Before I start writing this post, I have to say that I feel like I am sitting down with dear friends I haven’t seen in a long time. It blesses me to blog again.
Shortly after I quit blogging in March we went through a time of protracted illness, teething, and general unwellness. I’ve been sick more in the past five or six months than probably the past ten years.
During one bout, I went to see my doctor. Although it was not what I went for, he very quickly and, I believe, accurately diagnosed me with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a fancy name for winter depression. The diagnosis was a relief in many ways. I’ve long wondered if I did suffer from SAD, but never talked about it with anyone other than David and my parents. I don’t exhibit all of the symptoms and my case is not severe. But it is a large factor in my life.
Not only do I suffer from winter SAD, I also suffer from the summer version. As a result, February, March, July and August are very hard on me. Unless you suffer from SAD, it’s hard to understand the desperation one feels when in the grips of it. David and I are always the first people in our area to plant flowers in the spring, get the porch furniture out, etc. By late March I am truly desperate to see winter end.
Likewise with summer. July is usually pure torture for me. So much sun and heat. August is also hard, but I can see the end in sight and we usually get some small breaks in the heat which helps. But, again, it is hard to explain the stress and anxiety someone feels with this disorder.
As I said, it is a relief to have this diagnosis. My doctor and I are working together to determine what will work best for me in terms of dealing with this each year. Simply having a diagnosis and knowing I’m not just imagining things is actually helping me plan more carefully for this summer. A cooler summer with a little less sun would be a true Godsend.
Looking back, I can see time and time again how the SAD has impacted my life, including my blogging. I’ve said so many times to David – it’s like I’m a different person in the fall and spring. And to a certain degree it is true. Life is so much better during those stretches. Now I need to find ways to deal effectively with the harder stretches. I don’t want to say cope because I believe in Christ that I can do more than cope. I don’t necessarily believe that God will heal me of this, but I do believe He can and will strengthen me in new ways and give me new wisdom and insight as I seek Him.
Going through this experience has caused me to really sit back and refocus. When put in combination with the newborn/infant sleep deprivation and a little one who has horrible bouts of sleepless teething, the past few years have been exhausting. There have been other factors as well, but I have come through all of this with a much greater understanding of my physical limitations. With that understanding comes a greater acceptance.
So in accepting who God has made me to be and what He has allowed my life to be, I’ve also realized afresh my need to live a quiet simple life. For some people it may be a lifestyle choice. For me, it is a necessity. I simply cannot function well any other way and be spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy. With this understanding comes a greater freedom.
And so the story will continue as I blog here about a quiet simple life.