Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

TGIF! My post-holiday seasonal depression is in full swing and it was a struggle getting through this week. I feel obnoxious saying that since my life is pretty easy, relatively speaking. I don’t have a high-stress job, I’m not caring for anyone sick or injured (nor am I sick or injured myself), I only have one child to care for and — knock on wood — he’s a good kid (though he NEVER — and I mean, never — stops moving unless he’s deep in sleep, which isn’t as often as I’d like), and I even have part-time help caring for him during the week when Drew’s at work. So I feel like I haven’t earned the “luxury” of being depressed, but it’s January and like clockwork so it goes.

I’ve been sad, angry, exhausted, and loads of fun to be around (just ask Drew). But rather than let this continue indefinitely or until Spring graces us with its presence, I’ve made a few doctors’ appointments, I’m making a point of getting fresh air and exercise every day, I’m getting together with friends, and I’m trying my best to tackle what ails me. I should probably order some more “happy lightbulbs,” as I call them — you know those ones that are supposed to mimic sunlight but are a far cry from a walk on the beach in June?

Anyway, I’m mentioning all this so any of you who are also dealing with the blues know you aren’t alone. And though I hope I haven’t seemed too obviously out-of-sorts lately, if it does come through in my writing, now you know why. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon and will be inspired to write a little more eloquently (writer’s block is an unfortunate effect of the blues for me; I can’t tell you how many different essays I started and deleted this week).

On a different, but not entirely unrelated note, I know the site has had a few technical difficulties lately. Next week, this tech genius will be working on the site so that it will run much more smoothly with far fewer glitches. The work is currently scheduled for Tuesday and the site will go offline briefly Tuesday evening, so head’s up. I’ll pay for the work with ad revenue, but if you ever feel inclined to contribute to the fund, you’re more than welcome (and it’s always appreciated; at this point, I still break even after paying for site hosting, maintenance, and 10 hours of child care each week. I’m hoping for big riches in 2013!).

That’s all I’ve got. How ’bout you??

100 comments… add one
  • avatar

    lets_be_honest January 11, 2013, 4:24 pm

    Just an fyi, a couple weeks ago I mentioned delayed posts. Someone told me to log in through the forum log in and it fixed the issue.

    Reply Link
  • the_optimist

    the_optimist January 11, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Wendy, I know the feeling. I feel like my writing has really been suffering lately as a result of this crazy depressive funk I’ve been in for a while. I just feel sort of muddled and stuck lately. Sorry to complain, and sorry to hear you’re going through the same. I hope the doc appointments help!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    FancyPants January 11, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Hang in there Wendy! We love you!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Addie Pray January 11, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Wendy, you are having sympathy blues because you know I’m struggling a bit with job stress, condo stress, relationship stress… you’re the sweetest advice columnist ever. *or* what you’re suffering from inadvertently rubbed off on me, geez thanks.

    Is anybody truly happy out there? I am happy generally – like, things make me laugh, I enjoy talking to people, I get excited about things (food and booze, mainly) and people. … but I worry. I lose sleep because I worry. And that is taking a toll on me. If it’s not one thing (“I have no job!”) it’s another thing (“I have a stressful job!”) or another thing (“I want to buy a condo!”) but then it’s another (“fuck me I own a condo!”) or another thing (“I’m single,waaa!”) or another thing (“finally having a boyfriend did not solve all my problems!”)…. See? I’m destined to be a ball of anxiety my whole life. So, who out there is truly content and relaxed? I want to hang out with you so you’ll rub off on me and so I can also punch you in the face.

    Wendy, I hope you feel better soon.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 11, 2013, 4:50 pm

      eh I think your discontent is a normal human emotion. If it’s REALLY anxiety then I would see a doctor. None of us are truly relaxed and happy until we are 85 and screwing 62 year olds after salsa class.

      Reply Link
      • the_optimist

        the_optimist January 11, 2013, 4:53 pm

        Amen to that.

        Link
      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 11, 2013, 4:57 pm

        Haha, good point! 10 was also a great year for me. I wish I could go back to being 10. Back when I believed my parents were immortal and happy and had no problems and could protect me from everything. And my biggest source of anxiety was trying to come up with The. Best. Halloween. Costume. Ever.

        Link
      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 11, 2013, 5:01 pm

        I was really really happy at 17 and 18. Like amazingly happy. And I’m getting back there now. Ages 9 to 11 WERE pretty awesome. I mean this was the time of the spice girls, nsync, brittney, BFFs, and sleepovers.

        Link
    • JK

      JK January 11, 2013, 4:55 pm

      Me! Me! Shame we´re so far away or we couldhang out all the time, and you could babysit. 🙂

      I mean sure I wish we could have a mega awesome vacation, but we can´t because we´re building an awesome house, so I can´t really complain. The vacation will just have to wait a couple of years, I can handle that.

