By January 13, 2014Blog

Really? 2014? How bizarre is that for those of us who are ‘older’.  Very bizarre.  You know that whole line of years that comes up when you’re having to put in your birth year online? My year is a really long way below 2014!

Nevertheless, I’m happy to start a new year. And I’m happy that the holidays are behind us.  I had fun with my family and enjoyed myself but the flurry of activities has a way of squashing the routine of each day.  The word ‘routine’ can conjure up an image of boredom but for me routine is a happy place, especially in winter, and when my routine is disrupted I have a hard time.

To be perfectly honest I’ve been having a hard time since Christmas. I ordered one of those SAD lights and am hoping it will help me get up earlier than I have been getting up. I’ve fallen into a rut; I can’t sleep, even on medication that usually makes me drowsy, then I can’t wake up in the morning. I find this pattern disturbing because my love of staying up late is getting a bit tweaked. I mean, I hope my late nights don’t trigger mania. So far these late nights have only triggered a depression, on a scale of one to ten, around a 6 or 7.

So, what I intend to do with the SAD light is put it next to my bed on my bedside table then set my alarm. Once the alarm goes off I’ll switch on the light and what I’m hoping is that I’ll be able to get up with the help of the light.  A friend of mine, who is also bipolar, told me that SAD lights aren’t good for those of us who are bipolar because they may trigger mania. Taking all into consideration the fact that I live in Montana where the winters are long and many days are dark, I think it’s worth the effort to try to lift my mood with a SAD light. I’ve used them before and I wasn’t triggered into mania but I would check with your doctor before getting one.

If any of you are sliding into depression this winter I do have one consoling fact. Our days are getting longer now by one to two minutes of extra daylight per day. I, for one, am happy about this.

For those of you who live in areas that don’t usually get such cold I really feel sorry for you. Hang in there! I wish you weren’t going through such a terrible winter and hope you’re staying warm. I’m thinking of all the street people who must be suffering terribly. I suspect, and hope, that many churches have opened their doors for those in need of a warm space.

We WILL get through this winter and then we’ll be bitching about the heat. Bring it on!

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