Those around me, that I love so much, are confused and lost at what to do with me when I open up a little bit of the door to let them know what I’m really feeling inside. I know it probably worries them or scares them, which I understand completely, but the fact that I’m even unlocking and cracking the door for you means an immense amount.
The medical diagnosis Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD, is a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year.
I wouldn’t mind have this if it weren’t for the fact that I already struggle year round with depression and anxiety. So when it becomes that time of the year, which I know exactly when it starts to develop, I want to seriously crawl into a hole and wait until it is over. But society doesn’t allow that.
Due to the main fact that I don’t want to bother anyone or disrupt them with something yearly I can’t help, I usually just keep my feelings to myself.
This year though, it seems to be hitting just a little harder than usual, and it’s really knocking the wind out of me.
I wish there was more information for those unaffected to read and understand about those who are diagnosed with it and what they are going through. Because despite the amount or meaning of words I use to explain it, it doesn’t ever seem to completely make sense to anyone. Especially if they don’t experience it also.
It’s not just normal “depression” honestly. It’s another layer on top of the depression.
You are swimming in the ocean and your friend, Anxiety, created quite the fear inside of the depth of the water but you conquered that and got in. Once you were in the ocean though, your other friend, Depression, began to whisper these thoughts to you about how you would drown or not make it back to the shore or a shark would come or no one would come to find you, etc. The list could go on about the things Depression whispers when you do surpass the fear Anxiety has given you. That’s about what everyday is like with those two friends.
But it doesn’t stop there when the occasional friend you see once a year, SAD, comes to visit.
It gets ten times worse. You have conquered Depression and began to reach the shore when SAD has arrived. Not only does SAD force you back to where you started, but pushes you back even more in the water. You can’t catch your breath. You can’t keep your head above water very long. You can’t quite get your heartbeat to slow down. You can’t seem to control your arms or legs. You can’t reach the shore. You just can’t. Not when SAD is visiting. You struggle and try so hard not to drown the entire visit.
Now imaging that, think of how exhausted you would be trying to stay afloat in that water day after day when SAD was visiting. That’s how I feel everyday during the bout of when it hits me. I’m exhausted. I’m worn out. I just want to catch my breath.
It’s one thing to conquer depression and anxiety in your everyday life. But when you throw in seasonal affective disorder all that shit hits the fan and you truly don’t know how you have been able to do so everyday for the last 6-8 months.
To everyone battling Seasonal Affective Disorder, please know you are not alone in this fight. There are so many of us, more than we can even imagine, that are feeling the same way you are. We can get through this together, I promise.
For me, it helps if I use my own twist on the SAD acronym: Stay Afloat Darling.
We got this.