My Life

Winter Blues

It happens every year and this year is no exception. I never know exactly when it is going to happen but I am getting a lot better at noticing it sooner.

I’ve suffered various bouts of depression since my teen years. Typically, it was triggered by an unfortunate situation or loss of someone or something. However, the seasonal depression returns every year like clockwork. I’ve tried prescription medication with good success. However, I’m not a big fan of prescriptions and I don’t see the point in being on something year round that I don’t need all the time. However, when I was trying to stop them, the side effects were awful. So awful that, for years, I just continued to stay on them.
I finally gave up the Rx meds for good when I was pregnant. Even then, it took me until I was about about 6 months along to quit. My hormones and emotions were all over the place anyway so I had to taper extremely slowly and carefully. That was in 2006. I’ve seen 5 winters since then. Spring has a special place in my heart because it means I’ve survived another winter. Honestly, that’s exactly what winter is for me: surviving.
I’ve tried various methods of natural remedies and alternative therapies. Some have definitely lessened the symptoms but it returns annually without fail. Ironically enough, it gets a little better every year no matter what I do. It has become less of the panicky and overwhelmed feeling to more of a blah, can’t get motivated kind of feeling. Some years it has taken me weeks or even months to notice what is happening but now I can usually pick up on it within days to a week. There are just certain symptoms that I notice. This is not an extensive list by any means but the major culprits are
  • eating out of boredom or no reason at all (Not eating is also a sign).
  • difficulty getting up in the morning (Not sleeping is also a sign).
  • crying or becoming upset over trivial things (Not caring about anything is also a sign).
This year, it hit last Thursday. I think I had been working up to it for a few days but I finally noticed that I was literally standing and staring at something to do (for who knows how long) but I could not muster up the energy or willpower to move forward and accomplish the task. I’m talking about just regular old household chores. I was just standing (or sitting) and staring. That’s it. I couldn’t talk myself into it. I couldn’t make myself get up and do it.
Last week I was off work and The Little Girl had started back to school so I should have been checking things off my list like crazy. Yet, I got nothing done that I really wanted to. I did manage to get Christmas taken down but it took 2 days and this normally only takes me half a day.
I loathe winter for so many reasons but this is definitely one of them. It’s like the cold and wet actually encourage me to curl up as a little hermit. I’m can’t stand to be cold. So, if I manage to get still and warm then chances are that I am not getting up anytime soon. In the winter, there are actually times where I don’t step foot outside for days on end. No, I’m not kidding. It certainly hasn’t helped that it snowed this week and school has been closed for 5 (Yes, F-I-V-E) days. We’ve spent a lot of time inside. A lot. Too much.
I deeply miss my afternoon lunches outside in the nice warm (even HOT) sun. Just sayin.
This year I’ve tried taking a double dose of daily vitamin D. As always, it hasn’t prevented the seasonal depression from returning but I was pleased with how quickly I noticed what was happening. Me noticing is usually the first step I need to actually deal with it and get over it.
Another thing that helps me to move forward is working my routine. I know that some people think that a boring routine could actually make depression worse. For me, it at least gets me moving. If I’m doing my routine then I am at least doing something.
I always have a to-do list a mile long. I think my hubby actually despises this about me. It’s a coping mechanism, really. If I am always busy then I can’t slow down enough to be bored or get depressed. Lazy days get me out of my rhythm, which is usually (but not always) a recipe for disaster. I’m a type A, worker Bee. I need to be doing.
I really have no good way to end this post. Probably because I’m knee-deep in the winter blues. :/ I guess I’m writing all this to say…
Hi, my name is Staci and I suffer from seasonal depression.

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