Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Darkness


Last night the darkness came. I hate the darkness.

When I was a kid, I loved it - the event of it - because I got an extra hour to sleep or to stay out past my curfew on the technicality that it was really 1 am at 2 am.

I'm sneaky like that.

My darling Dr. SmartyPants and I jokingly refer to it as The Darkness - the end of Daylight Savings Time - that time of year when you wake up and it is dark and before you can say "wow what a pretty sunrise," you realize that was the sunset. And I really do hate it. No joking in that.

One of the reasons we joke about it is to remind ourselves that it is coming and to stay on top of my accompanying depression. I suffer from a self-diagnosed case of seasonal affective disorder. As long as we are in Daylight Savings Time, I am a mostly happy, life-enjoying, energetic person. When The Darkness descends - all bets are off. I become grumpy, cynical and dull. I have trouble doing basic things like showering or remembering to cook supper for my family. I have a tendency to go on auto pilot and function more like an automaton than a person. Two years ago it hit the highest (or lowest) point that I could ever remember and I finally decided to tell Dr. SmartyPants about it.

Yep. I had never told anyone that every year for four months out of 12, I am often depressed. But now I have. And that's very good.

Last year was better. I remembered to go outside more. I sat by my south-facing kitchen window and soaked up whatever sunlight I could when it was too cold to go out. I talked about it with some other people and they said they understood. Some even went through the same things I had gone through and I realized that I was not alone.

So. The Darkness is here. And I think it is going to be okay.

But I still hate it.