S. A. D.

photo by Jimmie Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

There is something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. The symptoms of SAD are thought to be caused by the lack of daylight in the winter months. About 6% of our population is said to suffer from this condition.

SAD symptoms are said to be caused when the changing daylight patterns throw off your regular sleep patterns. It disrupts your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s clock that regulates when you feel sleepy and when you feel awake.

The symptoms of this disorder are very much like the symptoms that you feel when you lose someone you love dearly, someone who is your very own. There is the difficulty sleeping, anxiety, fatigue, social withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, not eating well, the terrible feelings of guilt or helplessness.

We know what causes the symptoms of grief which is the loss of a significant and close cherished and beloved someone. This includes the loss of a pet, which ranks high. Oh my, this ranks so very high, it is way up there folks.

It is good to know that there are things that a person can do to help them when they are feeling moody due to the lack of daylight in winter. You can try light therapy. This light therapy helps, experts say, even if you do it for 15 minutes and there are no side affects. There are special light boxes, or as one of our friend calls them “happy lights” that simulate daylight. Turn it on while you are having your morning coffee or when you are eating breakfast, or whatever it is that you like to do.

Another thing to do is go outside and get moving and exercise. Walk off that unpleasant feeling that you get when you sit too long. Your body is craving it. You will be refreshed, you’ll have that glow that comes from physical exertion and you will find yourself making plans to do this and that, and that is excellent. It will also make you want to gulp down gallons of delicious water.

Do you know anyone who loves the long dark of winter? I do. I mean, I know someone who loves it. The reason she likes it so much is because she says that kids go to bed at night. It gives you peace of mind when you know that your children are safely nestled away in their cozy beds, warm and sweet. And you find yourself gazing endlessly into their tender slumbering faces and you are so overcome with love that you shed a few tears while your heart melts at the wonder of it all.

We like to ask our friends which they like better – summer or winter. Most will say summer and we get surprised if anyone says winter and we quickly want to know why. Which do you like better?

Today, like many days, we visited the resting place of our beloved one. It is a hard thing to do, to come to the realization time after time, day after day, visit after visit – that she is not with us anymore upon this earth walking, like you and I are.

We often find ourselves also visiting the many others that have also gone on, and we think deep thoughts as we quietly meditate upon the hallowed ground. It is a place when we feel the most sadness, sad for missing all the wonderful years we could have had together. We leave feeling sad, but it is something that we have chosen to do all the time, every day, as often as we can.

So please pray and even visit those that are feeling sad during these long dark winter months. They are among us and we may have even seen some of them tonight. We need to help them and each other get through the tough times. Quyana for all your prayers and your good thoughts.