I don’t know about you all, but I LOVE Fall. There’s a perky chill in the air, everything has pumpkin spice in it (even those things that really, REALLY shouldn’t have pumpkin spice in them), HALLOWEEEEEEENNN! It’s a time for apple picking, and haunted hayrides, and sweatshirts. Unfortunately, it can also be a time for depression.
Most people have heard about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. It can really suck. It can especially suck if you have baseline depression that you’re already managing with medication and therapy, because it’s like an extra depression garnish your body decides to add on to the soup bowl of your general malaise.
I generally don’t get SAD until the holidays/January (which is also my birthday), but for some reason I’ve been feeling a bit of it these last two weeks. Part of it was being SO COMPLETELY ILL with an awful stomach flu last week, but today, which was a rainy (which is actually great as we’re in a drought) and chilly day in San Francisco, seemed to sap the energy out of me and make me an irritable, anxious mess. It was hard to get out of bed or force myself to be productive. Today, I doubt EVERYTHING I do and every decision I make, from my writing to social engagements to what to eat for lunch. The demon voice in the back of my head telling me that I am a useless failure who is most definitely going to die alone in a pumpkin spice-colored van down by the river is piping up more than usual.
Now, I KNOW that I am NOT a useless failure. I KNOW that while I maybe didn’t exactly need those chips with my sandwich yesterday, I am not a disgusting blob person who deserves to die alone. I KNOW that I am making progress with writing and other professional endeavors. But the SAD Pumpkin of Fall is trying to make me forget what I know.
I’m going to monitor things over the next couple of days, and if I need extra help I’ll ask for it. I’m going to try to exercise every day, structure my work time more efficiently, and eat well and do fun things to try to stave off the SAD Pumpkin.
I’m sure there are many of you out there dealing with the same thing, and I wish you luck – and remember, when the SAD Pumpkin gets you down, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, medical professionals, therapists, or even (ha!) the internet. It’s not something we have to go through without support – just because it’s seasonal doesn’t mean it’s something we just have to put up with until days start lengthening again in the New Year.
Love you all, and remember – the SAD Pumpkin always rots, if he’s not smashed to death by neighborhood punks in the dead of night – so keep truckin’!