I don’t have time to be weighed down by the bitch that is seasonal affective disorder. I have to be a mother and work, and oh yeah, the freaking holidays are now upon us. I simply can’t hide under the covers like I want to. I’ve got to get up and bake cookies and sing carols and then obsessively hunt through Pinterest for creative elf outfits or some shit.
Sometime after daylight savings time ends, on those cold, dark days, a cloud of sadness begins to descend on me. When I wake up and see that the sun is going to be MIA, the thought of getting through the morning routine becomes as daunting as trying to teach my stubborn 5-year-old how to tie her shoes. Checking off everything on my to-do list is as depressing as the idea that Luke Perry was on the cover of AARP this year. Getting to the end of the day seems as impossible as me ever fitting back into those expensive jeans I kept from 1995.
Unfortunately, my children and the school district and life don’t care that I don’t want to be a grown-up when it’s cloudy out. I must wake up and argue about breakfast food with my kids and chase them to the bus, waving their forgotten homework. I must buck up even when I feel like wearing a blanket as clothes all day and binge-watching Gilmore Girls.
Seasonal affective disorder can kiss my ass for these reasons:
1. I don’t have time to be gloomy.
I have so much to do this time of year that I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it. Holiday cards and cookies and gifts to the teachers and presents and being freaking Santa Claus is exhausting all on its own. I don’t need to feel depressed before I start overwhelming myself with trying to make everything freaking magical.
2. I can’t be a raging bitch all the time.
My kids should probably not remember their childhood with a wild-haired lunatic of a mother always looming in the background. I need to find a way to balance my Roseanne Barr and June Cleaver sides — less Mother Gothel, more Mother Teresa.
3. I’m perfectly fine on the days that it’s sunny.
I can’t live my life only on the days that it’s sunny. That’s not how this whole motherhood thing works. It’s seriously a 24/7 gig. Rain or shine. I’m still shocked every day at 5 o’clock when I realize that it’s me who has to make dinner.
4. I don’t want my children to feel this way either.
I don’t want them to dread the short winter days like I do. I want to model peacefulness and stop rocking in the corner, gripping my sunlamp as if it were a security blanket.
5. I’m the glue here.
The glue can’t really stop monitoring homework or making treats for school parties or remembering dentist appointments. The glue has to keep working away and holding stuff together.
6. Sad is not my go-to feeling.
And this annoys me more than anything. I don’t enjoy being sad. I resist it, which makes everything worse.
7. When I’m sad, I want to eat my entire house.
This is not a good situation with the previously mentioned holiday cookies floating around here. And I don’t have enough money to buy presents for everyone in my family and a new winter wardrobe.
So for now, until there is a miracle cure for the annoying beast that is seasonal affective disorder, I will muddle through the dark days. I’ll turn on my happy lamp and take my vitamin D and pretend that those make me feel better. Then I’ll hope for some sunshine.
And if any of us see each other out of the house in our pajamas on an overcast day this winter, we can just nod and smile weak-ass smiles, like, “Don’t worry about it. I understand.”