SAD, me and the Berkshires...

Well, hold the phone, the news is in: I am like everyone else in the Berkshires and suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. That is, I get depressed and cranky when there isn't a lot of sun and I can't get outside! As you might imagine, this was NOT an issue for me in Tucson where the sun shines more than 300 days each year. And in my typical style of being waaaay too slow to realize what is happening, I have been crankier and more down over the past 2 months - life seems flat and not all that interesting - and blessings can seem incidental.

So after writing a particularly acerbic barb yesterday - which my good wife had the sense to say "why don't you just delete that damn whole thing?" - she turned to me and asked, "Are you depressed, honey?" Now I hate being so dense but I had to admit that yes I probably was although I had never considered depression as an option. I am mostly (but not always) upbeat and interested in the joy side of life; true, I feel things deeply but live most of the time on the "sunny side of life" as the Carter Family used to sing... and therein lies the problem.

It has been brutally cold - and I hate the cold! It has been dark and grey - freakin' Nanook of the North weather - and I haven't realized how much I've missed the sun. And I was so sick for most of January with a flu bug that would not quit. So... yes I've got a bad case of the Berkshire Winter Blues - and I'm not happy about it. You see, I have come to love this place - and the people I am sharing ministry with - and it startles me how much the winter wears me out. But it does and I've got to find a way to deal with it so that I don't keep on feeling like such a sad sack!

Tonight we're getting out - gonna listen to some jazz and blues - and simply enjoy the blessings. A strategy for the winter blues will emerge (maybe even getting out of town in January or February to places warmer and sunnier; like my honey said, "Everybody is crazy here in February, babe!") This song is sooooooo sad and soooooooo sweet all at the same time... with Clapton and B.B. King, too.


rbarenblat said…
February's tough, no doubt about it. I try to find ways of enjoying the winter -- last weekend I went snowshoeing for an hour, snapping photographs as I went, which helped; the fresh air and sunlight were good for me, as was getting out of my house -- but it's a challenge. Somehow in March it all becomes easier; even March snows feel different, somehow, because we know it's March.

My coping mechanisms include: finding a way to get really warm (a soak in a hot tub, or even a plain old hot bath -- less sociable, but easier to come by), seeking out spicy foods and southern flavors (the Colombian and Brazilian places in town are calling my name), and looking for live music -- which it sounds like you're already doing. :-) Good luck getting through the toughest month!
RJ said…
The consensus from long timers is that February is brutal... it seems endless... especially for SW weenie like me! But owning it helps and listening to jazz with friends and good red wine is a blessing. Now it is on to the snow shoes. Thanks, Rachel.
Holly Swift said…
I'm moving from Alaska to Texas for the same reason. I have a lot of friends, but NOTHING makes these winters worth it.

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