      Reply Link
    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy January 11, 2013, 5:22 pm

      Is yoga helping?
      It’s supposed to be really warm here this weekend, so I’m going to ride my bike a lot and I think that will help me. Exercise really does keep me in a better mood. But when it’s cold it’s hard to get moving. And then I get depressed. And then I’m even more unmotivated. It’s not a good cycle.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 11, 2013, 6:57 pm

        Yoga helps me, but only if I do it regularly – and often. I can’t just go to one class week (and even that is better than what I’ve been doing). I need it to be a more regular part of my days

        Link
    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson January 11, 2013, 5:39 pm

      I think I’m always striving for the next thing to make my life perfect… but I’m always chasing happiness. Like when you’re single it’s always like a boyfriend will make my life perfect! And then when you have a boyfriend it’s like the perfect job will make my life perfect! And then when you both those you’re like the perfect body will make my life perfect! And then you’re like the best friends will make my life perfect! And it’s exhausting. I’m exhausted. Some yogi would tell you that you need to learn to be content in the moment but it’s SO HARD. I try to be thankful for the things that are going well right now – but it’s a struggle.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 6:05 pm

        I get that. I have a hard time accepting that I am “good enough.” Good enough wife, good enough daughter, good enough mom-to-be, etc. At least when it comes to material goods I can fix that. When I get thinking that I want something unnecessary I polish my coffee table. It’s a physical reminder that I do have things that I really wanted, just hiding under junk.

        Link
    • avatar

      GatorGirl January 11, 2013, 6:35 pm

      I think it’s the way you look at things. I’ve spent my whole planning two steps ahead of where I am. Planning out my wedding before I’m engaged, planning out a career before I’ve graduated college, etc etc. about three months ago I decided I was going to be happy now. Right now, in this moment I was going to be happy. And not stress about tomorrow or three years from now or ten years for now. I still think about all the things that used to stress me out (hello money) but im determined to not let it get to me. And so far it’s working pretty well.

      I’ve also made a commitment to myself (and my fiancé) to eat healthier, drink less, sleep better/more, and exercise (still working on this one). I’m the happiest I’ve been, on a consistent day to day basis in years. (I am still wanting to pull my hair out over the wedding planning, I will admit to that.)

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Slamy January 11, 2013, 7:11 pm

      AP, this reminds me of something Paulo Coelho posted on his blog this week about anxiety that really resonated with me. http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2013/01/07/anxiety/

      “There is nothing wrong with anxiety.

      Although we cannot control God’s time, it is part of the human condition to want to receive the thing we are waiting for as quickly as possible.

      Or to drive away whatever is causing our fear.

      That is so from childhood onwards, until we reach the age when we become indifferent to life. Because as long as we are intensely connected to the present moment, we will always be waiting anxiously for someone or something.”

      Reply Link
  • Classic

    Classic January 11, 2013, 4:54 pm

    I hope you feel happy soon, dear Wendy!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    lemongrass January 11, 2013, 4:58 pm

    The end of my pregnancy is starting to wear on me. And I at 36.5 weeks I have potentially 5.5 more weeks of it. I know that I have nothing to complain about since I’m not working and my husband literally expects nothing of me right now. He does the evening dishes when he gets home without complaint, never mentions that the floor needs sweeping and will do any of the chores I ask him to without so much as a wrinkle of the nose. So naturally I have to take advantage of that and whine. I’m just so uncomfortable! It’s a 6 point turn to roll over in bed, which needs to be done about 12 times a night. I can barely reach my va-jay-jay because this baby is so high up under my right rib and I’m right handed. Also, I waddle. My husband is calling me his “socially awkward penguin.”

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 11, 2013, 5:03 pm

      awww. Has the baby dropped yet? Maybe that will help with the pressing on your ribcage thing. At least you have a nice supportive husband to help you! And keep that baby in there as long as possible, he or she will come out when they’re ready!

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 5:29 pm

        Not yet! I’m sorta hoping it happens soon so that I can breathe when climbing stairs again, but then I’m afraid of it being so hard on my bladder.

        Link
      • katie

        katie January 11, 2013, 7:33 pm

        one of my coworkers was telling me yesterday that her baby just dropped recently, and she knew it happened because her underwire bras werent hurting her anymore… haha

        Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 8:08 pm

        She’s still wearing underwire bras? Good for her! These last few weeks I’ve probably only worn a real bra for 12 hours total. And I have gigantic boobs so sports bras don’t really do the trick for public outings but I just don’t care at this point. So what if they aren’t perky!

        Link
      • katie

        katie January 11, 2013, 8:21 pm

        oh, yea, haha thats a whole other thing- she feels really… awkward, i guess? or something.. about being pregnant, and so she hasnt wanted to be “different” or give up things or get special treatment because of it. so she is still wearing underwire bras, she does her best not to “waddle”, stuff like that… i dunno shes funny.

        Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 8:52 pm

        I just couldn’t care that much. I mean, seeing the xmas pictures up on facebook made me face the reality that I don’t look good this pregnant and that makes me want to shy away from photos/the world but I know that my kid will likely want to see pictures of me at this stage.

        Link
    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy January 11, 2013, 5:25 pm

      Jackson was born at 37.5 weeks, so I never got much further in my pregnancy than where you are. Luckily, I was never TOO terribly uncomfortable (Jackson was only a 5 lb. baby, so I never got too big), but I was sooooo tired at the end and ready for it to be over. Hang in there! The end is definitely in sight. And then the fun really begins!

