For me and my depression, having a bright SAD light in the winter makes sense.
But over the past couple of years, my intentions are better than my reality. When I am not in front of the SAD light, I can think about how effective it was the first year I used it. But sit at my desk, in my home office, and I cannot think to turn it on. And it is right there, ready to go.
On a different note, the forecast was calling for 2 to 4 inches of new snow this morning.
So far, we may have gotten an inch and that is being generous. At 3 AM, nothing was coming down. When I woke at 5 AM, the snow was coming down in a light, fine shower. And the sidewalks were covered, but not enough to warrant shoveling. At 7:30AM, the snow had already stopped.
I refilled the birdfeeder on the back deck and sprinkled some extra seed on the railing.
This seemed to immediately attract attention to the feeder. Birds must have their own version of cell phones. The speed in which they got to the birdseed implied that they knew what I was doing. So, maybe I didn’t really need to stress over more snow.
Afterall, if there turns out to be a lot of snow, I will get to play on my new tractor again.
Lately, I am not sure what I am feeling. It’s not exactly bad and is certainly not “get up and dance.” But it is somewhere in the middle. Maybe I am more in balance than I think. Yet, a few weeks ago, it seemed I might be spiraling back into serious depression.
I said that I was going to use the SAD light this winter.
But so far, I have only lit it up a few times. I am sitting at my home office desk, and I have the lamp positioned on the corner of the desk, facing me. All I need to do is turn it on. I have the timer set for 30 minutes. It will remember to turn itself off when 30 minutes have passed.
So why am I not using it?
Two years ago, when I first purchased the lamp, I was in front of it every day during that winter. After some experimentation, I found the distance away that gave me the best results. Last year, I did OK with the lamp, but was less structured and used it less.
This year, I can hardly focus on the SAD lamp, or remembering to turn it on.
And I cannot even seem to think about it enough to write about it. I have to think about the birds and getting the feeders full. And I am looking at the woodstove, thinking that it needs another log. And then there are the new shelves in the garage which I built but haven’t filled yet.
Before I can fill the new shelves, I need to do some organizing in the garage.
So now I have a list of projects filling my head. And that doesn’t include the list I have written down for today. This includes working on the lessons for my new course, deciding whether I need to plow the driveway, and deciding about taking out the trash and recycling.
And I am feeling guilty that I haven’t spoken to my Peer Advocate from On Our Own this week.
I haven’t missed a week since last summer. But Tuesday, when she called, I was at work and decided not to answer the phone. I assumed that I would call her back when things quieted down. Well, they may have quieted down, but I never made the time to return her call. Now it is three days later, and I am feeling bad for not calling, which is making it harder for me to call.
Is all this turmoil occurring because I am not using my SAD light?
My psychiatrist prescribed a new nightly anti-depressant that is also supposed to help me sleep through the night. On night #2, it seemed like I was going to get a full night’s sleep. And in all fairness to the medicine, I did get 4 ½ hours of sleep before waking up.
But two weeks later, I am back to waking up every hour and a half.
I am scheduled to see my GP for my annual physical in a few weeks. During the visit, I plan to ask him about my sleep routine. I want to discuss and possibly eliminate any physical issues impacting my ability to get a full night’s rest.
Or maybe it is just what happens as your body ages, and I should just stop worrying about it and move on.
Regardless, I am going to let him know about my very reduced usage of the SAD light this winter. And I will make sure he knows about the new anti-depressant I am taking. I should know the name of it, but unless I walk into the bathroom and pull the bottle out of the drawer, I cannot remember what it is called.
So now I am going to throw a log on the fire, eat a bowl of cereal, get dressed, and think about the snow and plowing our driveway. We are ½ a mile from our mailbox, and if there is enough snow to warrant it, I will be getting on the tractor.