Friday, February 27

Cloudy Days, The Mean Reds, and S.A.D.

I go through a lot of depression in the winter. Well, it's usually mostly in the winter; the last two summers have been pretty bad...
But in the summer it's mostly driven by guilt-- I should be out enjoying the sunshine, I should be exercising, I should be going to the pool and going for wall's and feeling good and enjoying life. But when I want those things but can't push myself into action, I feel lazy and miserable and guilty.

But in the deep winter (which has only been around for the last month, to be fair) the dysphoria seems never-ending. Like a cold, relentless cloud wrapped around your heart and body. Like nothing is good enough or worth your time or even possible.

Holly Golightly describes the Mean Reds as when your scared and miserable and you don't know why, but you can feel something bad coming [I would add that that bad thing may our may not even be real].
S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) is a mood/mental condition in which one experiences depression only/particularly in the winter months.

I'd like to say it's easy to get over-- go outside! play a game! eat something delicious! Read Necklace of Kisses!-- but depression doesn't work that way (although those actions and more are important for the treatment of S.A.D.).

Depression isn't just feeling sad.
It's feeling miserable whether or not you actually have a reason to be.
It's compiling every bad thing in your life and being confronted with this massive wall of needs and wants and obligations and bills and your weight and your bank account and your lack of friends and your boredom and all the reasons your life (and you) aren't good enough.
It's lacking the motivation to make yourself do anything you know you need to do.
It's not enjoying the things you usually love.
It's crying for no reason.
It's a physical sensation like your chest is a black hole, pulling your body into itself. Like you're sinking into a deep, dark ocean and being pulled in by the tide. Like drowning.

Personally, I relate the Mean Reds, S.A.D. and depression as very similar, connected problems, one often leading to the other.

How do you combat something that is so very deep inside yourself?
Something that holds you down from the inside out?

I'd like to explore this a lot in the next few posts. It's important, and personal, and it never seems to really go away.

See you next time,
Stay amazing,



  1. I think what your doing right now is the best way to combat depression! Your releasing your emotions through writing and this is the first step to feeling better. I am actually experiencing the mean reds as of now...and I have been experiencing for the last couple of weeks. It's been fairly up and down. I found that the best way to combat it was to remove myself from my daily responsibilities at least for a half hour or less and focus on what I love to do creatively which is my writing. This life can be so demanding and there are times that we must just escape into a fantasy world or you can read Dangerous Angels (Necklace of Kisses usually is a great way to lift me from sadness too!)!

    1. The weather has been great on the midEast coast, and I know it's supposed to be in Portland by the time I get there, so I think I'm really lucky that (even though it's going to rain) I get to be in the sunshine while I'm going through my panic times :) We can do it!


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