Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sunshine is...


And that, my friend, is why I enjoy sunny days.

Diagnosed with S.A.D. 9 years ago this month has placed in me a deep appreciation for all things sunny and bright. Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn't mean that I only, or always, enjoy life when the sun is out, but it sure helps. A few years back I found a really good way to express my poor mood to my kids by explaining that when I go "down" it's not their fault. They didn't do anything wrong, nobody did. The best way I could explain it was to tell them that if they looked at the sky - then whatever color the sky was - would most likely match my mood.
Bright and clear? Then so was I.
Grey and dark? Yeah -not pretty. Just bring me some chocolate and don't even ask.

I used to have a difficult adjustment time when Autumn hit. The first few leaves would start falling and I'd go into a slump because I knew what was coming. Since meeting my husband over 8 years ago, we have worked on finding ways to appreciate the changing of the season. It's pretty rare for me now, to not look at a brilliant orange and burnt red splash of leaves and not think happy thoughts. Part of it is his outlook on life rubbing off on me. I love that.

I also learned that there's a certian trick to getting out of my daily rut at just the right time each year to keep myself going forward, and to keep myself off meds. I've been criticized for spending money on little mini-escapes. It's curious though, that I've never once been asked how much money I've saved on medication and therapy. ha! People wonder why retreats are so important, but to me they can literally be a life-saver. Once school starts, I know I have somewhere to escape to in October. We now have an annual weekend away in November or the beginning of December as well. This is always one of my favorite trips, because it's the big breath of air before the Christmas busy-ness and the darkest part of winter. End of January is usually another planned "out" for us. This last winter was almost a complete breeze for me because I planned things the year before knowing what I would need to cope.

Until now.

Just last month I was sailing along, thinking how lucky I was to have come this far without slipping off the edge into the murky mire of depression. February was gorgeous! The weather was unusually nice, and we did early "farming" stuff. I had things to do! I had blueberry bushes to prune! I had air to breath!

Then March hit. This time I wasn't prepared. Didn't see it coming. Got my knees knocked out from behind. You know what I'm saying... I fell down with a bang! Spring Break is usually one of our regenerating times, but this year was different. Spring Break hit us with nasty grey skies, snow, ice and ... S.A.D. I usually have my last obvious bits of this craziness show up a little ways into April, but February tricked me!

Alas, even the bright blooming daffodils and pastel colored tulips didn't keep me afloat. I buried myself indoors for several days, trying to force myself to do interesting, exciting things but the lack of interest on my part meant that nobody really caught on. I do have to say that these silly chickens are what kept me getting outside at least twice a day. Taking a little walk, having a chat with some birds, and feeling appreciated are all sure-fire ways to bring me back from what feels like the living dead. Knowing that I have a praying husband also helps me realize that I'm not in this alone. He's a blessing to me, and his prayers for me have not gone unanswered. Somewhere, between the power of God and the gritting of my teeth I have grabbed ahold of that rope again... I know I don't have the strength to pull out all on my own. Heck, I can't even bend over to tie my own shoes very well. Whoever is on the other end pulling for me is my daily miracle. I do not take this for granted.

1 comment:

Misty said...

I too have SAD though never before michigan, the land of no shining sun- EVER... I've had a few rough patches since I came home, but within a 12 hour period of time the sun seems to make an appearance here.
And it goes away...
which leads me to wonder: you have sunshine?
Like, right now? Today? At this moment?

that settles it. I am moving to oregon. Besides, all of the cool people are there.