Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter blues

I know, I haven't been keeping my promise to myself to blog more. And this is going to be another non-funny/entertaining post. But I feel like writing is cathartic, and can be kind of a breath of fresh air, which I need.

 Seasonal depression has hit me pretty hard this year. I feel weird talking openly about it, I guess because it makes me feel vulnerable (and who likes that?), and also because it feels like such a stupid, unimportant thing to complain about. There are so many people with REAL problems, probably people that occasionally read this blog, and I feel guilty somehow, almost like I'm burdening other people with my feelings. And I keep telling myself that it isn't a "real" problem, because there's nothing actually wrong, but it IS a real problem. And it's a problem that I think a LOT of people share with me. I usually don't even realize that the reason I feel the way I do is seasonal until someone else points it out, and then I remember feeling the same way around this time for years prior. And when it's over, I go back to normal so quickly and so completely that I totally forget it ever happened.

I don't know about anyone else who gets legitimate seasonal depression, but the way that it happens to me is that it creeps up. I'll think I'm bummed about having spent too much money during Christmas, or that Christmas is over in general, or I'll think that it's PMS. But then it doesn't go away, and I'll start feeling nuts. The weird thing is that I can kind of look at myself from the outside and I KNOW that I'm not unhappy. I am 100 percent aware that there is nothing legitimately wrong. So, being the super-logical person that I am, there's a deep need inside of me to explain the bummed-out feeling that I have. So I'll start micro-analyzing every tiny thing that's wrong in my life that really doesn't bother me on a normal day-to-day basis, and all of a sudden every tiny (NORMAL) flaw in my life seems like the end of the world. And I don't want to feel bad anymore, because I remember the way that I normally feel, which is really really good. So, in trying to get my normal super happy feelings back, I start feeling the need to SOLVE every tiny problem in my life, but most of the things that I'm getting upset about aren't things that can be easily fixed. Everyone has little things in their life that aren't ideal. That's just the way it is. So then what started out as a mild case of the bummed-outs becomes this huge existential crisis. The worst part of it is that I know that all of this is temporary and that it's not really how I feel, but I can't make the feeling stop, and it makes me feel crazy. I NEED to have a source of the crappy feelings I'm having, so that I can "solve" the "problem". So I start blaming myself for things that I can't change, or I start getting on Jeff's case for things that he does that don't really bother me that much normally, and then I ACTUALLY feel bad, because now I'm making OTHER people unhappy, and nothing can be done from anyone else's end to make ME feel more happy, because the source of my unhappiness is purely chemical (except now it's also because I feel like an asshole). So it's kind of a vicious cycle and it just keeps piling up. And then it eventually just goes away, and I feel normal again.

My question is, does anyone else get bad seasonal depression? I know a lot of people get kind of bummed this time of year, but does anyone else start feeling nuts? And if so, do you do anything to alleviate the way you feel? I'm at a loss, and I don't know what I can do to make myself feel better, aside from medication (and that's not a road I want to go down, since this is so temporary and depression/anxiety meds can be pretty addictive). Jeff suggested maybe trying light therapy, and I responded "like a lizard?" It sounds so weird to me, but maybe it's worth a shot. I know that I can ride it out and I'll feel better eventually, but I feel like I'm just wasting a big chunk of my year, and I don't feel okay making Jeff feel like crap for no reason. He's a fixer, and when he can't fix things he feels awful. Honestly, just writing about it really did help, and I feel at least slightly less crazy. At the very least, if anyone else is feeling like a big bag of crazy and has kept it inside because you feel ridiculous, now you know you're not the only one. Seasonal depression is no joke.

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