Rants from the Crib

An Ob/Gyn gone mad

Archive for the tag “depression”

All Or Nothing?

The question was posed:  is it more dangerous to want everything or nothing?

I think desiring everything can be an indication of ambition, if what you want is intangible.  Failure to narrow down these aspirations make one the proverbial “Jack of all Trades,  and Master of None.”  Those of us with this issue of course refer to ourselves as “Renaissance” persons.  It sounds better.

I had no goals in high school.  Except to survive.

Desire for things is a  symptom of the commercialization fed to us every day; we are bombarded:  ads on TV, ads online, the lure of a glistening store.

The sellers know, the more we are dissatisfied with ourselves, the more we are likely to buy a product.  “If I just bought this wrinkle cream, I would look younger and more desirable.”  “If I bought this treadmill, I would lose weight and be sexy.”  It is human nature to desire to improve, fit in, and of course, find a “better” mate.  And society has persuaded us, tragically, that this results from conspicuous consumption, not from internal change.

Desiring many things can also indicate greediness, addiction, hoarding issues, and narcissicism,  where people may spend more than they can afford, landing themselves in debt and jeopardizing their family’s finances.

I confess, I do want everything. Things.  In my case, I want to improve my looks, and to fit in with my peer groups, and I have definite packrat tendencies.  I love to shop, and sometimes I engage in retail therapy.  I shop when I feel bad, I shop when I feel good, I shop because I love to bring home piles of lovely things to add to my treasure troves of clothing, art and jewelry supplies, books, stationery, eclectic decorating items.  My interests are wide.  And since high school, I have harbored the conviction that the more “cool” things I have, the safer from criticism and ostracism I will be.

Wanting no material things; that’s good.  We could use more asceticism in life.  A simple life is examined and confident.

But wanting nothing; that can be scarier still.  I realized one day, a few years back, that despite hoarding my precious supplies of material things, that I have no goals left.

I had a goal to go to college; I finished with a whopper GPA .  Check.  Next goal: have fun.  Did that in spades.  Overdid that.  Next stop, medical school.  Made straight A’s my first two years, and nearly that the second two.  Check.  Next stop, residency.  Chose a specialty and spend a grueling 4 years training, being hazed, overworked and psychologically abused.  Survived it, and I never let them see me cry.  Check, check, check, check.

I bought the car of my dreams, a Porsche Carrera, after graduating.   Goal met.  I wanted to get married.  Finally met and married my husband at the ripe old age of 35.  Goal met.  We wanted children, and I produced a daughter with frightening speed.

And one day, I woke up and I realized there was nothing left.  All those life goals, done.  What else is there?   What do I want now?  What life achievement is out there?

I’ve given this a fair bit of thought.

Many aspire for grandchildren, which would be nice, but it is not a goal for me.

I want to make more friends.  I guess that’s sort of a goal.

I’d like to simplify my life by divesting myself of these possessions.  But I don’t really want to.

I want to improve my jewelry techniques and make selling my work more of a career and less of a hobby.  It’s a dream I cannot realize, since the loss of income would be unacceptable. That would be a goal, but it is inconveniently imaginary.

I want to get in better shape, but do I really?  I abhor gyms; they bore me, and I don’t go.  Must not be much of a goal, if I’m not doing anything about it..

I would like to write a book.  It may or may not happen.  I know I do have one in me.  It’s probably the only true goal I have left.

What I really want is to quit my job.  Scarcely a positive move.

Not wanting anything is an abyss you stare into.  There is nothing at the bottom of it, at the end of it.  In essence, life is over.  I feel I should just cede what’s left to the next generation.

Not wanting is the end of the road.  It brings on an unsurmountable depression.  I am reminded always of Peggy Lee’s song “Is That All There Is?”  I learned it as a kid, but didn’t realize the sadness and truth in it until I was older.

If you want material things, at least you are alive in a small way.  You are moving toward something, persuading yourself that amassing collections is a vital “hobby”.

