A Change In Light
(Note: For clarity’s sake, I should point out that I wrote this on the 29th. I haven’t posted it until now because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to write anything this week, and thought I might need a back-up.)
I have seasonal affective disorder. What that means, basically, is that in the winter my head goes weird. Lethargy. Depression. Difficulty concentrating. Memory problems. Scattered thoughts. It’s caused by the lack of sunlight in winter. A lack of vitamin D or something, I don’t know. When you can’t think straight for six months, the whys and hows seem unimportant.
A few years ago I got something which seemed like bullshit, but ended up being a lifesaver. It’s called a “full spectrum light”, which is an incredibly bright light which apparently gives off the full spectrum of light which somehow solves the problem. Again: the whys and hows don’t really interest me. What interests me is that it allows me to function. I call it my Happy Light.
I’ve been having difficulty writing in the last week or so. Maybe it’s been going on for longer than that, it’s hard to tell. I’ve started experiencing emotional disregulation. Yesterday I thought I’d lost my keys and completely flipped out. A week ago something else happened in which I experienced a disproportionate emotional response. But I can’t remember what it was.
The strange thing is, the thoughts are all still coming. I’m having a hard time writing, but I have lots of ideas for things to write about. If anything, there may be too many ideas. I can’t focus.
Right now, as I’m writing this, my head feels cloudy. I can’t tell whether what I’m writing seems coherent. I think it is- my instincts are sharp enough to keep me writing well under most circumstances.
I like to haul out the Happy Light when the clocks roll back, which will happen in- I think- another four days.
But I can already feel the change happening inside me. Perhaps I should haul the light out a few days early. Of course, the light doesn’t make things feel okay immediately.
At first it amplifies my energy while leaving my mood unaffected, so I feel like complete shit but I’m incredibly, constantly hyperactive. If I had any suicidal inclinations this would, of course, be disastrous.
Then, after a few days of that, it switches. My mood goes up and my energy level goes way down, so I can barely leave my apartment but I’m feeling totally at peace with the world.
During this transition period I also often experience intense food cravings.
Then things more or less balance out and I can get on with my life.
I’m not completely satisfied with this post- it seems discombobulated and unfocused. A little disjointed. But that’s because my head’s gone weird, and it’s been weird for a few weeks. It hasn’t affected the blog up until this point because I’ve been recycling old material (as well as that thing about being locked out of my apartment, which I wrote in five minutes- it was a “back of the napkin” type post, which requires little effort). The last totally new post I wrote was written on the 7th, I think. Even without consciously realizing what’s happening, I’ve been compensating for it. I was insane for thirteen years, so I’m an old hand at this. I don’t think enough people write things for public viewing when they’re in the middle of going through shit- especially when that shit is a medical problem, and especially when that medical problem is psychological- and I think that’s a real loss. It’s instructive to see other people flailing, because then I think we feel less alone.
This is what it looks like when someone’s going a little out of their head.
In another week or so I’ll be all right. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing. Or try to, anyway. We’ll see what comes out of it.