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 5:32 pm

        My friend was that early, too. It’s still a crazy thought that I could have a baby in a week. You had a really fast labour too, right? I’m hoping mines not too long! I guess that not knowing is part of the fun or something like that 🙂

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 11, 2013, 6:38 pm

        Less than three hours from the first contraction until I was holding Jack in my arms! We barely made it to the hospital in time.

        Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 7:14 pm

        That’s amazing. I’m 45 mins away from my hospital! Luckily my midwife comes to my home when I go into labour and brings her homebirth kit just in case that situation happens!

        Link
    • avatar

      lemongrass January 11, 2013, 6:06 pm

      And now my car won’t start. Silver lining- now I get a free pass for ordering take out since I can’t get to the grocery store!

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 12, 2013, 3:01 pm

        Just want to say that after a decent nights sleep- the end of my pregnancy is not that bad. I’m really lucky to not be working and have such a helpful husband. I’m not in too much of a rush to get this baby out anyways since I’m a little wary of how it will change my marriage. I absolutely love my marriage and while I imagine having a kid will be all family snuggles and happy moments the realistic side of me says that I am likely going to be exhausted, frustrated and unsure of myself a lot of the time and that will put a strain on my marriage so for the moment I’m just going to enjoy every moment of what we have now.

        Link
      • chicotia

        chicotia January 12, 2013, 5:33 pm

        I have these same thoughts even though I’m not pregnant yet. I wonder how a baby will change my marriage. We have a wonderful relationship and I think a baby will change it for the better. Sure we won’t agree on everything and we will be tired and stress about money but we already do these things. I think a baby will just shift our focus and make us more of a family than we already are. Enjoy what you have and what you will have very soon 🙂

        Link
  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson January 11, 2013, 5:01 pm

    Wendy this is perfect timing – I was just talking to my friend yesterday about having the blues. My problem is that I can’t tell if I have seasonal depression or if my life just actually does suck. Like how do I not know that my anxiety and sadness isn’t because my life is really kinda shitty at the moment vs. a chemical thing?

    I’ve been doing everything I can to make it stop – I’m going to happy hour in a little bit and a ran AND went to yoga today. I’ve been trying to do this everyday. But I just find the smallest things can push me over the edge – Internally at least, most people probably think I’m happy as a horse. Anyway those are my eloquent thoughts. January blows.

    Go Broncos.

    Reply Link
    • theattack

      theattack January 11, 2013, 5:17 pm

      How do you exercise so much? How do you have the time and energy?

      Reply Link
      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson January 11, 2013, 5:41 pm

        Well because when you’re a contract attorney you have all sorts of flexibility. That’s part of the reason my life sucks. So even though I work from home a lot I need to keep a routine or working out around the same time everyday to give my life structure or I panic. I’m trying to be happy that I do have so much time to work out because I know that time will come to an end… but it’s hard.

        Link
      • avatar

        painted_lady January 11, 2013, 7:17 pm

        I hear that – remember when I went nuts this summer? I was definitely already depressed, but too much free time and too few “projects” like I have with school really sent me over the edge. I tried to create a routine…and it helped, but not enough. So maybe check in with a doctor if you can.

        Link
  • theattack

    theattack January 11, 2013, 5:10 pm

    I always have seasonal depression issues too. This year has been better than most, because I think I have more things to be happy about than I have in the past, but it’s not easy. Sorry you’re struggling so much, Wendy. I hope you feel better soon!

    Right now I’m stressed because I’m doing so much planning. Outside of wedding planning, I’m planning a lsat minute baby shower for my little cousin, and of course there’s a bunch of family drama coming from it. She’s 18, and her mom is pissed that I’m throwing her a shower because she thinks her daughter should have to pay for and suffer for her mistakes. I’m so scared of the environment this baby is being born into, and I’m really starting to hate my aunt.

    Reply Link
    • theattack

      theattack January 11, 2013, 5:16 pm

      And then plus at the last minute a huge and VERY important work project was thrown into my lap, and I don’t know how to do it, and I have no help from anyone who’s supposed to help. And one of the board members is trying to get me to take over her girl scout troop, and that’s so much pressure that seems kind of inappropriate at the moment. And I just got a cat who I don’t understand.

      And I’m getting kind of squishy, and my fiance is supposed to be in charge of our exercising (I’m in charge of our food), but he’s some sort of mean drill sergeant when we exercise, and I hate it and hate exercising with him now because of it. I can’t afford any of the gyms in our area though, and I really want to try to find some sort of fitness class.

      Sorry for the rant. Does yoga help people lose weight?

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 11, 2013, 5:35 pm

        Search craigslist for an exercise bike. I got one and it was pretty much the only kind of exercise I could force myself to regularly do, except for walking but that isn’t really going to help you lose much weight. Plus if you have a laptop then you can DW while exercising.

        Link
      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 11, 2013, 6:39 pm

        My fiancé loses weight with yoga paired with eating healthy. But yoga bores and frustrates me to death. Have you tried just jogging?

