It happens for six weeks every year and I become someone I do not recognise. Life seems useless and pointless: I have no energy, my reactions become clumsy and slow, I sleep a huge amount and just want to weep and eat starchy, sugary things. Of course I struggle against it, make myself get up and get on: but I stall the car, stumble over my feet, make silly mistakes, find making decisions difficult, the brain will not work, thinking is so hard, headaches abound and even breathing and walking are laboured.
I do not have the energy to talk to people, or write much. Hence my recent silences here. I just want to isolate myself and retire to some warm ‘cave’ for the duration. Clearly, SAD is just a synonym for hibernation. After all, no other other creature keeps up the same pace the whole year round. For those of you who get what I call ‘real’ depression this must seem very minor, lasting as does only until March. And I am so grateful that it is short lived and I know it will end. But it changes life drastically for those six weeks and makes it a real hard slog.
So I have arranged a week away: I managed this once many years ago, going off to somewhere warm, with sunshine, blue skies and warm seas. That year I never suffered from SAD at all.
In the hopes of chasing this away again I’ve decided to go away for a few days. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity. Most people in the UK probably feel the same at the moment given that our present government is making such stupid pronouncements and suggesting things that I consider immoral.
This time however, I am not chasing the sunshine, which may be a mistake. On Thursday I am going back to Paris for a week to the same apartment I stayed in last Autumn, and our son and a grand-daughter are coming over to spend a weekend too. My fingers are crossed that she, aged 15, will find things she likes over there: I worry that I may not know the right places to take her and the right things to show a teenager but we’ll see.
Of course I don’t have the energy to pack, or make arrangements, and the idea of travelling seems too much, but it will be worth it if I can find myself again! I miss the enthusiastic, life enhancing inner-self that I am used to.
To anyone else out there who is struggling at the moment I send good wishes that you too will soon find yourselves, and life’s savour, once more.