has seasonal affective disorder, um… got you down?

It’s that magic time of the year in this part of the magical forest. Despite the incredibly mild — some would say, ‘non-existent’ — winter wonderland we’ve managed to enjoy so far this season, today marks the first truly ‘winter-like’ day we’ve had in Central Indiana since, oh… last year. Really.

I guess the strongest indicator was the temperature high today was an Arctic 24 degrees F  with snow flurries all day long. So it’s worth noting that along with the onset of genuine winter weather comes something even more grim that has a profound, bleak impact on those it overwhelms. I am, of course, referring to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Back in the eighties, SAD was officially recognized and categorized as a form of depression with an annual recurrence, a condition far more debilitating than your average “winter blues.” Today SAD is considered a diagnosable (and insurable) disorder. Treatment ranges from psychotherapy to antidepressants to light therapy — large boxes that look like tanning beds filled with lightbulbs for your face.

So… all that to say this: Victoria B. at 800 recovery hub blog has a brief, easy to read, but nevertheless superb overview of four steps to challenge and control SAD. Now that we are actually heading into winter, it pays to be equipped to deal with the Old Man with everything we have to bring to the table. So go read it. You’ll be more content that you did.

 

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daily reflection: an act of providence

It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us.

— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care and direction), came as I experienced the total bankruptcy of active alcoholism—everything meaningful in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous and, from that instant, my life has never been the same. When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that God was working in my life long before I was able to acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was put down through this one act of Providence and my journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me—one day at a time—in the life-saving, life-giving Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.