Seasonal Affective Disorder and Rash Decisions


I woke up a few weeks ago, less than a week into the month of February, and realized IT WAS ONLY THE 6TH!  I swore it was at least the 11th or 12th of the month already.  You can imagine my irritation to realize I was off an entire week in the shortest month of the year.  February might be short, but for me it’s the longest, worst month of the year.  It’s always felt like this, but at least growing up didn’t have the added bonus of snow and ice.  After moving to Massachusetts sixteen years ago, I quickly realized that February is always going to suck.  The question is how do I deal with that?  Today, let’s get into my weird February habits because of seasonal affective disorder.


Do you not know what seasonal affective disorder is?  It’s hard to explain, but it’s a bit like depression and it’s highly connected to the balance of your body’s chemistry, i.e. the lack of sunlight on your skin producing vitamin D and making you feel good.  To be fair, I think much of my past depressions have been connected to vitamin D levels in my system.  My emotional balance significantly improved once I started taking it.  I’ve even doubled the amount I take in the winter knowing that February is a problem every freaking year.  I don’t want to do anything or be with people.  I’m quick to irritate and anger.  I’m inclined to want to lay in bed and replay things over in my head.  No, I’m not dwelling on real things, I’m imagining worlds.  My BEST ideas also come in February.  Damn that connection between sanity and creativity.

One thing that often happens in February is that I make decisions to end or begin new things in the middle of a minor depression.  When I get depressed, I get self-reflective.  I try to see what I’m not feeling satisfied with, what’s frustrating me, and where I’m not happy.  Part of my brain wants to remove the problem so I can shake off the depression and move on.  It’s often worked.  I’ve often made decisions in February to shed meaningless projects and busy work as my priorities shift and I need to find a new balance.  At the same time, this happens ALL year.

It’s the rash decision that seem to happen more in February.  It’s a desire to burn bridges and see what’s still standing when everything is over.  I’m typically too lazy to actually do the rash decision making in February and by the time I have the energy again, the desire is over.  Something shifted this year.  I’m not stuck at home dwelling.  I have the energy to get out of bed.  My vitamin D levels and blood sugar (something else that suffers from being stuck inside for winter) are better than they have been in years past.  I’m more active than I’ve been in the past.  I do more outside of the house.  I’m still feeling the urge to make rash decisions, but I have the energy to actually do it this year.  I see the bridge I want to burn and the matches are in my hand!

Figuratively – there’s no real matches in my hand.

Should I do this? Will it actually be helpful? Is everything in my life made of wood or are there some sturdy stone buildings?

The answer is no!  I shouldn’t do this; it won’t be helpful, and fire has a tendency to spread out of your control.  The things I’m feeling inclined to burn down will ultimately ruin other, more important things.  A friend, when we talked about this over coffee, basically told me that I was not to make any decisions in February.  I can’t trust my mind this month.  Even when there is a better chemical balance, I’m still not thinking clearly.

So, what rash decisions have I decided not to make until April?  You don’t want to know…

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