        Link
      • call-me-hobo

        call-me-hobo January 12, 2013, 3:42 am

        theattack, I wish you lived closer- I have a gym membership that allows me to bring a guest every time I work out, but it’s 30 mins away from Nashville in the opposite direction of where you are 🙁

        Link
      • avatar

        Kerrycontrary January 12, 2013, 7:50 am

        I do exercise videos at home! I can’t afford a gym, plus the closest one is a 10-15 min drive from my house (in a city but my neighborhood is weird. Only yoga studios here..). I do some quick videos through On Demand, and I just got Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred ($9). It is SO hard, but I know it’s working because it’s hard. My arms are really sore, but in a good way. Good luck with the baby shower. I understand parents of young moms wanting their daughters to “learn their lesson” when they get pregnant, but making things more difficult than they need to be isn’t the way to do it.

        Link
      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 12, 2013, 8:21 am

        Me too! I hate gyms and can’t afford a membership anyway, so I do videos all the time. I have the Jillian Michaels one too – but I injured my knee doing it and stopped. I really like Ellen Barrett videos. All her workouts are yoga/pilates inspired. I know she has some actual yoga and pilates videos, but I like the ones that are yoga/pilates/cardio hybrids. I think I’m joining a biggest loser type thing at work so starting Tuesday I have to work out a lot. I’m probably going to try Jillian Michaels again.

        Link
      • MELH

        MELH January 12, 2013, 9:24 am

        I have a bunch of Jillian videos and my absolute favorite is kickbox fastfix. I think I got it for like $10 or less. Its good cardio and a good workout, but I feel like its not as hard on your joints, ect. as her other videos.

        Link
      • avatar

        lemongrass January 12, 2013, 3:02 pm

        I tried her videos but it made my knee swell up from an old injury! My friend got really good results though.

        Link
      • avatar

        Trixy Minx January 12, 2013, 2:37 pm

        I just got a Jillian Michael video after stung it in target for $8! its the 30day 1 2 3 slim down.

        Link
    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 11, 2013, 8:39 pm

      You are awesome for doing that! Seriously. I didn’t get one an I really wished I had. She’ll really appreciate it.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    jlyfsh January 11, 2013, 5:16 pm

    I hope things start to get better, Wendy! I’m very lucky to not get affected by seasonal changes. Although, living in South Carolina I no longer deal with seasons quite the way I used to either 😉 If you need a cheap, warm-ish place to visit Myrtle Beach is a good choice. It’s supposed to be 78 tomorrow. The dogs and I will definitely be at the beach!

    I mentioned in another forum today that I recently started the 30 day Shred. I’ve already lost about 4 lbs, woohoo! However, I’m having a hard time moving. I think I might need one more rest day during the week than she recommends. My thighs hurt so much. I kept waiting until I thought I was going to pee my pants to get up at work because it hurt so bad and didn’t take a lunch that needed to be refrigerated so I wouldn’t have to get up, haha.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Kerrycontrary January 12, 2013, 7:52 am

      I just started it too!!! Haha. It’s so freaking hard. I just want to get stronger and maybe lose an inch off my stomach and I know this will work.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Kerrycontrary January 12, 2013, 7:54 am

        Oh also, I do it every other day. I don’t think it’s good to work the same muscle group 2 days in a row when lifting weights. Your muscles need time to repair

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 12, 2013, 8:37 am

        haha yeah i do it every other day too! actually i’m only doing it monday and wednesdays and then doing zumba three days a week. yesterday was rough (my schedule was off last week so i did it thursday) but today i feel so much better, i can sit down again! 🙂

        did you start with level 1? or go straight up to level 2 or 3? i’ve heard level 3 involves walking push ups? i’m a little scared!

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 12, 2013, 8:41 am

        i meant to say i’m planning to do it two days a week, the past two weeks i’ve done it more. and decided it was too much 🙂 she’s a monster, there are times when i want to throw something at the tv and other times that i appreciate her craziness.

        Link
      • avatar

        AliceInDairyland January 12, 2013, 1:23 pm

        I just tried this via YouTube, and man… I could maybe do this on the days I don’t do yoga. 30 minutes is not a huge time commitment, especially if you are already just at home sitting around. I want to hear when you guys go up to Level 2!!

        Link
      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 12, 2013, 3:09 pm

        yeah…i’ll keep you posted but don’t expect it to be any time soon, haha 😉

        Link
      • avatar

        Kerrycontrary January 12, 2013, 8:38 pm

        Yeh I’m sticking to level 1 right now. I took almost all of december off from working out. My upper body is pathetically weak. I feel better today. I think the problem with level one is that the first set of circuits is the hardest for me. My legs are fine with squats, but it’s really my arms/pecs that are struggling.

        Link
  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow January 11, 2013, 5:19 pm

    I’m depressed too. Everything sucks. I tend to get this way around my birthday, but everything really does suck right now. My birthday makes me compare myself to other people my age and see what they’ve accomplished compared to where I’m at. And I’m not happy with where I am. My job sucks, I’m in debt, I don’t have many friends, I’m unhealthily attached to my ex-boyfriend, I’m trying to quit smoking (which makes me even more depressed, moody, and irritated), and I’m about to become a full-time student NOT for graduate school, but for another bachelor’s degree. I feel like I’m going backward when everyone else got their shit together ages ago and is moving toward something better. I hate the feeling of instability in my life right now and not knowing what’s next. Oh, also I’m fat. And I hate it. Wahh. OK, my pity party is over. Carry on, y’all!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Trixy Minx January 11, 2013, 8:22 pm

      He, at least you got another i.d. in time for your birthday.
      umm. you met the guys from supernatural which I’m so jealous of!! you’re going to get your degree in nursing which is such a good career field. then once done you’ll be making enough to pay off your debts. I think you’re super hot 🙂 lol plus once you’re in nursing you can have the option to go back to school for many other degrees with could earn almost doubt a nurse makes.
      so no more pity party from you!