I’ve always felt I want too many tangible things, but that never gave me this sinking feeling that there is nothing left to achieve.  That is a special kind of hell.  A bottomless pit.  And when hope is gone, that is a very, very dangerous thing.  A person with nothing to lose is a disaster waiting to happen.

Sliding Downhill

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And The Hits Just Keep On Coming

So, once again I am discouraged and having a crisis. So much for the amusing lighthearted posts. As you may know, Gentle Readers, I am planning a big move to exit my current job because it is killing me. Since I finished residency, like, fifteen years ago, I have been working full time as an Ob/Gyn, a job which carries obscene hours and a boatload o’ stress. And I know forty-four isn’t horribly old, but I’ve been working like a slave for at least half of my life. And I have a seven year-old daughter whom I hardly ever see. And I am sick of missing her childhood. So my husband and I made this wild little plan for me to make the move to part-time work, so I can de-stress and see my family.

The de-stressing is particularly important, because I have bipolar disorder, have had it since I was a teenager, and it is getting steadily worse. Sleep deprivation causes relapses and depression, and my job is all about sleep deprivation. This weekend alone I have lost track of how many babies I’ve delivered, how many patients I’ve admitted, and how many circumcisions I’ve done. I got no sleep last night. I did a c-section at five this morning. I have just now gotten home for a shower, and here it is Sunday. So this is why I’ve missed my daily blog post for the last two days.

Anyway, the grand plan was, I was going to do travel doctoring, which is called locum tenens, and we made arrangements for me to work two weeks a month and be off two weeks a month. We had it all set up, but things began going horribly wrong. First I found out the the company that hired me screwed me over and hired three other doctors for the job I had. So I can only work five days a week instead of ten, and I don’t know if I can get by on that. So I was crushed by that news, and felt betrayed and angry, and now I have to fill out more paperwork to get licensed in yet another state so I can get more work.

We were just trying to get over that one when the next fun-filled surprise happened. Since I have worked full time for the last fifteen years, I have always had health insurance provided by my work, no problem. Now that I will be working part time for myself, I have to provide my own health insurance. My husband chose a plan for us and called Blue Cross and gave them all our information. He sent me a triumphant text a day or so later: we had gotten our new insurance approved. It all seemed a little bit easy to me. I have a long history of psychiatric treatment, and insurance companies do not like that. Sure enough, a day or so later, he tells me that while he and my daughter are approved for the insurance, Blue Cross refuses to insure me. I am uninsurable because I carry the bipolar diagnosis in my insurance records. How will I get by with no health insurance? My psychiatrist did offer my husband some hope, because my husband called him after we got the rejection. My psychiatrist said that my old job is required to provide me with Cobra insurance for eighteen months following the end of my insurance. My psychiatrist said, if I just keep that, at the beginning of next year kicks in the new Obama care regulations, and the insurance companies will no longer be able to decline me on the basis of mental illness. But for right now, I’m scared half to death. I’m uninsurable! How cruel is that? And I’m a lot better off than a lot of folks with bipolar. I function, I maintain a high level of performance at work, I haven’t been hospitalized. But they still won’t insure me. Bastards. Insurance companies are bastards. Which I knew anyway.

So, the hits just keep coming. I am bitter and exhausted this weekend, and the weekend isn’t even over. And I’ve got some sick patients already in the hospital to take care of. The only saving grace is that I’m off tomorrow, and I’m going to get my hair done. My grays are showing. After that, I have only one more call day before this job ends forever. Unless I have to go crawling back because now I have no job. And no insurance. So things? Not so good. I just wish I had some positive news to report.

Nightmare Christmas

Normally, I will do anything to avoid WalMart.  As in, I don’t think I’ve been in there for a year.  But today, in the name of Christmas, I had to suck it up and go in there, because they have a Honey Baked Ham kiosk, and we have a gift card for Honey Baked Ham and a need for something to eat for Christmas dinner.  So I bravely took my daughter with me, and despite some serious trepidation, off we went.

