L-I-V-I-N-G with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In Maine.


LOOK HOW FUN!!!! Winter is JUST THE BEES KNEES, RIGHT!!!!??? Uh, no. Actually, I have a long history of winter blues that subjects those around me to endless complaining about feeling cold, and not wanting to do anything except snuggle under a blanket on the couch. This year my ‘winter blues’ seemed worse than usual (…..perhaps there is a connection to my father dying the weekend before Christmas… just a theory 😉 )
So I took a quiz. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But then I noticed the quiz was on a ‘phototherapy light’ website, so I figured they probably diagnose everyone with SAD to sell more lights! So I searched for more appropriate diagnostic tools and found another, more lengthy, test from a more legitimate source. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. To which I thought, “Meh, it probably says everyone has everything.” So I took a test for depression, and then one for anxiety. It said, “No ma’am. No depression or anxiety in that little brain of yours. Ya just got the ole SAD.”
So what are the “textbook” treatments?
Drugs: No thank you. And thankfully, my home remedies have been working so I don’t even need to consider that route!
Exposure to sunlight: CHECK!! Even though they are INSULATING and keep the rooms warmer, we decided natural sunlight was worth the little extra we may pay for heat this year.
Light therapy: Open to it if needed, but I think I’m good!
Psychotherapy: All set thanx.
My treatment regime prescribed by myself, and Google…
After lots of reading and, previously learned knowledge having been in the mental health field for over 20 years now, I know the importance of exercise to mental health. I also know how few people actually follow through with this, so it’s important to me that I practice what I preach. So I exercise almost every day.
Several articles discuss the importance of engaging in activities, particularly winter activities, to find enjoyment during winter months. So, I stopped saying (aka whining) “No… it’s too cold and yucky” when Lonnie says, “Hey, wanna go _______?” We started Friday night board games, a new tradition I am LOVING!!!! I have PLANS to see Black Panther Friday night with friends and I WILL GO EVEN IF IT’S COLD OUT!! (I said it here so now I have to!)
  • I’ve hiked!
  • I’ve snow-shoed!
  • I’ve cross country skied (for about 6 feet)!
  • I’ve walked the dogs!
  • I’ve shoveled!
  • I’ve started a gratefulness/21 Days of Happiness journal
  • I’ve stopped listening to news all day
  • I’ve STARTED listening to Oprah’s Soulful Conversations instead of news! (Amazingly inspiring and thought provoking!)
  • I’m watching what I eat and drink and even doing a Whole30 (or 20) (maybe 8) (I’m on day 8 😉 )

We (speaking of “we,” having a super-supportive partner who isn’t afraid to tell you when you need to get your shit together and your ass off the couch doesn’t hurt!) are in full-on SAD battle mode and it’s WORKING!!! I feel great, and when I don’t, I recognize it, and FREAKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT— SEE ABOVE!!

::::Drug commercial tagline alert::::I may have SAD, but it doesn’t have ME! LOL Had to.

Spring Feels

I haz em.  Mother Nature does not.

I want to plant some herbs and stuff this year.  I say this every year, but this time I mean it, damnit. We don’t have a lot of space in the sunshine, but I think we have just enough to do one of those cute Pinterest-y container gardens.

I want to get outside and work towards running goals again. (Just not enough to bundle up and feel my snot freeze,)  It’s 32 freaking degrees out today.  And windy.  And blustery.  I HATE THAT!

I want to jump out of the bed on the weekends excited because Lonnie and I have adventures planned!  The kind of adventures that don’t involve mittens or frostbite.

I want to do a cool thing like take my schoolwork out to a park and study under a tree.  (LOL I  will NEVER do that!)  I guarantee if that happens I WILL find a way to selfie that shit 😉


I love sleeping.  So.  So. Much.  However, this is the time of year every year (Which I didn’t even realize until a blog reader noticed a trend a few years ago in my posts as years went on!), I get a case of the winter blues…. cabin fever…. whatever you want to call it.

I usually combat my malaise with a vacation to someplace sunny and warm.  This year, I let Lonnie talk me into vacationing much earlier than usual, bringing us back to Maine with lots more winter left.  This has been a VERY mild, and non-snowy winter, but it’s still winter.  I still don’t want to go outside for a walk or a run, we aren’t going out hiking and fishing and stuff on the weekends, and there is not a lot else to do around here other than shopping and the movies.

So I have been sleeping.  A LOT.  My main excuse that I use is, “I sleep late because my job keeps me up late and messes up my sleep schedule.”   Which is true sometimes.  But not every day.  Honestly, I wake up naturally around 8-9ish, and then force myself to go back to sleep thinking, “Why get up?  To just go downstairs and watch TV or clean?  Fuck that.  I may as well go back to sleep.”

On Saturday I stayed in bed til noon-ish. I felt like crap when I finally dragged myself out of bed with that all-too-familiar “slept too much” feeling.  I decided that it was time to face that I had a problem, and even to say it out loud to Lonnie.  I even threw out the “D” word (DEPRESSION, silly, not divorce!).  We decided, based on all the other symptoms I would need to have,  that I am not having the D word, but that I am in a bad habit that needs to be broken. …and very possibly toeing the line of the D word.  So I made a “contract” with him to start getting up at 9 every day (well unless I have worked an overnight shift, of course).  Even if I was up too late, or don’t want to, I GET UP!  If I am that tired, I can take a nap in the afternoon.

Today is day 3 of this, and not-gonna-lie, it’s been tough.  BUT it has also been extremely rewarding!  I don’t feel like a sloth.  Once I am up, and have dragged myself out of bed, I feel ENERGIZED!  Yesterday I had SO much time, even BEFORE I started my work shift at noon!!  I have FELT like cleaning!  I have FELT like organizing!  It honestly FEELS LIKE SPRING, even though the weather has not changed.

They say “walk the walk.”
They say “fake it til you make it.”

Winter is stupid.

While the view from my window today is still bleak, Spring is definitely knocking on the door!

Holy crap, I haven’t been a very regular blogger!  Hate that!

I am going to take the chicken-shit way out here and blame my blog-slacking on my “WINTER BLUES.”  I wouldn’t say I have seasonal-affective disorder, but I would say I am about as close to saying that as I can be.

Wintertime is tough.  I spend a LOT of time (which also seems to always translate to a lot of money) trying to find ways to cheer myself up and feel like there is reason to jump out of my warm, cozy bed into my frigid apartment every morning.  This years ‘cheeruppers’ included a personal trainer, a fishtank, talk of another puppy (not happening), lots of indoor building projects, and not one, but TWO trips to Mexico.  ….and quite a few extra work

shifts picked up to afford them all 😉

I am very grateful for a partner who is so supportive and more-than-willing to join me in any and all of my little “ideas.”   Although… it is a household joke that his least favorite sentence in the world is, “Honey…. I saw this thing on Pinterest today……….”

Another of my cheeruppers is daydreaming/researching/talking about where Lonnie and I will live once Sean is up and out on his own.  Right now our short list includes Austin, Nashville, Coastal South Carolina, and California (ok MY short list includes CA, Lonnie isn’t on that page with me, YET).  We have also tossed around Colorado quite a bit, but I hate the idea of being so far from any coasts!  (Nashville doesn’t have any either… but I have family there and I know I enjoy that city very much!)

I have noticed that as time passes, and the prospect of moving becomes more and more real…. the pipe dream type places like Thailand have fallen off my radar.  There are grandbabies in my future, (in my VERY DISTANT future…lol) and I would prefer not to be halfway around the world from them!