      Reply Link
      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow January 12, 2013, 8:25 am

        Aw shucks, I’m speechless. Thanks, Trixy. You’re right – I have to focus on the positive. I can quit my job soon to be a full-time student, so that’s a plus. And I’m definitely going to school to be a nurse practitioner so I can make more money. I just hate these transition periods where everything is up in the air. It’s like Addie said, I’m just never satisfied. I was SO freaking happy to get accepted to the nursing program I applied for, but now I’m just stressed about paying for it, you know? And FUCK YEAH Jensen and Jared are so hot. Jared hugged me so I can die happy now.

        Link
      • avatar

        Trixy Minx January 12, 2013, 12:18 pm

        Jared hugged you?! I think I would die right there if that ever happened to me.

        Link
  • avatar

    scattol January 11, 2013, 5:34 pm

    So it appears that SADs is essentially related to melatonin and the circadian rythm It’s now understood that the circadian rythm is controlled by the retinal ganglion cells You will note that they are essentially sensitive to blue light and mostly insensitive to the red side of the spectrum. http://jn.physiology.org/content/100/1/371.full moreover they are known to be all over the retina so light need not enter the center of your field of vision. So high level of bluish (cool light fluorescent tubes or cool white LEDs) should trigger these receptors which will reset your circadian rithym and trigger any other biological mechanism these control. Note that they have a slow response, in the order of multiple minutes, and they integrate over time so longer exposure does make a difference.

    For instance, you could use the type of SADs light as work light during the day, and/or turn your PC background to white. Replace incandescent lights with cool fluorescent or cool white LEDs as task lights might also be a good idea.

    Note: these have also been implicated in elevated level of breast cancer in nurses. Essentially the melatonin supression cause by lacking a dark period during the night (so light pollution, or a bright bedroom) has been implicated in the increase in cancer rate in nurses working night shifts presumably by suppressing the immune system due to the absence of melatonin. So while you want bright lights during the day, you want really dark bedroom at night (and especially avoid blue lights) and we are talking dark at around the level of a full moon or less. It seems odd that the level of lights are so divergent but that’s what appears to be reported in current research.

    Good luck

    Reply Link
  • Lili

    Lili January 11, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Honestly, I’m not too sad right now. Being a football fan, I’ve been loving this post season and the return of Downton Abbey has been like the most wonderful thing ever. This is my year of honesty and being honest to myself has been so challenging but also rewarding. The only thing I’m kind of struggling with right now is the realization that no matter how sorry you are for someone’s situation, if its starting to wear on your own sanity its time to get some distance. ANd not feel guilty about it. Its just hard to admit that sometimes people are beyond help, all through no fault of their own, but shitty things that happened to them. I just get to decide how much I let them into my life. SIgh.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      GatorGirl January 11, 2013, 6:41 pm

      Go Seahawks! How’s the 4 drinks a week going? I think I’m over the hump of being bitchy about not drinking, which is awesome!

      Reply Link
      • Lili

        Lili January 11, 2013, 11:59 pm

        Its going Ok-ish. Seahawk wins and downton watch parties are kinda killng me right now. So I think I might have to exclude sunday from my count. Its just too hard to not drink 2-3 drinks while watching a win (and harder still when I make a new friend at the bar who buys me touchdown shots after TDs…) but GO SEAHAWKS!!!

        Also, if the Niners-pack game gets intense I might want to drink as well. That one I’m watching from home though.

        Link
      • Lili

        Lili January 12, 2013, 8:58 pm

        So…I started drinking after Kaepernick threw that first interception. I suck but football DEMANDS drinking.

        Link
  • avatar

    Christy January 11, 2013, 6:36 pm

    Wendy, do you have an actual SAD light? I have started using one this winter and it seems to be helping so far. My friend’s father has one mounted above his desktop computer and he swears by it.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Anna January 11, 2013, 6:41 pm

    Wendy, just be glad you don’t have this awful flu that’s going around. I haven’t been able to sit up longer than 30 min all week, breathing and talking are nearly impossible, and I’ve spent at least 50% of my time blowing my nose and adding/removing clothing as I alternate between freezing and sweating. Also be glad you’re not alone. I ran out of groceries and medicine halfway through the week and wasn’t feeling well enough to drive to the store. I am lucky enough to have a best friend who loves me and brought over everything I needed even though her life is so busy already.

    It also helped today that I got the phone call I’ve been waiting for. I made it to the third and supposedly final round of interviews for a really great new job. No, actually it’s more than a job. It’s a career with a salary and everything. It would be my first job that actually requires my college degree.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    GatorGirl January 11, 2013, 6:50 pm

    Wendy (and others) I’m sorry you’re feeling down!! I hope the beautiful weather in the northeast helps y’all some this weekend!

    I’ve been on cloud 9 for two days and I can’t really explain why. I decided I was going to be happy this year and it’s working. And I just got a surprise early wedding gift in the mail! My dinner plates, hooray!!