First we had to park.  We drove up and down the vast parking lot, searching for anywhere to park.  I wasn’t being choosy.  Even a spot in the back would be fine.  We were nearly smacked into by aggressive senior citizens seeking spots close to the building.  There were bazillions of people milling through the crosswalks, so it was nearly impossible to progress to the next lane.  We finally found a spot far, far to the back, and of course it started to rain.  We walked a mile to the store and I was cursing my choice of footwear – boots with heels that looked very nice with my outfit but which felt not so good on such a hike.

We made it in the crowded doors and I began looking for the Honeybaked Ham kiosk.  I couldn’t see it anywhere.  I decided to go back and look for a Wii dance game I’d asked my husband for for Christmas – he told me to go get it myself and wrap it up.  As soon as we got back to Electronics, my daughter began begging for Nintendo DS games, and Pokemon games and a new Nintendo DS3 and basically anything she could see within eyesight.  It was annoying.  She begged and tugged at my arm until I couldn’t even think.  I told her to hush up and I got a kid’s version of the Wii dance game that came free with my version.

Off again we went to hunt Honeybaked Ham.  We finally found the kiosk over by the produce – they had three people manning one little booth.  They of course did not accept the gift card – those are only accepted by the real store.  At least they took the coupons.  I bought a boneless ham for Christmas dinner and a roast turkey for lunch the previous day.

Then we had to go stand in the checkout lane.  And we stood, and we stood, and we stood.  There were two girls in front of us who were so psyched about Christmas in the air that they were jumping up and down and bumping their chests into each other.  At least I think that’s what they were excited about.  I was holding two Honeybaked things and they were getting very heavy.  My daughter did not want to help and hold the bag from Electronics.

Next we set off to Publix – parking lot, same scene.  Awful.  We finally found a spot and went in with our immense list.  Little Bit threw a fit because she wanted a cart with a car on it – she is wayyyyy too big for those and I told her so.  So she pouted and climbed into the cart and sat where I needed to put my groceries.  The only thing that saved me was that she saw my Kindle and wanted to read a story on that.  So I gave that to her and was allowed to get my groceries unmolested.  Except for all the people trying to run me over.  They were out of several things I needed.  I had to call Mom and ask her to bring currants, because they didn’t have any.

The whole thing, needless to say, put me in a vile mood.  I am in a vile mood right now.  I feel a crash as hard as if the holidays were already over.  Letdown like they are already gone.  My husband managed to rip into the new lunch meat and sliced cheese that I had gotten for Christmas Eve lunch with the folks, and gave them to the babysitter instead, so now I will have used cheese and meat to offer when they come.  He didn’t even think to ask.  And he has burned up my new Christmas candle before Christmas is even here.  I spent the day cleaning the house and it doesn’t even look like any of it was cleaned at all.  And I’m on this stupid diet and I’ve missed eating all the good Christmas things and still have barely lost five pounds.  I have about forty to go.  And my daughter messed up the guest room bed by climbing on it even though I told her to leave it alone because I had fixed it up for my parents.

I’m about to go… batshit.  And the day after Christmas I have to return to work, to a clinic that is so full that it will run until one o’clock and restart at one fifteen.  And I am on call five days in a row for New Years.  I am only getting one gift for Christmas.  And I wrapped that myself, so it is hardly a surprise.  So I am having one big old feeling sorry for myself fest right now.  And I can’t get this album to play the songs in order on this stupid computer.  I can only hope things will get better tomorrow when the folks get here, but I think I will just feel put upon and irritable to have to do all the cooking and dishwashing that goes in when you have people over for the holidays.  So Merry f’ing Christmas.  And a Happy damn New Year.

My Tragic Little Friend

When I was in college, I had a roommate who was a lost little soul.  We had known her throughout childhood; she grew up in our neighborhood, but we didn’t thoroughly realize what an awful childhood she’d had until we were grown.  She had spent some time in high school living with my best friend and her family, which seemed an odd arrangement, for a child living just around the corner with her own family to suddenly move in with another.

