The Unwanted Visitor
Oh. Hello again seasonal affective disorder. What brings you to this neck of the woods? What's that you say? My energy and sanity called and they wanted you to come for a visit? Pish-posh!!
And here he is again folks. My dear friend SAD. Lovely name isn't it? He pays me a visit every year, around this time usually, and I am too kindhearted or crazy to turn him away. I have been expecting his visits for the last seven winters. The way he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and his lethargy are catching. Believe me, I initially tried not to let him in.
The first time I ever experienced his siren song was the winter I lived on my own in Kingston, in my third year of university. I loved living by myself and I had two cats and a whole boatload of books to keep me company. Oh yeah, and I had my school work to do too. Never went to class though. I am of the Zack Morris mentality on that subject. You know, it just get's in the way?
So one day when there were only whisperings of snow on the ground, but damn cold, I heard a knock on my mind's door and I let this bastard in. I was fooled by his layered clothing and his armloads of blankets and snacks. At first I found myself hanging out in my pajamas all the time, but for anyone who knows me this is not anything to be alarmed about. This is a natural occurrence in my habitat, but it WAS getting slightly ridiculous that I no longer wore anything else.
Next thing I know we are lying bum to bum on the sofa everyday, and I am begging him not to leave. He is so snuggly, he is the only one that understands me, who lulls me to sleep with his voice that sounds like the drone of a television playing softly in the background. Music to my ears. And then my days started to get a little confusing. I would wake up and it would be 5PM, and I would be confused as to when I fell asleep last. And when I started paying attention to the time, there would be 24 hour periods that I would sleep straight through. I would wake up after these bouts, shove some food in my face, shower, and fall asleep for another 12 hours. I knew that something was not normal. Was my best friend and cuddle muffin drugging me? Why was it so hard for me to be awake?
I decided that he needed to leave once and for all. I DRAGGED myself to a doctor and they explained to me that I had a pesky little lurker named SAD. They gave me a drug called Effexor and told me that this is what I needed to rid my life of the evil one. The moment I popped the first pill I could feel that he would soon leave. He was sitting very rigid on the edge of my sofa, eyes darting around the room, looking nervous. Or maybe that was me because I was crazy stoned from the meds, I don't know. I fell asleep for a few hours and when I woke up I already knew without checking that he was gone.
Ever since that winter I have refused to take medication, even though I know it works. Personal reasons. I opt for more natural remedies, such as HTP 5, Vitamin D and B, and once even st. John's Wort. And every winter he comes back, not as strong as that first time he came over to hang out, but still here none-the-less. He tends to sit his fat butt on my body in the mornings when I need to get out of bed to go to work. And he talks softly in my ear the entire time I am getting ready to go, trying to lull me back into the warm comfort of our love nest. When he finally sees that it is not working, I am going dammit!, he grabs hold of both of my ankles and holds on for dear life, making the walk to and from work that much more difficult to get through.
But I resist. Because it's all I can do. Until I can afford to kill him with lights, this is how it has to be. For all the other sufferer's out there, keep your chin up and make this a-hole realize that in the end it's you who is boss.
Even if he does entice you back into bed with the promise of warmth and sleep. And warmth. And sleep. Did I say that already?