our energy, calories, & reserves for winter time. This is the time of year when nature starts to shut down for the winter, too. I have to go and see about a light box/SAD lamp next week at the doctor's actually. Have you thought of getting one?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

November to March in Hawaii sounds just about perfect to me, Kelly. Then when I get back I will only have 3 more months of winter to deal with. Can I count on you to sell this idea to my Spousal Unit?

You don't mind then snow when you are halfway across the country from it, Jas. But you should come back!
Eyes are doing fine. Mending like crazy, thanks.

I think that is why you read so much, John, so you don't notice the dark. Of course having an adorable family can't hurt either.

It's usually very sunny here as well, Charlie, but I suspect we have nothing on your area.
Good point on the rock star tendencies! Mind you some people like to look like cockroaches...

We haven't had the rain, Leazwell. Mind you I would find that preferable to the snow we had. You only have to shovel rain when it gets really bad.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I meant late onset in reference to my age, Wandering Coyote! Having never been affected by it until recently.
I don't really think I need a light box, as it is generally very sunny here. I just need to get back into my full exercise regimen.
I know they sell light boxes at the medical supply stores here.

Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, duh! Sorry!

I think, though, that it can happen to anyone regardless of age. I find it's harder for me the older I get. The last two years were particularly difficult, but I was dealing with major depression in the background. This year might be different since I'm in recovery. Still, I'm getting a light box just in case.

justrun said...

I am most definitely affected by SAD. Activity helps me, but only to a point. I find myself sitting in the sun in front of the glass doors with the dog as often as possible.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I suppose there really is no reason for me to assume that one can't develop it, Wandering Coyote. I can certainly see how it would be much worse when you are suffering from depression. I really hope that things are infinitely better for you this winter, but think it's a good call to get a light box. Please let me know how it works out for you.

The company of pets, especially nonjudgmental ones like dogs would sure help too, Justrun. Cats are really good for sitting in the sun with, but they tend to hog all the good sun.

Allison said...

I think we are all affected a little bit. The rain actually makes me happy, but the sun (not too bright) gives me that bright bounce in my step. Funny how that works.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's weird, Al. Obviously it's best to maintain a fine balance.

Sean Wraight said...

Strange how we all take some emotional cues from the state of the weather. As someone who can feel a low pressure system advancing well beforehand I have to admit a huge dislike for those. Largely because they make me cranky... (Eyeball exploding headaches tend to do that.) But even further, the greys just leave me feeling kinda down. That must be why I love winter so much.

Anyway, I do like to keep busy with different (non-work related) projects which do help immeasureably. This might be just the opportunity to start those crocheted kitty paw warmers.

s

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Exploding Eyeballs would make a pretty decent band name, Sean. Oh wait, I think I already have one of their cds.
I am all for the projects! In fact my life is pretty much one big project these days. Even so, I have yet to haul the crochet needles out, to the cat's immense relief.

Gifted Typist said...

Inter-seasonal disorder. ISD
I find that the change from summer to fall brings on a terrible adjustment period involving "the chills"

Alex said...

1. Name, Hair Colour, Shoe Size
Barbara the Bad Tempered Zombie/ the hair that hasn't yet come out in clumps is grey, I mean brown / I lost my shoes in that last attack on the china bearing mall.