Cracked online had an interesting article the other day, 6 Real Diseases that have Somehow Become Trendy, that was pretty much right on the money. A lot of the commenters said that ADD should have been included on the list and I heartily agree. Another I’m surprised didn’t make the list was SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. But I was also glad, cause I have it.

Lots of people claim to have SAD and, perhaps, a lot do have a mild version of it in the form of “winter blues.” If you really have the condition, it is a lot more than that and really messes you up. Yeah, if I graphed my moods for an entire year, there would be a big-ass trough during the winter months. But, the rest of the year would look like a seismograph print out. Just big swath of highs and lows that would track easily to weather.

My SAD isn’t seasonally-specific, it is a daily thing that crops up anytime the light level during the supposed daytime hours falters. Nighttime doesn’t give me any problem. The internals know it’s supposed to be dark that late in the day and I actually feel a lot better at night if I’ve had a rough day. So, one day can be sunny and I’m great. The next day is heavily overcast and I’m on the ground staring out the windows with a movie I’ve already watched 3 times that day providing background noise. It can happen several times a day, too. Sunny – up; rainy – down. Want to know what being battered around like that does to you? Exhausts you. Leaves you wishing you could drink your troubles away, but the booze doesn’t work. I can’t even get buzzed when my brain chemistry turns sour, even though it would seem a match made in heaven – drinking a depressant when you’re already depressed – but no dice. A doctor prescribed anti-depressants once for it, but I was one of those fortunate people for whom the drug quit working after a few months. At that point I was boycotting doctors, so I never went back for any round-two-let’s-try-something-new.

Yesterday was a day like that. Same shade of grey from the moment I got up until the sun finally fell. Couldn’t focus on anything important or requiring higher-order thinking heavy lifting. That usually means falling into a repetitive behavior that keeps me at least functioning. Playing the same videogame for hours, reading bits of very low-quality dreck that requires no mental processing to comprehend, checking the same six websites over and over looking for new posts or articles. Pretty much sums yesterday up quite nicely.

I guess I should be thankful. I had a really bad patch where SAD was only a drop in the bucket. A few years of ridiculously high highs and crippling low lows wound up draining every penny of my savings, savaging my health and positioning me nicely for the financial and social situation I’ve having to claw through now. I don’t know what that harsh bastard met to put a stake through it’s heart, but it went away. Never knew the cause, never knew the solution. It’s not totally dead, though. I still have the days where I tear through more work than the average person tackles in a week (and do a damn fine job of it) and suffer through sunny days when I can’t do anything more than watch some marathon of some crap TV show. Tasks help, projects help… talking to people helps, but when I’m down or having troubles I instinctively break off all contact with people and go into Gilligan’s Island mode. Total isolation until things change. Yeah, it can still be rough, but life’s rough so this time symmetry is actually, uh… symmetrical…

Today is an ok day. Sunny, but the humidity sucks. Dog rolled around in what looked like squirrel poop and had to be washed and every snails-paced person in the city was at the grocery store this morning when I just needed one single bottle of soda. But that stupid stuff is normal people crap so it doesn’t count on my score card. Some lunch in the microwave and I’ll be on the train to doing something fun. Maybe actually finishing a story, maybe tackling a real book for a change, maybe downloading a new video game and exploring a whole new universe. Yeah, I can make something of today… long as the clouds don’t roll in…

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