Sep 9, 2016

September Sadness


Can we just take a moment to talk about seasonal depression?

But before I get into that, allow me to reiterate something...

For those of you who have followed my writing/blogging/nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind for years, you know that I was misdiagnosed and medicated for clinical depression for many years and had a meltdown while on Cymbalta. 

As it turned out, my initial diagnosis of depression was based on the fact that I was experiencing multiple anxiety attacks per day, not because I was...sad, which I wasn't.

The doctor merely said, "Anxiety is a symptom of depression, thus you're depressed. Here take these pills and go on your way."

Well, the pills made everything worse even though she kept pushing new ones on me.

Regardless, after years of struggle, I was re-diagnosed as having, essentially, a really poor diet and unhealthy habits, which contributed to the anxiety, not to mention having moved 3,000 miles away from home. I was not "clinically depressed."

However, all that doesn't mean that I'm impervious to feeling depressed from time to time.

And, speaking of time, that brings me back around to seasonal depression.

Here it is — September, shortly after labor day and I'm sitting in my back yard wearing a tank top and shorts with the hot sun shining down on me. Fall in Southern California isn't like fall in Massachusetts, where I grew up. Back East, fall hits you over the head with its arrival. Leaves turn vivid color and the air grows crisp, but here in LA the change is subtle. While the days still bring beach weather, the nights run mildly cooler. In fact, you might need a light jacket or long sleeved shirt when you go out, though you can probably still get away with shorts and sandals.

So why am I depressed if the change is so damn subtle?

I honestly don't know.

It's been many years since I went to school, so that can't be it.

I do have a handful of sad anniversaries that fall into the latter part of August that might pave the way for seasonal depression, but that doesn't account for the years of it prior to those sad events occurring.

Nothing in my schedule changes with the coming of Fall.

Granted, I had a big change this year in moving out of my Koreatown apartment of a zillion years to finally owning my own home over the hills just slightly beyond the NoHo border, but that fills me with joy, not sadness.

Yes, I miss certain aspects of living so close to downtown LA, Hollywood, The Grove, and Larchmont, but the valley has plenty to offer for shopping, dining, day tripping, and entertainment.

So what is it?

I have no complaints.

I love my life.

I love my husband.

I love my cats.

I love my house.

I love my yard.

I love my friends and family both near and far.

I'm actually the most content in life I've ever been.

So why this September Sadness?

I'm seriously asking. It's not rhetorical.

And it's even weirder because Autumn is really my favorite time of year. Comfy sweaters, hot apple cider, carving pumpkins, and Halloween.

I mean, I got married on Halloween if that give you an idea of how much I love it.

Is it merely the sense of another waning year in the ever present march toward death that all of life is?

I know that's morbid, but it's also true.

Nothing that lives, lives forever. (But, man, if they invented something that changed that, I'd be first in line to try it.)

I thought I was feeling depressed because, since the move, I've spent a ridiculous amount of time unpacking, organizing, rearranging, and generally settling into the house without much time for fun or writing. So I told myself, enough with that — get back to video games and writing (my typical routine).

But so far the change has only made a small difference.

I told myself it must be the anniversary of my favorite cat dying, or my dearly departed friend, or my step-mother — and while those contributed, there's more to it.

And this happens every year at this time no matter what's going on in my life.

I'm usually over it by mid-October.

It's my September Sadness.

Am I the only one? (I mustn't be since there is such a thing as 'Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).')

Do you get it too?

What do you do to get out of your Fall funk?

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