Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The darkness of winter

Darkness is settling in and it's only 4:30 PM. The winter solstice has passed, and the days are actually getting longer, but obviously that's not noticeable yet. The street lights are just beginning to flicker. It's winter.

Fortunately, we have many feet of snow on the ground, and it keeps the blackness at bay. The reflective white snow lightens the night. Thankfully. But it's still winter, and it's still dark for more hours than not.

So far, I'm handling the darkness okay. I do have a SAD light, but I've not felt the need to use it very often yet. I seem to have more trouble in January. January is a long, dark month around here--oh, and cold, too. How could I forget to mention the cold?

Running in the darkness is difficult for me. The sun doesn't come up very early. It's cold outside. And now we've got the snow! I actually haven't run outside since The Dallas Marathon, and it's been because of the snow! There's been nowhere to run. The roads are barely clear. Some sidewalks and trails remain buried. And I want to do more than slog slowly along. So I've been running under the bright lights of the gym and on the solid footing of the treadmill for the last two weeks. At first it really sucked, but gradually I think I'm getting used to it. At least it's not dark! 

Tomorrow, I've almost got no choice. I'm going to do my long run, and I'm going to have to begin amongst the darkness to get it done. Seventeen miles. I don't think I can do that indoors. It's just too much. I'm hoping for a bright sunrise, clear pathways and mild temperatures! What do you think? Asking too much? I'm being optimistic--and I've got my headlight ready!

I know this can be a tough time of year for many of us, especially those with depression. The darkness and the stress of the holidays are universal, but perhaps we're more acutely aware or affected. Perhaps we've been separated from our family and friends because of our illness. Loneliness seems to intensify during the holiday season. Whatever your reason, if this is a difficult time of year for you, please hang in there. The stress will abate. The darkness will pass. Be patient. Wait for the light. It will be here soon.


AdmGln said...

Good luck on your run. I agree that the darkness can make it difficult for those of us with depression. I think the period after the holiday season is the toughest for me.

Maggie Beth said...

Go toward the light.......