Prozac Winter Has Set In

by Bill Brenner on January 2, 2012

I’ve had some sharp mood swings in recent days. Now that it seems to be leveling off, I can write about it.

Mood music:

I made it through the usual Christmas blues in one piece and even enjoyed the holiday once it arrived. A week of vacation followed, and we Brenners did something we rarely do: Sit around like slugs. We needed it. We must have needed it really bad, in fact, because God sent the whole family a stomach bug to force a couple days of inactivity. I escaped the bug myself, but pretty much stayed under the quilts anyway.

The mood swings started around Thursday. I’d feel happy and at peace for a couple hours, then miserable, angry and agitated for a few hours, then back and forth. I didn’t mention it to my family, though I’m sure it was obvious. New Year’s Eve was especially brutal. I walked around in a fog all day, even as we did stuff as a family. We enjoyed a trip to the Museum of Science but much of the time my head was someplace else — someplace darker.

I carried on that way into the evening, feeling deep sadness over things I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then, as we got further into the evening, my spirits lifted. After Duncan and my niece went to bed, Erin, Sean and I watched TV and Sean and I played a game of Battleship. It felt good.

Yesterday was a good day overall. I had enough energy to go on a housecleaning spree before church. In the afternoon Duncan and I worked on a craft involving Plaster of Paris and, while the plaster dried, we watched some Harry Potter.

I ended the day dozing off in my favorite living room chair next to the Christmas tree lights, and was feeling content about it.

A couple items worth noting:

–The worst of my mood swings coincided with some dreary weather outside. No snow, but lots of clouds and a fair amount of rain. That kind of weather always tampers with my mood.

–Yesterday, New Years Day, the sun lit up the day brilliantly. I always do better when the sun shines.

The weather is always a factor for those who are prone to depression this time of year, when the days are short and the trees are bare.

I’m feeling good this morning. All in all, it was a good, restful vacation but I’m ready to get back to the work I love. I used to dread the end of vacation, so that’s a big plus.

I cherished the time I spent with family, even if my flawed side sometimes surfaced to make a mess of things.

I’ve learned to expect this stuff at the beginning of winter. That means I’m able to recover more quickly.

Thank God for that, because nothing sucks more than a slow, downward spiral you can’t pull yourself out of.

"Darkness and Light" -- check out the "Four Lease Ranch" blog where I found this. Good stuff.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ti Yar Kelley January 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

Totally with you on this one! I’ve lived near the Oregon Coast since 1966. Is that masochism or what? I love moss and rivers and fresh air and seclusion, I hate hot weather more than darkness, so here I am. I have found that Vitamin D supplements and sitting under my a 500w Halogen worklight help me. November – February is the Dark time. Ever other year, I try to vacation somewhere bright in January, like western Nebraska, southern Utah, eastern Oregon. It’s an enemy that hasn’t killed me yet, and every year I get craftier. I won’t be killed, but I’ll take a hit now and then. Zoloft is my point guard. 🙂

David Miller August 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Why dont you move?

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