We learned in college what a nightmarish childhood she’d had.  Her father beat her mother and the three children often.  When the brother got big enough, he started handing out beatings too.  The police were always being called to the house, and the mother took her abuse out on the kids as well.  This little girl had lived in fear of her life.  And all this time, in high school, while she was a twinkling little Goldie Hawn, and Miss Congeniality, she was harboring this terrible secret. 

When we took her in in college we knew she was a bit troubled.  She was only in college because of huge amounts of student loans; her family (college professors, both of them) had done nothing to help her out.  We discovered that her problems went a little deeper when she moved in. 

She was bulemic.  If we ever got it together and cooked anything, she choked it down and then vomited it back up so that none of us got any of it.  And her wiring was very, very broken.  She was a full blown type I bipolar who would not take meds.  She had been prescribed some antidepressants, but instead of taking them as described, she took them “once in a while, when she didn’t feel good.”  For days she would be up up up and she would be awake for all hours, waking us up and calling friends on the phone to talk about brilliant art and music plans she had.  Then she would crash down down down and lie in her bed for days at a time, neither showering nor attending class.  This was a real problem because she was sharing a bedroom with someone else.

She had hallucinations.  She used to read William Blake, and Revelations, and then she would have waking nightmares.  One night her roommate found her standing over the bed with a knife.  She would lock herself in places and be unable to work the lock to get out.  This finally resulted in my poor roommate taking the bathroom door in the back bedroom off its hinges so she wouldn’t come home to find our little roommate locked in the bathtub again.  She tried taking the doorknob off first, but somehow our pitiful roomie managed to get herself trapped in there anyway.

Our relationship as roommates ended when she and her roommate had a knock-down, drag-out fight.  We threw her out of the apartment and packed a truck with her things.  We just couldn’t take it anymore.  I didn’t think I would see her again, and I didn’t for about six years.

I moved to New Orleans about six years later for my residency program.  I had not been in town long when I was riding my bike back to my house and heard a familiar cute squeaky voice calling out to me.  I pulled over to the side of the road – it was her.  She had somehow moved to New Orleans by catching a ride there with some friends, and she just stayed.  Maybe they wouldn’t let her back in the car.  I just don’t know.

Somehow, she worked her way into being a part of my life again.  I liked a good many of her friends; she was once again living on the pity of others.  The bipolar disorder was worse.  She took no meds at all.  She was in a cycle of employment that went something like this:  find new job, wax lyrical about bounteous goodness of new job, describe delightfulness of employees at new job, and that they understood her like no one else ever had.  About six weeks later the rot and paranoia would sneak in.  She would start to talk about how awful the people at work were, and about how they talked about her behind her back, and she would stop going to work at all, and she would lose her job.  Lather, rinse, repeat. 

I tried to help her.  I made her come to the free clinic to get birth control and her pap smear done.  When it turned out she had a hernia, I got her into the free surgery clinic to have it fixed.  She was in beauty school at that time, having long ago defaulted on and run away from her student loans.  I let her dye my hair (although I would never let her cut it) and my nails were always brilliant practice shades.  One time I wound up with eggplant colored hair.  I had to scrub it out with dishwashing detergent over and over again so I could go to work the next day without being fired.

When she was manic, she was up all hours and roaming the streets of New Orleans.  One day she caught a ride home when she found herself in a bad neighborhood and brought a guy called “Eight Ball” home with her.  I could just see him eyeing my stereo system.  She met some interesting people: a lot of famous musicians for one thing, given her nocturnal habits, but she also met some real creeps.  She got raped not once but twice, and now had PTSD on top of her severe bipolar disorder.

She had also become a hard-bitten alcoholic.  She was dating a very nice man, but unfortunately he was an alcoholic too, and they fed off each other.  She would call me at three in the morning, wanting to know if I wanted to go out for a drink.  She didn’t have a car, so when she got the hankering, she just called her friends until one gave in.

She was living with a lovely woman, an artist who seemed to overlook all her many tragic shortcomings.  She even used her a bit as a muse.  Our friend also earned spending money posing nude as an artist model, and in fact I have a painting of her head and upper torso painted by an artist I was dating.  She had introduced us. 

