I have arrived, my friends, in the cold, dark, pit of the season. I am writing this in the full glow of a lamp meant to blast vitamin D into my resting bitch face. I’m writing it having eaten well and slept as much as I could. I’m writing it after making a gratitude list and taking the dog for a walk. Movement is medicine, they say. I’m also tippity-tapping away under the spell of the antidepressant I take every day come rain or shine, a small white pill that does something, though it’s hard to say exactly what. That gets washed down with two additional globules of Vitamin D, because having found myself here too many times before, I am hellbent on doing the work.
People have told me that nature is sending a clear signal this time of year: less light. The logical takeaway then is less work, more sleep. Let the fields lay fallow that they may rise up again with fresh growth in the spring. Hibernate. Molt. Do whatever it takes to make yourself new. With regret, the nation’s employers have not yet taken any of this on board though. The pedal remains stuck to the proverbial metal. The alarm clock goes off in the dark. The workday ends in the dark.
Is this nuclear winter or just the first week of January?
In my view, SAD is either a flaw in the design, or a latent force of evolution. Maybe both. Perhaps in the future, the least depressive among us will remain. Or else, our species will come to an end, too maudlin to reproduce anymore.
For a bike rider, SAD has a compounding effect. It sucks the wind out of your sails such that you don’t want to ride, even though you know a ride is EXACTLY what you need to exit its cold, dark grasp. This is your chance to practice raging against the dying of the light. It’s not as easy as you think. And as long as we’re resorting to poetry, this might be a good time to get Acquainted with the Night.
The time is neither wrong nor right.
Look, I don’t know what works. As you might have noticed above, I have pulled all the levers with mixed results. Watts put out may not be swapped, one-for-one, with endorphins. The exchange rate goes up and down, and there are no perfectly secure currencies as far as I know.
You may ride away from your own affective disorder, if you experience such a thing. Or turning the pedals may just keep it at bay, a bailing of water that keeps the boat from going under. My recommendation is to keep going (of course), and if you can’t go, it’s ok. I understand. I see you.