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SAD and Daylight Savings

I love the fall and winter months for the cooler weather. Jeans, long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts if you know me, you know that I love a good hoodie. The end of October brings Halloween, more importantly, Samhain. If you are unsure, Samhain is the end of summer. For the Celtics, it marks the beginning of a new year.

The other thing that winter brings is the end of daylight savings. We roll the clocks back 1 hour. The hour that we gain is precious. I work nightshift getting up in the dark makes going to work easier. I do not feel that I miss as much of the day. One big drawback is more darkness on my days off. Most of the time, I go off a nightlife schedule. Even if I sleep most of the day, late afternoon, I still enjoy the sunshine in the summer.

I have Seasonal affective disorder. I pulled information from the mayo clinic if you are unsure what that looks like.

From Mayo Clinic website: Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, December 14). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651 
  • Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish
  • Having problems with sleeping too much
  • Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having thoughts of not wanting to live

Fall and winter SAD

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

During the winter months, I withdraw from my friends become extremely irritable depressed. Most often, I gain weight during the winter. I am angry most of the time and have the most issues with my job during winter. My anxiety and depression are at their highest during this time. I find that someday I do not even want to get out of bed, choosing to seclude myself in a cocoon of darkness. I even find myself withdrawing from steve. I pull myself out of the darkness to ensure he is taken care of, and I go to work. On days I have to leave the house, I feel my anxiety creeping up to the highest pitch. I do not have the same issues in the spring, summer, or even fall. As I write, I have a knot of anxiety in my chest.

I force myself now to take my medication each day. I know that it will help settle me down just a bit. I used deep breathing exercises and taught myself to get recentered. During these dark days and nights, I know how to import it to make sure I see my therapist. It is also when I find myself too busy to make an appointment or too tired. Sometimes when I do see him, it is often a good day. Having a good day makes it easier for me to hide what I have been going through. This is also when I know I need to be transparent and let all of my guards down. I have been seeing him for several years now. I trust him with my deepest secrets and feelings. In me, the inner protector sometimes shields so well that even I believe the mask.

Over the years, I have perfected the mask I wear. I figured out that the only way to function was by wearing a false face long ago. I have had to be strong my whole life. At the age of 44, those who know me best really don’t see through the mask.

We have just switched over to daylight savings; now that I am a few days into the change, I am already starting to feel better. I am not anywhere close to 100%, just about 2% better than I have been over the last few months. I have been making more effort to get out of bed, even if I am tired, and feel the pull to stay in bed. I have even started to open the curtain at my kitchen window, letting in natural light. Most often, we keep the curtains closed in our house. One primary reason is the embarrassment of the state of our home. Winter is also the most challenging time for me to keep a neat and orderly home.

Part 1

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