When the house she was living in burned, she became my roommate again.  She and her artist friend moved into my big old house with me and there she was, with all her bad old faults and many more new ones.  It was a given that she didn’t pay rent.  We just covered for her, and fed her when we could.  I used to go visit her at her many jobs waiting tables, and would sip drinks, eat and do crosswords, just to leave her some tips. 

Finally, her problems eclipsed us all.  She broke up with the nice alcoholic and started dating an abusive one.  She moved out and followed him to a coastal Mississippi town.  We all lost touch with her then; I admit I was glad to, and I have heard very little about her or her life since.  Even her artist friend drifted away.  She, too had had enough from her muse.  I wonder to this day if she is even alive, although I would fight tooth and nail to keep her from ever coming into my life again.

Daily Prompt: Oasis

Today’s daily prompt asks that we write about an oasis where we go to get away from it all when everything else is too much.  I will say that there is no such place.  I live a life where I go from work to my daughter’s school to home to work to my daughter’s school to home, with no stops for fun on the side.  My husband and I spend some time together in the evenings watching shows on Netflix, but even that is scarcely an oasis.

If I have to describe a place I go to get away from it all, I must say that I go to sleep.  Whenever I feel myself beginning to feel discouraged and overwhelmed (which is most of the time), if I don’t have any other pressing obligations, such as daughter’s homework or some task my husband has given me, I head straight for the bed and crawl under the covers.  If I can manage to fall asleep so deeply that I have forgotten who and where I am, then the sleep has done its job.  The down side is that I must wake up.   When I wake up, my job and my life come crashing down on me so solidly that it was hardly worth going to sleep.  I remember the job that I hate, the fact that I have no friends, the crushing routine from work to school to home, and I just want to cry.  I am too tired to cry.  For some reason, the tears never come.  I just get up and soldier on and march from place to place to place.  If I am lucky, it is evening and it will be time for me to go back to sleep soon.

Last night I didn’t even have the sanctity of my sleep oasis because I slept so poorly.  I am on a new diet, and I felt queasy and could not get comfortable.  My husband was also sleeping poorly, so he was tossing and turning in the bed and at one point resorted to playing a CD that is supposed to be self-hypnosis to aid an insomniac to go back to sleep.  Self-hypnosis my ass.  The only thing that CD does for me is annoy me so badly it keeps me awake.  I almost moved to the other bedroom, but I was too tired to get up.  Also, my phone rang about eleven o’clock last night regarding a patient I had in the hospital, which I had to answer, and which woke me right back up.  And that wasn’t even one of my call nights.

So my “oasis” is shaky at best.  It is a house of cards that can tumble down on me on any given night.  And if I’m on call, there’s a very real chance that my sleep will be interrupted by phone calls all night long.  I may even have to get up and go do a delivery or a surgery.  Those nights I just write off as awful, and again I want to cry because of the reality of my existence and my stressful job.  But I don’t cry.  I just get up and go in and do my work.  And then I am exhausted the next day, but I have to get up and go into work anyway. 

So “oasis” is a joke.  An oasis is for other people.  Other people have friends they can go see, or they can have a drink (I don’t drink any more), or they can go shopping (I’m not allowed to shop any more) or they can go into a nearby town and see a show or go out to eat (I am tethered to work and family and my call schedule, and I’m on a diet, so going out is not really all that much fun any more).  And I can go out alone or I can go out with the husband and daughter.  That’s pretty much it.  We do that occasionally, and when we do, that is fun.  But most shows or clubs I want to attend either seem to happen during the day when I must work, or on a call day when I cannot get any farther away from the hospital than thirty minutes.  Everything interesting happens in a town that is at least forty-five minutes away.

My town where I live is devoid of entertainment.  Everyone is a cookie cutter of everyone else, and they are not me.  I don’t have any friends because people either find me strange or I find them judgmental and boring.  There are people I am friendly with, but that is not the same as being friends.  I love jewelry making but the nearest group is an hour away.  I love photography but there is no group here.  I would like to exercise by taking yoga or some other classes, but all the classes are during the day for the Ladies Who Lunch and I have a job.

