Saturday, December 26, 2009

SAD accomplishment, in baby steps

It’s time for another update on my experience with the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) light therapy, and if I think it’s helping me stay positive this winter. To sum it up: I’m not quite sure.

I sit with the lamp at least one half-hour each morning. (“Morning” can range from 7:00 on work days to 9:30 on Sundays and other lazy days.) I don’t feel any more joyful while I’m using the lamp—although I’m happy that I can read the small numbers in the crossword puzzle clues a whole lot better.

There’s no dramatic uplift to my mood, and I don’t go around smiling more often (at least I don’t think so; I’m certainly not smiling every time I look in the mirror—especially the magnified mirror). But I noticed one important change. In the days leading up to December 21, I heard myself say, with a cheery tone: “After December 21, the days start getting longer!” This is one the most positive statements I’ve made in the early part of this season.

I have also found myself thinking that, since all time seems to have sped up since I turned 60, winter will pass quickly too. So even though the snow keeps piling up today, with cold temperatures and windy conditions predicted, in a wink, it’ll be spring! There’s a down side to that kind of thinking: In less than a wink, I’ll celebrate another birthday and be a year closer to old age. The old BSADL me (before SAD lamp), would have been taken down in the dumps by that thought. Now, I’m focusing on the coming end of winter and not the coming…well…end.

As I write this, I’m leaning toward cautiously stating that the lamp therapy may be working after all. I still fear driving in snow, I dislike being cold, I’m miserable when my eyes and nose run at the same time, and I’m afraid I’ll fall and break a bone on the ice. Otherwise, I’m pretty upbeat.


  1. This made me laugh! I especially liked "the end." Well, not the actual thought that the actual end is nearing, but you know what I mean. As for the sun, it is shining brightly today, and I saw every scratch on our appliances and every dust mite on our funiture, which I just dusted the other day. I wonder if there's a "gloom lamp."

  2. Speaking strictly as an observer your mood is more upbeat. You smile more now and the negative stuff seems to occupy less of your time.

  3. I acknowledge that George Everet's opinion is to be trusted implicitly because he's a frequent observer. Thank you for confirming my thoughts!