We are nearly mid-March, and yet only a couple of days ago, we were smothered with snow. In my lovely county of Essex, we had quite a substantial amount of it, which ended up on me having a snow day.
When I was younger and went to school, I welcomed the snow and hoped for a snow day so I can go out and have fun with my friends. But now, I don’t mind the snow, but it is so much more inconvenient to me. I can’t go anyway because of the icy roads, it is too cold and I hate the cold, plus I get bored. So I feel that I am not the only one who actually, wants the snow to “jog on” right about now. We are meant to be in Spring!!
But the thing is, it isn’t just the above reasons why I am eagerly awaiting the sun. I actually have medical reasons for this too. One, like many others, my joints ache. From over a decade of dancing, it has left me with slow moving joints in my knees and wrists which can be painful. But also, I suffer from a syndrome called SAD.
SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Of course, the majority of us feel a lot happier in the Summer, and not so happy in the Winter, less motivated and so forth, but I guess, I just get it a little bit more extreme. It started when I was at college, I spent an entire week being upset, crying over nothing, and getting home and shutting myself in my room, only really talking to my mum. I was suffering really bad from sleep problems, only getting around 4 hours a night, which then obviously left me drained for the next day.
I am naturally a bubbly friendly person, but I am noticeably more quiet, and down in the winter. I try my hardest not to show it, and usually if I get asked, I will just lie and say I am tired. It is pretty hard for me to explain, and I know people will be sceptical about this. It is a bit of a taboo subject because it is a mental health issue.
I would wake up in the morning like many and wanting to go back to bed, and I would usually make up an excuse to myself not to get up and win. If I do get up, I just cannot talk to anyone. I need a good half hour of just me waking up naturally on my own. Sounds familiar eh?
But within that half hour, I will usually fit in a cry, not over anything in particular, but I will cry. I usually then suffer from a little bit of anxiety and then I am ready to go. In this time, I like to be alone, but at University, this wasn’t possible. So I will go in, and really try to just get on with it. To be honest, I had such a great bunch of friends who did not and still probably don’t know that I suffered, because if they did, I am sure they will probably be wary and ask me how I am which I did not want. They were their normal happy self and they carried me through. I really appreciate them for helping me there.
In the evening, I will usually shut myself in my room, but by that time, because of my day, I will be a lot better. I have better days than others, but usually twice a year, I have a week where I will just be sad. I will cry for no reason, I will get stressed, even angry. I know, I sound crazy, but I can’t honestly really explain why I do this.
I know some of you will read this and just think I am probably plain weird, but it does actually effect over a third of us, and it is not the most worrying syndrome compared to others, unless it is severe. But it does effect lives and it is hard to act normal when these days are happening, and even harder to really explain to your friends.
Right now, I am lucky to have a great family and a boyfriend who are aware. They don’t let me off the hook if I snap for no reason, but they a lot more understanding about it. I am not constantly sad, I am a lot better than I have been previous years, but my mood does go up and down pretty rapidly which I guess they are use to.
I do want to say thank you to my friends, expecially the ones I met and surrounded myself with at college and University, because without you, I don’t know how I would have achieved what I have today. I am also sorry for not actually ever really “outted” myself as someone with SAD syndrome. Sadly, if you read the symptons, you might actually kick yourself with how many actually do link to me. But I do mean it from the bottom of my heart that you guys have helped me out without realising.
Just look out for your friends who show any of these signs, and just try and help them. Like I said earlier, it may not be the worst, but it is still a mental health problem that can be easily fixed, and be less of a taboo. Also, this is the hardest article I have ever written, so thank you for reading.