I struggle with seasonal depression. Unlike normal people, mine doesn’t set in during the cold, dark winter months. Mine hits just as spring is unfurling her beautiful green tresses. My depression is fairly mild. I’m pretty good at hiding it, but those closest to me can usually tell. It took me a long time to realize that it happens about the same time every year—not by the calendar but by the budding of the trees.
I believe that my depression has a clear biological component—allergies. This time of year is when my allergies are at their worst. They drain my energy, which makes it difficult for me to feel motivated to do much of anything. I could easily sit for days simply staring out the window, or, better yet, dozing in a chair.
Because I now understand the cycle that I go through mentally, emotionally, and physically, I know how to keep myself going. First, I make sure that I’m eating well. The depression makes me crave simple carbs like donuts, white bread, and candy. Those aren’t good for anyone, but they’re especially not good for a diabetic. I know that leafy greens, complex carbs, and nuts are actually better at helping to balance the chemical issues involved. Second, I make sure I’m actually getting plenty of sleep. Naps are okay, as long as they don’t interfere with a good night’s sleep. I make sure that I exercise, even if it’s the last thing I feel like doing. Finally, I make sure that I spend a little time in the sun whenever it’s shining. I realize that this can make a huge difference.
These things aren’t a quick fix. To a certain extent I simply need to work my way through this. However, taking these steps helps me to stay healthy while I’m going through it. I also believe it helps to shorten this part of the cycle.
So, when I tell you I’m fine I really mean it.