The proceeding words are written by a person who becomes seasonally depressed. I’ve not yet been formally diagnosed. I only know my history, my patterns, and my experiences. I’ve been cautious to really go out on a limb and say that it is what affects me every fall and winter, but considering that this is my third fall in a row where I am indescribably sad for no good reason, it seems to be the only logical conclusion.
For the past three consecutive Septembers/Octobers, I’ve become dejected, moody, uninterested, and uncharacteristically sad. I thought that because I am in a new place with no one I know nearby that perhaps I was just dealing with a minor bout of the blues due to small twinges of isolation. But my friends and family are readily available by phone and I can communicate with them whenever need be. It is usually satisfying. After one such phone call today, I cried a bit, and then it struck me. It’s officially fall, the weather sucks, and it’s been a good seven days without any kind of sunlight. Hi, SAD. You’re a jerk. Go away.
Sometimes, naming the thing helps. Other tactics I will employ:
- Vitamin D.
- Omega- 3 (or maybe just eat more fishes)
- Yoga (yeah, buddy)
- Melatonin (for the sleeps)
- Phototherapy (major lamp action)
I may be a bit of an Eeyore and that may suck, but I’m not going to just sit here and take it.
Truth: Being alone is hard.
I don’t do it well. I mindlessly spend money, distract myself from the tasks at hand. I wander aimlessly through my quiet, lonely apartment. I eat for consolation. Hell, I eat out of rebellion. I am not one that enjoys the solitude because the solitude brings thoughts that I can’t bear.
I think about writing. I think about what it would be like to have finally accomplished the book I’ve been working on. I console myself with knowing that some of the greatest works ever published took years. It’s just another thing to keep me from doing what I don’t want to do. I have to get inside myself and find a way to love this woman as she is, instead of how she might be or could be. I have to love myself, not my potential.
I have to come to terms with the fact that my children will grow up, that my lover will either one day die or leave, that my friends will move on with their lives, and I will still have myself to contend with. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to be in myself at this moment and love the person here. Am I worthy of my own love? Of my own dedication and commitment? Love me, so that I may love me? When will I be out of this cycle?
I’ve listed the many ways that I am worthy of love. I’ve detailed my supreme qualities. I’ve been equally doted on and dismissed, and yet all I can do is focus on the many ways that I’ve been dismissed. My, how we humans love to self-castigate. For what reason? Is the religious doctrine we’ve been pummeled with for centuries? If I hate myself enough, if I am good enough, perfect enough, sinless enough, God will love me, people will love me. I’ll never be alone then.
But it isn’t true. I’ve treated people with a surprising amount of tenderness, love, and consideration. I’ve placed the needs of other above my own, time and time again; only to have been left to fend for myself, by myself. Solipsistic, maybe. But it’s all I’ve ever known.