    Oh, and we’re applying to be the show apartment for our complex which saves us $100 a month and the maintence man randomly installed a new shower head today! Winning!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Rachel January 11, 2013, 10:58 pm

      Wow, that’ll motivate you to keep the place clean. I think it would drive me nuts to constantly have my apartment shown.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 12, 2013, 1:03 pm

        I’m kind of excited to have to keep things super tidy. We’re the kind of people who if we don’t wash dinner dishes immediately they sit for two days- so I’m super excited to have a deadline for getting things done. Plus it’s motivation to finish decorating!

        Link
      • katie

        katie January 12, 2013, 3:37 pm

        We told our landlords that they could keep trying to sell this place in the springtime.. I’m not sure how to even keep a place so clean. Haha. If you learn anything particularly useful, let me know!

        Link
      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 12, 2013, 8:48 pm

        #1 tip is to clean it up as soon as you’re done with it. Everything and anything- pots and pans, towels, books- put them away immediately!! And have a place for everything. It’s easier to clean up daily if everything has a set place already.

        Link
  • avatar

    Lindsay January 11, 2013, 6:54 pm

    I normally do feel down and sluggish during the winter, so I totally understand. But this year, I’m actually feeling a lot better for a January. I think helped that my Christmas actually felt relaxing for the first time ever, and for some reason, I was able to pick up a gym habit almost immediately after I got back from my trip. Plus, I’m waiting for emails from grad schools, so I think the anticipation helps.

    HOWEVER, I’ve been feeling pretty anxious lately. Lots of vivid, often stressful dreams. Then I wake up at like 5 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. Or have trouble falling asleep because I feel all antsy. I’m also starting yoga, so maybe that will help?

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, Wendy!

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Desiree January 12, 2013, 12:06 am

      Good luck with the grad school apps! That probably explains the stressful dreams. I was SO anxious during the year of grad school apps and interviews. I was jittery every time I checked my inbox. But it can also be really exciting!

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      lemongrass January 12, 2013, 3:05 pm

      Try going to sleep earlier if you can. That way if you wake up at 3 or 4 you can get up and make yourself some tea or other warm non-caffinated drink. Deep breaths and don’t let yourself focus on your thoughts at night. If you mind starts to wander again just bring your thoughts back to your breath.

      Reply Link
  • katie

    katie January 11, 2013, 7:12 pm

    its like theres some sort of depressing sickness going around!

    my plant just lost their biggest client this week. hindsight, they had probably decided not to renew their contract way earlier, but still. our GM’s boss (VP of something) showed up yesterday, the GM was fired on the spot… i have no idea what will happen next. so im all worried about my job. i have the worst job anxiety!

    i took a 2 hour nap today. thats all i could manage to sleep before my overnight shift tonight… dang it. oh well, im gonna go have some coffee. coffee makes me happy. haha

    Reply Link
  • Northern Mermaid

    Northern Mermaid January 11, 2013, 7:13 pm

    Have any of you guys dealing with the SAD tried taking Vitamins D and B? When I moved up to Alaska my doctor recommended the combo and it made a HUGE difference.

    Reply Link
    • Just Max

      Just Max January 11, 2013, 9:23 pm

      The vitamin D has been helping me. And I just started taking vitamin B this week. I hope it helps, because I am exhausted from all the blues and work drama and cold weather and a bad cold. :-/

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Meg Murry January 12, 2013, 11:59 pm

      yes, if you are going to the doctor Wendy you should ask them to test your Vitamin D & iron levels – when I was feeling especially low recently my doctor checked them and sure enoigh, both were very low. Now I take D, B & calcium in the morning and iron & Vit C at bedtiime (C helps with iron absorption, D & calcium help with absorption) and it’s better – although I suspect exercise and a better sleep pattern would make it even better.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    painted_lady January 11, 2013, 7:37 pm

    Believe it or not, I’m actually kind of okay at the moment (Wellbutrin, I love you!). I think I’ve had a few moments of heading back down the depression hole, but I seem to have kept myself afloat. I’m really sort of falling in love with roller derby – the practice last night was with the whole league, and I was so terrified. The lady that’s in charge of teaching the noobs is sort of scary and bitchy and nasty, and I was expecting a track full of girls like her…oh my god, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I got cheered on when I got something right (happening more and more!), corrected in a really cool, supportive (and usually funny) way when I screwed up (still happens a lot), and I’m not just skating around a track in silence, which sort of sucked. And honestly, I’m just really proud that I’ve stuck with it even though it’s hard and intimidating and scary…I’m not always great at that.

    On a related note, one of my favorite students was showing me her sketchbook today (I require them to sketch a certain amount and I grade at the end of the semester, which was today). Anyway, my student, C, has depresson, and she and I have talked about it some. One of the sketches was of what looked like playing cards scattered on a table, and on each one there was one word that made up part of this really lovely quote about depression, except none of the words were in the right order, so you had to find them, and it was such a perfect metaphor for what it’s like to be in the middle of it. It actually made me a little teary seeing it, and she got all choked up as she explained it, and it was just this really wonderful moment where I thought, “Holy shit, I helped this kid find a way to say all that,” and yeah, I love my job. I think she’s going to make it into a bigger finished piece. I’m so proud of her 🙂

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      Taylor January 12, 2013, 5:24 pm

      What was the quote?

