Are You Affected or S.A.D.?

Hang on!

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Habits.  Routine.  Having a mode of operation.

Those things come in so handy when you are swinging around on the mood swing!

Since a couple of months I have been able to implement some basic habits.  They are pretty simple really.  Like making my bed everyday.  Having breakfast every morning.  Hanging up my coat,  my purse,  my scarf,  each in its own place when I come in.  Putting my shoes away.  Having my laundry organised.  Going to bed and getting up about the same time every day.

Talking about organisation – I finally ‘organised’ the shelves and desks in my back room,  tidied up my bedroom,  created order in my kitchen.  And you know what?  It makes such a difference to my daily life!

The kitchen happened first,  because a new kitchen cabinet was placed where one obviously had been before.  Now all my stuff disappeared from my window sill and counter top and it suddenly looked so neat and tidy!  I gave my window sill a new look and every time I passed my kitchen I stood still and simply enjoyed the view…

The rest is history,  as they say.  Soon the other parts of my house followed.  I started to feel at home for realzzzzz!  An awesome experience🙂

After arranging everything I somehow managed to even put some order in my daily habits.  I am determined to keep my kitchen uncluttered.  To stay on top of my laundry and not ‘forget’ to put it away (i.e. dump it in my bedroom and ‘fishing’ in the huge heap for clean stuff).

I honestly don’t know why I was able to get on top of things this time.  I have tried before,  real hard,  to no avail.  But what matters most is,  it is happening!

Behind me is a period of doing really well.  It took me by surprise.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Nearly got used to what I started to think of as my new ‘normal’.  That is when SAD hit me.

SAD,  or Seasonal Affective Disorder,  is a type of depression that comes with Fall.  As the leaves are falling, so am I😦
I actually thought I was going to miss out on it this year.  I am taking my vitamin D (since I am officially low on D),  was energetic,  my social life was on the up.  It couldn’t have been better.

Then one day I woke up in a funk.  For no reason whatsoever.  Really.  No rhyme or reason.  The next day it was a little worse.  The next day,  still worse.  Then it started to settle.

Sluggishness and tiredness followed.  I am fighting to go to bed at a reasonable time.  I am struggling to get up in time for my activities.  I need more time for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. which is totally annoying and irritating.  My proper eating habits that have served me well (I lost weight,  a story for another post if I don’t gain it back) are flying out of the window.  I want to eat junk food and snacks.  I don’t feel sociable.  I sit behind the laptop doing mindless games,  wasting time I should spend on my study and some other projects.  This irritates me to no end!

Keep hanging on!!!

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BUT.  I am hanging on to my habits.  I am still making my bed,  doing my dishes,  doing my laundry,  keeping order in my house.  I try to cook every day and eat regularly.  Will have breakfast.  I am going to work,  I do my activities.  I will celebrate St. Nicholas with good friends on Sunday and they will be my guests.  So I am sociable and I am determined to enjoy it as much as possible.

I don’t know when this episode will pass.  The only thing I know for sure is that it WILL pass.  That’s the nature of my illness.  Till then,  I have to hang on with all my might.  Even if I am hanging by nails,  I will hang on!

What do you do to get yourself through such times?
Help me by answering in the comments.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Are You Affected or S.A.D.?

  1. Fenny,

    Finding myself feeling a little that way also. I am a creature of habit already. Wake up at the same time, make bed, brush teeth and stretch. Get coffee, V8 and banana. Start blogging.

    But those darn leaves keep changing and the clouds roll in for days. It is so dreadful.

    I have been forcing myself to do things like comment on blogs, socialize off and online, go out with friends, try to eat better foods here and there. But I wake up thinking, “argh another day.” But it is not getting worse so I know I will get through.

    You, Bill and Jennifer posting on my blog today helped. And I have hired a trainer once a week for workouts, which is something new to me and is suppose to help.

    Keep hanging in there and I will too.🙂

    • Aw Allie, sorry to find a fellow-Saddie in you!

      It sucks big time! Especially if you are doing all the ‘tricks in the book’ like you do! It takes so much energy to force ourselves to lead a ‘normal’ life, it is very frustrating.

      When does it lift for you in general? (I.e. how long still to wrestle yourself through this)

      Keep hanging in there, sweet Allie!!!

      We simply can’t afford to let go – of ourselves, that is. If some habits perish in the process, so be it!

      (((((((hugs)))))) from one Saddie to another🙂

  2. Hi!

    I live in Paris which has a long grey winter, so My first solution to get order a sun lamp from: http://www.sunbox.com/. I have a desk top lamp, but a friend of mine is a big fan of the visor because you can wear it while moving around in the house. For the last few years I’ve been coming to sunny Spain for two months each winter and going for long walks or rollerblading everyday, which makes a world of difference. This post gave me hope, because I don’t work and in the last eight years or so have lost my routines and habits. My apartment is a mess, I eat haphazardly, etc. I haven’t even got a routine for taking my bipolar meds. This has been driving me crazy…I look around my room in dispair. If only you knewhow you managed to get on top of things–I’d love to know.

    • Hi Sonia!
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
      I am very itnerested to know about your experience with a sun lamp. I know about light therapy, but it is always advises against bipolar depression as it can cause us to swing to mania… I have always wondered if this is the care by default. I have never used it.
      Yup, when the outside is cluttered and disordered, the inside chaos gets worse, which is increasing the crazy feelings.
      Before this depression hit, I was doing really well. It was also when I realised that it is important to create order around me. It wasn;t obvious to me that clutter and disorder increased my inner chaos and anxiety. But when I slowly started to create order in my house, room by room, I noticed the huge difference! I enjoy seeing my kitchen now!
      Also, I decided that it was a good thing to teach myself some routines, like doing dishes every time I’m in the kitchen waiting for something, like the water to boil, during cooking, making coffee (filter kind) etc. This way it hasn’t build up to a state where I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, guilty and uncomfortable, Oh, and crazy!
      THe same with putting things away when I come home. Making my bed (silly I know) and putting away laundry.
      Those were all little steps, and I am not there yet by any means. But I do notice that the routines I built up stick now during my depression.
      But my bedtimes – are out of whack pronto when depression or hypomania hits. So are a few other things.
      This is only a recent discovery and I think because I was doing so well (can;t remember when the last time was when I was so well!!!) I was able to change my habits, or rather, create some good ones!
      So when my next wellness episode comes around, I will be building some more good habits!
      Oh, and right now I decided not to get into a discussion of doing those chores/habits/routines or not. That would be a losing battle. I just do them, without thinking about it🙂

      • OK. I meant *if this is the case by default* in the beginning.
        And the discussion part at the end? That refers to me and myself discussing things in my head…

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