Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Hate February

And I'm glad as Hell it's almost over.

I believe I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, a.k.a. "S.A.D." In fact, I'm pretty damned sure I've got it, although I've never been formally diagnosed (I stay away from the medical profession in general and avoid shrinks like the plague).

It takes a while to "get it". That is, to understand that you have it. You reach a certain age, let's say ten years out from High School, and you look back and you discover all your worst "life decisions" were made in February or January. Wrecked cars, lost jobs, broken relationships, chronic health issues are all clustered around those damned Winter months. Once you realize the risks, you're prepared, even if there's not a Hell of a lot you can do about it.

I've been taking St. John's Wort for the last couple of years. It seems to help. I used to take it starting in October - it takes a month to go systemic ("kick in") - and ending in May, but the zombie-like withdrawal would generally last through June, making June every bit as painful as February.

So I take it year 'round now.

And, I drag a full spectrum light to work. I shine it on my mouse hand for a couple of hours a day in the morning (twenty minutes a day on the back of the knees - I kid you not - has shown to be effective). I also try to get as much natural sunlight as possible, even though sunny days are relatively rare in February.

One of the things that helps a lot is realizing life can be a lot worse than just being down in the dumps and irritable. Compiling the Murder/Suicide Blog for the last three months has had a sobering effect. You see these news stories, with photographs of yellow police tape around snow-covered houses, and you can't help but wonder if S.A.D. didn't have an effect on those people (the economy notwithstanding).

Especially considering February has been a killer month for murder-suicides (there were three double-murder suicides in Ohio in the span of a little more than a week this month), although it has been absolutely in line with the statistics (you can expect at least two a day regardless of how happy or sad people are - it simply happens that often).

Anyway, March 1st is less than fifteen minutes away. Pinky Dink's garden is already starting to sprout, the days are getting longer, and this crappy month is over.

It gives me a warm fuzzy just thinking about it.

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