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        painted_lady January 13, 2013, 11:06 am

        Tbh, I don’t remember what it said!

        Link
  • avatar

    quixoticbeatnik January 11, 2013, 10:52 pm

    I hope you feel better Wendy! I’ve been feeling pretty sluggish lately. Feeling kind of sick and stuff…I also found out today that my thyroid levels are slightly low, which may explain why I often feel tired and have trouble losing weight. So I’m going to work out more often than I actually do. My apartment complex has a boot camp class that I’m going to start going too, and I’m also going to do hot yoga at least twice a week. I also need to drink more water and less bad stuff. I want to try and manage my thyroid levels instead of going on medicine. Do you have to take thyroid medicine for the rest of your life?

    I am excited about some things though. I’m starting classes for a certificate that I’m getting which will hopefully get me a good job. I just got a new library card for the public library so I can save money on buying books. I’m also about to start volunteering at a no-kill animal shelter socializing with cats and hopefully foster one soon!

    I think I’ve also been feeling blah lately because my hearing is all out of whack right now….sigh, I hate it.

    Reply Link
    • Lili

      Lili January 12, 2013, 12:32 am

      About the thyroid meds–I believe you do and I would seriously recommend it. Depending on the type of hormone that is low, its not something you can really self regulate, like we don’t get thyroid hormones from food, its just something our bodies need to and aren’t producing enough of. The maddening thing about the thyroid and weight connection is that nothing really helps kick start weight loss other than regulating the thyroid levels. Drinking more water and working out more (with what energy I’d be tempted to ask…) are good practices in general, but as a person who stupidly went about 3 weeks between scrips I noticed a HUGE difference. I started at like 50 Mcgs and then it gradually climbed to 100 where its been stable for the past 3 yrs. Its not that scary. Its just a pill I take first thing in the AM (and there are vegan versions available as well) and get on with my day. I look at it the same as I do allergy pills, if you need em, you need em! Good luck getting it all figured out!

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        quixoticbeatnik January 12, 2013, 1:02 am

        Hmm, I see. I think the doctor wrote out a prescription for 25mg a day….it’d be interesting to see if it did have an effect. I’m just not sure, because it’s not like I’m hypothyroid. My best friend has higher levels of her thyroid hormone and she’s borderline hyperthyroid, but her doctor said he wanted to wait and see whether or not she needed the medicine. She used to be borderline hypothyroid back in high school. So it could change without medicine, right? I guess I’ll talk to my doctor about it and see what he says. Thanks for your input! Maybe I’ll go back and read Wendy’s stuff on her thyroid issues.

        Link
      • avatar

        quixoticbeatnik January 12, 2013, 2:26 am

        Two things: maybe I’ll see an endocrinologist for a second opinion and Wendy (if you see this) – I was thinking about what you said about breaking even and I was wondering if you get a percentage of my purchases on Amazon through the referral link even if I use a gift card? Because I’m doing swagbucks and trade-ins a lot right now, so I’ll probably be using more Amazon gift cards for purchases. I want you to be rolling in the money!

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 12, 2013, 7:48 am

        Yes, as long as purchases are made through my referral link, I do make a commission. Thanks! I even get a commission on the purchase of gift cards. My earnings have definitely increased in recent months – December was especially good – but as the site grows, the cost of maintenance does too, so still breaking even for the most part. I have good feelings about this year though.

        Link
      • Lili

        Lili January 12, 2013, 2:37 am

        Anytime 🙂 Interesting about your friend!To me, that just seems like the body trying to work itself out–I mean I HATE to get into a discussion about chemical balances and depression, but I like to think that the body does try to stabilize ALL imbalances. Its just luck of the draw whether it succeeds or not. Another thing I’d recommend paying close attention to is if you are on hormonal BC. I THINK we’re FB friends and I’ll be happy to go into more detail about my own anecdotal issues relating to it in private, but lets just say it DEF had an impact on me and my thyroid…just something to be aware of.

        Link
      • avatar

        quixoticbeatnik January 12, 2013, 10:54 am

        Yeah! I’d like to think the body can self-regulate itself, too! But your point about the hormonal BC does remind me that I think my friend’s BC impacted her thyroid issues, so that may be why it changed so much. I’m not sure if we are friends on Facebook, but I think I know who you are, based on other DW people that I’m friends with, so I’ll add you and ask you about that! 🙂

        Link
      • avatar

        quixoticbeatnik January 13, 2013, 2:48 am

        I think I friend-requested you! I hope I did, anyways….

        Link
      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy January 12, 2013, 7:52 am

        You should see an endocrinologist.
        Thyroid disease is very easy to treat – one pill every day (yes, forever) – but it needs to be regulated. I have had to change the dose of my mess like four times since Jackson was born 15 months ago (and three times while pregnant). It shouldn’t typically be that much work to regulate but pregnancy and postpartum hormones can do a number on the endocrine system.

