I did some math yesterday and realized that this is the third winter in a row that I've developped this Funk of No Origin. Technically, I can pinpoint a catalyst to all 3, but it's the length of time it takes me to shake it that bothers me (which exacerbates the situation).
So, yesterday, I decided to do some research. I always sort of joke about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but now I'm looking seriously at it. From the Canadian Mental Health Association website:
Generally, symptoms that recur for at least 2 consecutive winters, without
any other explanation for the changes in mood and behaviour, indicate the
presence of SAD. They may include:
- change in appetite, in particular a craving for sweet or starchy foods
- weight gain
- decreased energy
- tendency to oversleep
- difficulty concentrating
- avoidance of social situations
- feelings of anxiety and despair
I have 6/7 of 9.
The first winter, I mostly dealt with it through alcohol. Very healthy, I know. But it's true. I was drunk once or twice a week. And when spring came (especially after I went to LA), the symptoms disappeared. On Estelle's suggestion, I also got Tryptophan from my doctor, which helped reset my sleeping patterns. Catalyst: Tom.
The second winter, I moved home and cocooned. That was easy to do, since the blizzard made it impossible to move, and the strike removed all reason to leave the house. My practicum was awesome, and knowing that I only had so many days left until graduation had a big impact on perking up. Catalyst: Pick one -- Estelle, Kelly, my puppy died.
This winter, I mostly feel lost. Still in the thick of it, I have a good idea of what could help, but no active way to make that happen, since I put all my cards on the table and am waiting for a response. Catalyst: Unemployment.
But still, I'm not unhappy. I'm frustrated and bored. I'm sometimes get stuck in my own head, but it's not so bad that I can't help Robyn with her current drama, or appreciate a good conversation with Foo or Andrew. I want to be out. I want to be doing stuff. That's the marked difference -- I don't want to cocoon again. I just don't know where to start.
I'm thinking that a tropical vacation would result in a major shift. I'm happy to take donations. Click here for details. Also, anyone who has a lead on a well-paying, interesting, mentally-stimulating job (or pass-time), suggestions are welcome.