I have a newsflash, people: S. A. D. is real. (For those of you who don’t know, S. A. D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, a mood disorder obviously named by scientists who thought they were hilarious.) And, more importantly, I think I have it.
I’m a Florida girl. I’ve lived in other places, sure, but when we get down to brass tacks I really enjoy the presence of sunshine in my life. Winters are pretty smooth sailing Down South, even in North Florida, where I’m from. January temperatures occasionally drop down into the teens at night, but usually warm up to sunny, bright, light-jacket weather in the afternoon. And by the time late February rolls around, cold weather is nothing more than a distant memory.
Well, folks, I live Up North now, where winter is a sadistic, soulless entity bent on crushing everyone’s hopes and dreams under an impenetrable layer of ice and snow. Darkness falls mere hours after the sun has risen (not that you’re likely to actually see the sun behind the dense grey clouds shrouding the world). Don’t even bother to look good: no one will be able to tell under the eighteen layers of clothing you’re wearing, and the snow will ruin those cute shoes. Ruin them dead.
I like the beginning of winter just fine. November’s still sort of autumnal, and December is full of holiday cheer and good will towards man. January? No. Just, no. The Winter Blues have officially set in, with an attendant host of fabulous and enjoyable symptoms.
1. The Sleeping.
God, the sleeping. Don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping. Nothing beats a great night of restful sleep. But in the depths of winter, I seem to wake up groggy and grumpy after like 12 hours of sleep, and then want nothing more than to get back in bed. Last year I lost weight because I was sleeping so much I started missing meals. But not that much weight, because….
2. The Eating.
Good Lord, it’s like my body thinks it can hibernate (see above) but forgot to bulk up first. Better late than never, I guess? Come January I want to consume everything in sight, on sight. And not even good stuff, either. I have no desire to brave the frigid outdoors for real food, so I usually wind up stuffing my face with like stale crackers I found in the back of the pantry, or unseasoned lentils right out of the pot, or a whole thing of candy beans. And I don’t even like candy beans.
3. The Sadness.
I cry at everything, these days. I cried at a fashion ad the other day because the models were so beautiful. I cried at a video of corgi puppies playing in the snow. I’m actually crying right now. Seriously, though, I wept throughout the entire second half of a comedic film, terrifying the husband half to death. He kept saying “Lyra, they’re happy. They’re HAPPY!” as though that made any kind of difference. Psssshh. At this point in January, ‘happiness’ is just a myth, like ‘unicorns,’ ‘summertime’ and ‘sunshine.’
Ah well, I’m sure by the time April rolls around I’ll be peachy keen. And by June, I’ll be miserable by how hot and humid it is. Can’t. Freakin.’ Wait.
Do you get the Winter Blues? What are your worst symptoms? How do you cope? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!