        Link
      • avatar

        quixoticbeatnik January 12, 2013, 10:56 am

        Thanks, Wendy! My friend gave me the name of her endocrinologist, so I’ll make an appointment with him. I just got the thyroid blood test done by my regular doctor, so having a specialist’s opinion would help. I wouldn’t have gotten a blood test done if it hadn’t been for your experience with thyroid disease as well as my friend’s. It’s helpful to have anecdotes from other people!

        Link
  • avatar

    Rachel January 11, 2013, 11:06 pm

    I’ve also been kind of bummed lately, though I think it’s less about the season and more about the fact that my life has felt “in transition” for the past 6 months or so. Moving, starting a new job, losing that job and looking for a new one, moving again and starting the new job. Also, I’m lonely. My department is much less social than I’m used to, so I haven’t really been interacting with a lot of people at work, and I don’t know people in town yet. I’m impatient and want to start feeling like I’m living my life.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    AliceInDairyland January 12, 2013, 4:02 pm

    Side note: My parents got HBO, so I got a hold of their HBO-go and just finished the pilot episode of Girls….And…. WTF?! I was so frustrated the entire time I wanted to smack them all upside the head. Especially the European girl and the main character. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THINGS?! Errrrgh……………………………………

    I get overly frustrated with these things, probably partially because I am jealous of how people my age can just be so careless about their lives/futures. It seems really enjoyable, and I can only hope that my slightly-overly-neurotic-ness will pay off in the future because I will have my ducks in a row and planned somewhat accordingly. I mean, I would have loved to have spent a year traveling in Europe. But instead I worked my butt off to not have any student loans and graduate a year early. And now we are glorifying the nonchalant asshole?!

    But I have to watch another one now. Maybe it gets better? I have a scarf to knit so I want something I don’t have to pay super close attention to.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      AliceInDairyland January 12, 2013, 4:03 pm

      Also their clothes are all so cute… if I had no job in New York I sure as hell wouldn’t be dressed as nicely as they are. Grar.

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        Eagle Eye January 12, 2013, 11:29 pm

        I also hated it after the first episode, but I have to say that it really grew on me. Also, being 25 it made me feel so much better about myself and my situation, and anxious in a weird deep seated anxiety kind of way.

        Link
    • avatar

      Rachel January 12, 2013, 5:10 pm

      Keep watching, it gets better.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      Emma January 12, 2013, 7:04 pm

      I had pretty much the same reaction to it. It was painful for me to watch those characters.

      Reply Link
    • katie

      katie January 12, 2013, 7:30 pm

      when i was forcing myself to stay up late a few nights ago for my overnight thing, i saw Girls creator (director? writer? i dunno) on letterman and she said if you hated the first season, you are going to LOATHE the second season, which i thought was hilarious of her to say. also, she is genius.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Emma January 12, 2013, 4:55 pm

    I, too, suffer from SAD. I got one of those lights, and it certainly helps (especially those days that I just can’t get outside when there’s sunlight). It’s nothing like getting out in the summer, but it’s a lot better than nothing. I find that marijuana also really helps me, but of course, that’s not for everyone. It’s kinda my cure-all.

    I think the best thing is just to try to keep busy. I’m not working right now, and school hasn’t started up again for Spring semester, so I’ve been keeping myself busy by painting and hanging out with people. Unfortunately, most of my friends are out of town, but I’ve been making a point to see people I don’t normally hang out with. I’ve also been trying to eat better (not so many grains and cheeses, more veggies), which seems to make some difference.

    Another resource I’m aware of is 5-htp, a chemical supplement that, used sparingly, can help with serotonin issues. It’s not something to take every day when you wake up, but if you can’t get around to using the light, eating right or whatever, then it’s a decent substitute. (It’s also good for coming down off certain substances, but that’s a different story.)

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sue Jones January 12, 2013, 7:23 pm

    My stepson has suffered from severe Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is usually really bad this time of the year. What has really significantly helped him has been getting on the proper meds and using light therapy. He uses this: http://www.sadlightreviews.org/philips-golite-blu-sad-light-review/

    He shines it into his face in the morning for 30 minutes. He had SAD so bad that he spent 3 weeks in the psychiatric hospital 2 years ago, and 1 year in a special program and still last year was not doing well in January. This year he is fine. And last semester he got a 4.0 in college. Worth a try!

    Reply Link
  • Cara

    Cara January 12, 2013, 7:45 pm

    A friend of mine raped another friend of mine. I was just told, but not by the girl itself, so I’m not supposed to know and can’t talk about it. I was supposed to cook and have dinner with him tomorrow. I def. won’t go, but I can’t tell him that I think he’s scum either, because I’m not supposed to know and it would get back to her.

    I just want to punch him so bad.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Lo January 13, 2013, 8:55 am

    Two winters ago – though I never went to a doctor or got diagnosed – I know that I went through a period of bad seasonal depression. It was my first winter not as a student and things weren’t going very well at work. I was struggling with living in reality and not my little college/grad school bubble where life is easy and positive reinforcement common.

    A few things that helped pull me out if it: first, the happy lamp is great and I highly recommend one! Second, I bought an expensive 10 pack of classes at a studio gym, and as they were expensive, it forced me to go. I viewed it as an investment in me. Lastly, I rallied up some girlfriends for a fun weekend away. Having something fun to look forward to on the calendar was a boost that helped with the tedium of everyday.

    I hope you feel better! This part of winter sucks.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment