I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.

SAD is a rather cutesy little acronym and I don’t have a lot of use for it other than accepting that it’s easier to say than “Seasonal Affective Disorder.”  When you say “Seasonal Affective Disorder” as often as I say “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” especially in this post, you appreciate the chance to shorten “Seasonal Affective Disorder” up a bit, no matter how stupid the acronym is.   I think I particularly dislike “SAD” because SAD doesn’t actually make me sad.  I’m not sad this time of year.  I am, however, extremely tired.  Exhausted, even.  Worn down so far on all edges until I feel considerably less like myself and more like a shapeless blob.

I have given it serious consideration and I honestly believe that if it were not for the motivating factors of children, a husband, paid work, the general desire for a healthy-ish lifestyle, and an overwhelming sense of guilt about non-productivity, I could easily and happily spend 20 hours of my day sleeping during the months of SAD.  The four hours of wakefulness would be spent eating doughnuts.

That’s pretty much my fantasy life for the months of November through, oh, let’s say early March.  March has its own problems, but at least I don’t generally want to sleep through it.  I probably still want doughnuts in March, though.  That’s kind of a given.

Of course, I can’t sleep and eat doughnuts all day, every day like my SAD-affected cavewoman brain would like me to do–and I think we can all agree that’s a tragedy.  Sometimes my cavewoman brain gets so frustrated with this tragic reality that it pushes me out of sleep-and-doughnuts over to the other extreme: Energetically Cranky Cherie.  Energetically Cranky Cherie is much like Malibu Barbie only with less pink and Malibu and more sweatpants and swearing.  It’s hard to say which is more fun for those around me to deal with, the sleepiness or the crankiness, but I guess the positive spin is that I can mix it up a bit?  Maybe?  Keep them on their toes?

I’ve always had SAD to some degree, I expect, but I must say that the hormonal shake-up of having children took it to a whole new depth.  Or maybe it’s age.  Or maybe it’s just that my life these days is pretty nonstop and thus my resources are used up quicker.  Or maybe this is like the inverse of the uphill-to-school-both-ways days of yore, in that the memory of last year’s pain has dulled enough that whatever I’m suffering through right now seems so much worse than it could possibly have been last year.

Who knows.  But this year is rough.  This year is really, really rough.

I’ve tried a variety of solutions through the years and this time I’m trying to white knuckle my way through by eating healthy and attempting to get exercise.  I’ve cut way back on sugar. I go for walks, almost daily.  I do yoga. I’ve started drinking green smoothies, strange concoctions with fruit and kale in them.  I’m about to crumble under the weight of all this virtue and I can’t say that I’ve noticed a lick of difference.

There’ s no real need to write this.  I don’t really need advice.  I don’t really need sympathy.  I don’t even need commiseration.  I just kind of wanted to put it out there and say: you know what’s unfair?  Do you know what is utterly and completely unfair?

The fact that I can’t sleep and eat doughnuts all day.

It’s just so very, very, very SAD.

(And, yes, I totally hate that I did that. I’m sorry but I couldn’t think of another way to end it. Let’s blame the disease, shall we?)

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