If it sounds like I am feeling sorry for myself, I do.  I know that I have many things that others would love to have; a stable job, a loving family, a home that I can pay for.  But I am lonely and busy, and we all know that our problems seem more magnified to us than they would to others.  I do not like my job; it is like a living hell that I must get up and face each day, for reasons I cannot go into here.  I am seriously considering changing my job, and that may be the thing that truly brings me out of my funk.  I can only hope that that will be so.  Until then, I am a dead woman walking, and the oasis is just out of reach.

Better Learning Through Blogging

I’m learning a lot from writing this blog, but I’m not sure if I’m happy with what I’m learning.  First thing I’ve learned, is that I seem to have an embarrassing clawing need for validation.  I’m always checking for comments, and likes, and I’m always praying for awards and Fresh Pressing.  I guess most people have some of that in them.  It’s a rare person who doesn’t care what others think, to some extent.  But I would be happier to be a little more independent.

Second of all, I don’t seem to know shit about much.  I know a lot about being an Ob/Gyn, because I am one, but there is only so much I can write about that.  Details about surgeries and such will bore most readers.  And I can’t write much about patients, because I don’t want anyone to recognize themselves in my writing.  That’s a violation of privacy, and if I am found violating HIPAA laws, I can be fined in the six digits.  I can’t afford that. 

I really don’t know much about current events.  I mean, embarassingly little.  I think I have deliberately divorced myself from a lot of the news, because none of it seems to be good, and there seems to be a lot of idiocy.  The recent election about drove me insane.  I just pulled away and refused to discuss it with anyone.  So anytime I am asked to discuss current events, I just shy away.  I am woefully ignorant.

I’m also not nearly as funny as I thought I was.  I mean, I am funny in a quick comeback one-off kind of a way, but when it comes to writing prose with consistent humor, I fall far short of the mark.  I think this is the most depressing and most surprising thing that I’ve learned.  The other things I pretty much knew anyway.  But not being funny!  That’s a major slap in the face.  I used to could be funny (notice that Southern sentence construct), but something has happened to me.  I think that something is a worsening depression.  Nothing is funny when you’re depressed.  And my life is so monotonous.  You need some variation in life to be able to draw humor from it, not the same thing day in and day out.  I can exhaust the humor in my job in a couple of posts.  (Actually, that’s not true.  A lot of funny things happen in the course of the day, but a lot of the humor is particular to my subspecialty and not everyone will get it.)  And the humor that people will get involves poking fun at my patients, which is easy to do, but once again may violate privacy regulations.

Next, I really need some friends.  I have immersed myself in work and family for so long I have little time left for anything else.  I seem to be making some friends in the blogging community, which has stirred some dormant need in me to find a friend to confide in.  There is no one in town I can call friend; there a few physicians that I am friendly with, but I wouldn’t call them to go eat dinner or call them with a problem.  I am really a pretty lonely person.  And I don’t like being lonely.

I also find myself paying a  lot more attention to others’ writing styles.  I am reading Mary Karr’s Lit right now and I notice how she interweaves poetry with her narrative.  And I also noticed she doesn’t use quotation marks when doing dialogue, which I find quite interesting.  This is at least helping me develop my own style, although that style seems to be stilted and stuffy.

I also didn’t realize what a decent photographer I am.  I love photography; I have taken a lot of pictures in my life, but I’ve noticed a lot of my posts really revolve around my photographs.  And the posts that get the most positive comments seem to be photography.  I never would imagine that I would fall in with a group of photographers more than a group of writers!  That’s one good thing I’ve learned that actually makes me happy.  I’ve become more proud of my photography.

