Fall Back

I’ve been trying to write this for a week. The reason why may become apparent as I progress.
Last weekend across the country, people engaged in the twice annual ritual that is Changing the Clocks for Daylight Savings. For most people, this is at worst a minor irritation, at best (at least at this time of year) an extra hour in bed. For thousands of people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, however, it acts almost like a switch, a harbinger of what winter has in store.
I suppose there are two schools of thought on this. One, that if winter depression is inevitable, then no amount of ‘being positive’ is going to help. The other is that if I’m expecting it, then it’s bound to bloody happen. This year, I decided that I’d try and ignore it, concentrate on other things – metaphorically stick my fingers in my ears and shout “la la la I’m not listening”. The problem being that when depression hit, it hit hard – like a sledgehammer to the stomach. My first indicator happened a couple of weeks ago. I was just sitting watching the local evening news with Mr D, when a report about a court case came on. The reporter recanted details of the evidence, and before I knew it, I was sitting there in floods of tears. There were many other incidents – I cried at the episode of Doctor Who, with K9 and Sarah Jane. Near the end, the Doctor says “you’re a good dog” when he realises that K9 will have to destroy himself to save them. (for the uninitiated, K9 is a robot dog) I’ve seen that episode so many times, I know that the Doctor rebuilds K9 in the end, but it didn’t stop me from blubbering.
Anticipating the inevitable, I got my SAD light out. I always work up to it slowly, increasing the time I leave it on by five minutes every few days, because if I leave it on too long, it makes me nauseous. Unfortunately my misery is accelerating at a faster rate than the light can keep up with, and I’ve found myself thinking it’s utter bollocks and it doesn’t work anyway. Luckily, I’m persevering rather than throwing it across the room..
On the clock changing front, I have been unable to sleep past 5.30am. My body clock is screwed, I start getting tired around tea-time, and by 7pm am looking longingly at the clock to see if it’s feasably time to go to bed. Last Sunday, I deliberately stayed up, forcing myself to stay awake, thinking it would mean I slept later in the morning. How wrong I was. I went to bed with a stinking headache and still woke up at 5am.
On Tuesday, I saw J’s replacement, D. I’d really wanted to write this thing about the clocks changing so I could tell you about her, (or at least our appointment) but everything’s felt so much harder, and I’ve ended up doing my usual depressed thing of ignoring Everything. Anyhow, D is lovely (she did my initial assessment back in early 2005) and I think once I get over my stupid thinking (ie “ohmygod she’s going to think I’m stupid, or there’s nothing wrong with me, or what if she expects things I can’t do” etc etc) I think I’ll be fine. I told her about the negative thinking thing – how I’m always hard on myself – and we’re going to look at that too. My anxiety was high, as expected seeing someone new, and I was so self conscious. I ended up telling her about the thing in the Guardian, and my blog, which she seemed to approve of, then I gave her one of my moo cards which I’d had printed with my website address on. Afterwards I couldn’t help feeling a bit silly – maybe somehow she would think that it was a bit too much – and as I type it occurs to me that she could read this. Ah well – even if she does, I often put things down here that I can’t express properly during appointments because my brain seems to go to mush and forget most of my known vocabulary. I see D again at the end of the month.
Finally, because I worry about people finding my blog and thinking it’s all Doom and Gloom, I figured something out. At the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, I started working with the most Gorgeous Sock Yarn Ever, and we decided that the colours were reminiscent of sweeties, but we couldn’t figure out which ones. I worked it out – Jelly Tots. Ergo:

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