SADness and the Longest Night of the Year

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Behold! My dawn simulator/light box/alarm clock thingie.

I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I have light boxes in my bedroom, next to my favorite arm chair, and at my cubicle at work. I sun myself like the delicate hothouse flower I (apparently) am. I get up early and go exercise. I take meds. I take Vitamin D.

Every winter I get depressed anyway. I get a kind of bone-deep tiredness that settles in and won’t go away. The kind where you feel like you never quite wake up in the morning, and then suddenly it’s 6 o’clock in the evening. The depression makes me anxious. Have you ever been depressed and anxious at the same time? It’s a clusterfuck of self-blame, of feeling trapped, of wanting to claw your way out of your own skin, of wanting to cry, of wanting to run away, but skipping showers (again, shut UP) and going to sleep before you four year old at 7:30pm instead. But not actually sleeping through the night.

It’s the winter solstice. It’s the longest night of the year. The days are supposed to get longer from here on out. This is the moment where my brain is supposed to start climbing out of its stupid pit. But it doesn’t. It still hibernates in its weird circuits of depression–anxiety–depression–anxiety until summer comes again.

The days creep a little longer, but each one is not quite long enough. It’s a teasing, taunting thing, these incrementally longer, but not long enough days that slide by.

Today was a hard day. Tomorrow will be a hard one, too.

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