The last couple of weeks have been rough.
I'm in the middle of a tough bout with depression; I'm sure it's mostly based on the lack of sunlight. I was so excited for last weekend's solstice - almost more excited than I am for Christmas, because now the days will start getting longer, and I need my sunlight. I'm whatever the opposite of a vampire is.
I've had issues with seasonal affective disorder in the past, but it seems especially bad this year (I'm a bad judge of this, though - I always forget how terrible it was to adjust to a move, or the last time I felt depressed).
I have not worked on the novel in more than a month.
I have not written at all since my last blog post, which was about how tired I've been feeling.
I have not been reading either.
All of you who know me know what a big deal all those things are to me. I've also been very tired, despite getting plenty of sleep, and highly irritable (poor Spousal Unit).
I'm sharing this with all of you by way of doing my part to make depression a visible thing. It's still hard to admit when I've been feeling like this - especially when the lows are so awful that you don't want to share them with anyone - but I want to put it out there because there should be no shame in mental illness. There should be no shame in a chemical imbalance over which I have no control, or even in simply feeling sad.
I think the best way to contribute to an overall change in the way things like depression are viewed is to be bold enough to be part of the change.
I recently bought a light therapy box, in the hope that getting extra "sunlight" every day will help shake me out of the worst of this. It won't change things overnight, but maybe it will make the days more bearable and help me to enjoy winter again. I love snow; I feel like an absolute Scrooge for not enjoying it as much as I want to. (I even had trouble motivating myself to make a cup of tea last night.)
But don't worry. My shrink is a phone call away. I have Spousal Unit to help me through the worst of times. And I do still feel joy on a regular basis - I haven't shut down completely.
Things are just rough right now. And I'm working on it.