S.A.D. Is Killing Us

We like to say that clouds in the sky are great! Reject blue sky thinking, we believe. But whenever we say that, we are willfully ignoring the stratus clouds. They roll in and smother us. We gain weather-related depression after not too long.

When I went to England in the winter a few years ago, I felt like I was dying from how grey everything was. “Never again!” I weakly cried, as I flew away from that island and back to sunny, fun Covington, and America in general which is generally a thousand times more sunlit than the UK. That isn’t an exaggeration — I saw a sunlight hour map of the world once.

Despite being the lightest shade my skin gets, the palest of the soft pink pales, I am solar powered, apparently. It counts if I don’t go outside; I can FEEL the sun out there, giving life. Coffee doesn’t even help. Sun streaming in through the windows gives me all the energy I need to sit upright and not slow-motion think about the eternal sleep waiting for us all. Sleep… So sleepy.

Has it been cloudier for longer more often here? Is this how climate change is affecting us? In the scheme of things, this is better than unstoppable wildfires and rising sea levels, but it’s still gonna get us. Have I forgotten how grey it gets across the Atlantic? Am I just dramatic? Yes to all, most certainly.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, if you’ve never heard of it or don’t experience it yourself, is just depression, but it is because of the changes in season. It can happen in cold or warm months (if you have both kinds, is that just Everyday Affective Disorder? Fun Fact, I seem to have both. My life is like the moon, continually waxing and waning. But I need to get out of this parenthetical interlude.) Dollissa and I, we suffer in winter. We hate the cold, but even more than that it’s the grey, grey, grey.

She has said before that she treats her SAD with TV Shows, but I can’t do that because I associate watching teevee with when I was a child, home sick from school. I just feel worse. So this is what I do:

Sleep Too Much

I normally experience varying levels of insomnia, but during the glum winter days, I let myself sleep in. 1 PM, 3 PM — I no longer care. Structured days that I worked so hard to form fall apart as I just sleep the sleep of ages. I still feel tired, because this means I also fall asleep at like six in the morning. And anyway, the clouds of the day demand that I just feel continually puny.

Whine Endlessly

This article is only a drop in my bucket of complaints. I can hold up to twenty conversations at a time, all of them involving my weather sorrows. The NSA probably blocks me. They know that they’ll get no secrets out of my chats because all I am able to talk about is how tired I am. I have probably said that the clouds are “killing me” a hundred times this week. I am a delight and my friends love me.

Steal the Happy Lamp

Just kidding! Dollissa won’t give that thing up! These scientifically proven mood boosteners are designed so that you beam them directly into your sunken, miserable eye holes. It does help! You straighten up like a little recovering flower. The catch is that you instantly wilt again as soon as you move away from the lamp, or even blink. We probably should buy another to save my life. We should buy three for every room in the house.

Wait Until Nightfall

The worst thing for me, psychologically, is seeing how as soon as the sun sets, I perk up. No light at all is better than that horrible misty grey. Turning on the lights inside the house in the daytime doesn’t even help. They somehow emphasize the greyness to me. At least when it is night time, I can’t see how low the clouds are.

Overuse the Word “Grey”

I have heard that there are at least fifty shades of this color, but I am too tired to get out a thesaurus. Also, it’s practically the only word I can think on days like this, so we are all lucky that I didn’t just write “grey” seven hundred times and hit publish. Small miracles.

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