Grappling with Mood and Writing
I had a revelation this past week. It was one of those times when I remembered something I’d already learned, but the idea became clearer and more significant.
I’ve known for a few years now that I struggle with mild depression during the winter months. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where weeks at a time without sunshine are common. Starting about four years ago, I noticed that I struggled with energy, focus, and attitude during these months.
The strangest part is that I forget it’s going to happen. Because I didn’t experience this until a few years ago, I keep assuming that it isn’t a pattern. Each of the past few winters, I grow unhappy during January and February. Then a sunny day rolls around sometime in March, and I feel amazing. This year, I’m recognizing that I’m going to probably deal with the phenomenon as long as I live in Oregon. Acknowledging that this is a factor should help me to deal with it.
The SAD has had a major impact on my writing. After months of consistency, I’ve been unreliable in my progress for the past six weeks. I’ve struggled to get up in the mornings, to prioritize, and to take pleasure in accomplishment.
I bought one of those lamps that simulates daylight and have been using it in the mornings. This should help me to counter-balance the lack of sunshine and get me on track during the mornings.
Happily the weather should be shifting during the next month. I may not need to worry about it after a few more weeks.