Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder
encouragement, God's Beauty, God's love, Loss, My Walk, Relationships, Traveling, Wisdom

SAD: Why Living in the PNW is Hard.

SAD: Why Living in the PNW is Hard
SAD: Why Living in the PNW is Hard

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Living in the Pacific Northwest is Hard

Almost four years ago my little family and I returned to the Pacific Northwest. This relocation has been a struggle for several reasons, but one of the biggest struggles we’ve had to deal with is my ongoing battle with Seasonal Affective Disorder–SAD. Although the struggle didn’t start out as hard as I expected it to be, it has recently gotten worse.

I spent four years living in the desert, a place where it was sunny almost every day. On those rare occasions when it wasn’t, every part of me knew it. Those days were miserable for me, and made me grateful for each and every sunny day.

I also realized how blessed I was to no longer be living in the PNW.

The LORD had other plans for my little family though, and one day we packed up and headed back to the trees and mountains I’d grown up around. The PNW is beautiful. There is no denying that, but to be beautiful it spends quite a bit of time gray and dreary. For someone who needs the sunshine to be mellow and happy, the trade-off comes at a high price.

Summer Makes Me Come Alive

Today is beautiful. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there is just the right amount of breeze rustling the trees. Spring is here, and summer is approaching. I’ll be honest and say summer makes me come alive.

The past few months have been hard for me. Our family thrives on schedules and routines because, when it comes to me living in a state that spends close to six months a year with little sunshine, routines help me to not completely become a hermit. It also keeps the SAD from getting so out of control that I end up becoming a shadow of myself.

Sadly, this year those schedules and routines haven’t helped as much as they have in the past.

Making the Connection

I can’t really lock down when this ongoing battle became noticeable;  when the depression started interfering with my life. All I know is one day I realized I’d started putting off going places. I’d started finding reasons to not leave the house–to excuse myself and my family from social events because they felt like obligations–and that feeling stressed me out.

During the winter months I struggled with this a lot. Since the loss of my father and the suffocating feeling I had from the bleakness of the weather, I found myself leaving my home less and less. I’ve stepped away from several things I enjoyed doing, because I couldn’t convince myself the recovery time it would take me afterward was worth it.

The only things I’ve managed to maintain throughout this time are things directly involved with my children. No matter how hard it is for me, I don’t want to let them down. They enjoy their time at AWANA and Classical Conversations community day.  It wasn’t (and isn’t) their fault that I have a hard time functioning without glorious sunshine.

I’m Worried Too

My husband worries about me, and my friends worry about me. They’re afraid I’m not just going to become a hermit, but a full-fledged shut in.

If I’m honest, I’m worried about that as well.

You see, I love my church, but when this suffocating sensation turns to panic at the thought of leaving my home Sunday morning and facing people, I know there is reason to be concerned.

Today, I’m feeling great, and that knowledge can lull me into a false sense of security. It can cause me to forget the way I feel when it isn’t sunny and beautiful.

Sunlight therapy isn’t enough (though, I highly recommend adding it if you suffer from SAD!), and neither is the medication I gave in and started taking four years ago.

I need God to help me through this, the same way I need Him in every aspect of my life.

Blessings, 

Sare Signature

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Homeschooling, My Walk, Parenting, The Kiddos, Traveling

Joyful Hearts

The public school here has been in session since the 5th, and every day I am thankful for the Lord placing homeschooling on my heart.

I’d love to say each day is a picnic on the beach (one where sand doesn’t get all up in your potato salad), but really, what part of life ever is? Miss K and I are finding our rhythm and learning how to learn together. This is made a little complicated by the now walking and getting into even more mischief, Mr. D.

The Mister has been away at another school for the Marine Corps, and our little family has felt a little smaller without his larger-than-life presence.

While we deal with the responsibilities of daily life, as well as the new found availability of snuggles in our home, we have the Lord to thank for all these blessings.

Every night my heart grows a little happier as I listen to Miss K saying her prayers. She always prays for her daddy and that he will do well on his tests and will stay safe while he is gone.

We are all growing in our prayer life, and when we say grace we have started adding one thing each we are personally thankful for. Little things like being thankful for the sunshine, or being thankful for the game we got to play.

So, while we are always growing and changing,  and with those things often come discomfort, we are grateful for the new closeness and love that is flourishing within the walls of our home.

May you and yours be blessed,
Sare

God's Beauty, My Walk, Traveling

Hawaiian “Vacation”

I haven’t had a whole lot of time  to jot down my walk recently, but God is ever wonderful and amazing. I’ve been enjoying some time–although incredibly busy time– in Hawaii celebrating the marriage of my dear friends.

There has been a lot of deep thought in the wee hours of the morning since I’ve been here, and I can foresee many blog posts in the future pertaining to these thoughts. I think weddings, for how much I’m not a fan of them, tend to make me a little more aware of my own blessings in the love and family departments. I think since I’ve accepted God back into my life, I’ve got a new appreciation for them.

Until then, may the LORD bless you and keep you.

 

Sare