Preparing for SAD

Dear Readers,

I have always been affected by low light levels in the day, and especially in the afternoon. One time, a doctor even wanted to put me in the hospital for it, as it led to not only depression, but binge eating at the time. Summer was the same as winter or fall, what mattered most was the amount of light.

I also have suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder depression. Once again, especially in the afternoon, but even in the morning my energy levels are very low. Yesterday I had my first SAD depression wash over me this season. The sky was very gloomy, and although it wasn’t cold, I sensed a change in the light.

I have used a “happy light” in the past, but never found it to be especially helpful. I am going to try that again, and be more consistent with it. However, getting outside is the best, even in the low light. If I can’t, I have to turn on EVERY light in the house, which requires a discussion with Mr. UT! He can sit in no light all day and not be affected. (He’s strange in many ways! LOL)

There is definitely a relationship between addiction, especially drinking and overeating, with SAD.

“Seasonal Affective Disorder and alcohol addiction are closely intertwined, each provoking the other. The symptoms which comprise SAD, such as hopelessness or stress, may lead to alcohol use and addiction as a result of self-medication. Individuals who are in recovery from alcohol abuse or addiction are at particular risk of relapse if they suffer from SAD.” You can read more here.

I know that my overall depression is way more manageable by not drinking. Mr. UT noted that last year, the low light didn’t seem to affect me as much. That is true, but I think it was mostly because we got outside a lot, even in very cold weather and snow.

I love my bike!

By evening the feelings passed. Today was sunny, and I rode my bike to a friend’s patio, which was wonderful, but wore me out! We live on top of a very big hill, and I am a horrible hill bike rider! I either have to zip-zag my way all the way up, or walk!

I continue to be so grateful I live in a place where there is so much natural beauty close by.

With Mr. UT making dinner,

And me on the deck looking for sunsets to catch,

On Day 2170,

Wendy

27 thoughts on “Preparing for SAD

  1. Thou hast the soul of an artist. It’s sensitive, delicate, and highly attuned to energy shifts. And so it suffers. As all creative minds do. Your fall season is the time for things to rest.
    I recall your wonderful winter blogs from last year. Never failing to capture exquisite shots of frozen vista’s and berries encased in ice. Go do lots of that, v this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to love to read a book to my students, called Wild Child. It was about the seasons, and each one was a child to Mother Nature as she tried to get them to sleep.
      Your comment reminded me of that!
      Thank you so much for your support!
      xo

      Like

  2. I’ve never tried one of those light therapy thingies but I’ve read that only the super expensive ones actually work. How convenient, right? Haha. I think you’re right that the best way to combat it is to get outside every day even if it doesn’t seem like the sun is out. Some of the sun’s rays still break through the grey (otherwise we’d live in utter darkness for 6 months here in Michigan!).

    After thinking about it briefly while reading your post, I think what makes me depressed in the winter is feeling trapped. I can TECHNICALLY still go most of the places I could go in the summer but dealing with the cold and often the unplowed roads just makes me want to stay inside.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, and ice. I know of 2 people who fell and broke body parts. I’m too old to be breaking things! Lol
      I also notice that on snowy days, or when snow us on the ground, I feel better. I really do think it’s because it’s lighter.
      xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all your photo’s and your smile! Always makes me happy! I have a friend that uses her “happy light” every morning. Then like you said she gets outside as much as she can. I have never used one but was intrigued when she told me how much she relys on hers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I noticed the change in the light yesterday as well. Usually melancholy sets in for a few days, but then I’m ok… until Jan/Feb. I have a Happy Light and have a difficult time using it consistently. I thought it would be easier to sit still in the morning. Most of the time, I just want to sit with my eyes closed which, as you know, defeats the purpose! You have such a great eye as a photographer!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too.
      I’m just forcing myself outside every day, knowing in our state, things can be a bit chilly in winter! Lol

      It will be ok.
      I keep the anxiety lower if I continue to say that! Even if I don’t believe it! Ha!
      xo

      Like

  5. Pray you caught the sunset last night. We happened to be driving home at
    Just the right time. Since we live in rural New Market, besides the amazing colors of the sky, we could see the tree lines and fields of growing corn and other Crops reflecting some of the colors. It was a very spiritual experience.
    Thanks for your thoughtful posts and amazing pictures.
    Remembering our times together when I worked at Sheridan Hills.
    Claudia

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s been a long while, but I am here, reading and cheering you on with whatever you are sharing. You are my best shinning angle in this world of recovery. I so admire you. Hugs, Lia

    Liked by 1 person

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