So, I’ve learned a lot about myself by writing this blog.  I’ve also learned that I am a creature who operates by rote and by habit; I have taken the challenge to produce a post daily to heart.  I’ve even prepared a post to be released on Thanksgiving day, since I will be at my parents’ house that day.  I doubt anyone will read it, but if they look, it will be there.  This post is actually for tomorrow, since I’ve already presented one for today.  So – totally anal retentive, which I already knew.  The blog seems to be a reflection of my personality, which is probably not all that interesting an observation, as that is probably true of everyone.  My vow for 2013?  Try to be funnier!  Look for the humor in life.  Maintain a positive attitude.  These are the goals that this blog has helped me to reach for.  These are the goals that I need to achieve anyway.


depression places

me in a foxhole


to lift my head

i am dug in

i lack the strength

to dig me

out of a dark grave made

just for me

i cannot move or breathe

it all seems too

much trouble

to take my eyes away

from the wall

at my feet

and tomorrow will

be the same

the same

the same

the same

the same

Winter Kills

Since my early twenties, I have hated winter.  This, not coincidentally, corresponded to a time when I spent a year in Washington, DC doing research and I was so much farther north than I was used to being in the winter.  Winter started in September and hung on until April.  I have never spent so much time in the cold and grey.  I was miserable.  I was actually studying Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at the National Institutes of Health while I was there.  Doctor, heal thyself.  I learned that not only was I depressed but it was seasonal; it got much worse in the cold and dark of winter.

I am completely nonfunctional in winter.  I hate the cold.  No matter how warmly I try to bundle up, the cold seeps in through the gaps.  Cold somehow feels like it might be fatal; summer heat is uncomfortable but you never feel like you might die of it.  I feel like I might die of the cold.  I can’t even persuade myself to get out of my car to go get groceries.  I am so drained of energy by the dark cold greyness, and so miserable from the chill that it takes a superhuman effort to get out and walk through the parking lot.  And getting up for work in the dark and leaving work in the dark is just so depressing.  As soon as it gets dark, it feels to me as if my day is over.  So I can get things done in the evenings in the summer, but in the winter, when I get home I just want to go to bed.  I don’t have the energy for any projects besides doing things that are absolutely necessary. 

I love the fall.  I’m not sure why, since the days are getting shorter, but there’s a feel to the air with the sound of football games on the radio in passing cars and and the beautiful colors of the leaves.  Fall just has a melancholy beautiful feel to it, but all along in the back of my mind is the sad thought:  winter is coming. 

My husband seems to get upset with me more in the winter, since my motivation is so far down and it is so hard for him to get me to do things around the house.  That in turn discourages me and makes me feel even less like getting things done, so it is a vicious cycle.  My daughter seems to perceive my sluggishness also.  I tend to gain weight in the winter.  I also want to shop to cheer myself up, but it is so cold outside that I can’t even get myself to do that.  I have tried taking melatonin and all manner of things to rectify my winter blues, but nothing seems to work.  The only things that make me better are warmth and sunshine, both of which are notably lacking around here in the wintertime.  I also tend to care less about my appearance in the winter and spend less time shaving my legs or getting my toenails done.

At any rate, winter is coming and I am filled with dread.  I always irk my husband by turning on all the lights in the house in the winter time, in hopes of getting myself out of a funk enough to get things done.  I have not been in very good shape this summer, to be honest, and the winter blues will only make this worse.  This may be a very bad winter for me.  I need to move somewhere else in winter.  You would think living as far south as Alabama would not be too bad, but all I know is if I went farther north I would be worse.  I can usually keep my head up more or less through the holidays, but after they are over there is nothing left to cheer me.  The stretch between New Year’s and March when the weather starts to change are the longest three months of my life every year.  I have often wished that they would reverse Daylight Savings Time and add extra sunlight hours to the winter instead of taking them away.

Winter is coming and I am trying to prepare myself.  It may be an interesting study to see how my blog posts evolve throughout the changing seasons.  I am thinking the winter posts may be even more humorless than usual.  I will do my best to keep my chin up, but it will take a superhuman effort.  I wonder how many others are seasonally affected and how many others lose enthusiasm and productivity when the days are short and the nights are long and cold?

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