When You’re Feeling Alone In Your Struggle With Seasonal Affective Disorder


Every fall, almost like clockwork, it happens: that feeling of impending doom, stress, loathing for the winter to come. All of a sudden it is as if the entire world has a humongous gray cloud hanging over it. Nothing seems to be right. Not one part of you isn’t vulnerable to these feelings that approach. Everything from your insecurity about your love life to the very tips of your finger nails is wrong. And you have no “fix” to it.

You are in this spiral of stress that brings you down with such guilt and helplessness that you begin doing what you know you don’t want to do. Distancing yourself, missing work, sleeping all the time. Your productivity is at a low. Your friends start to worry, or even get fed up with your newly abrasive personality.

It happens every single fall. You dip into a depression that you know is not you. You yearn for the days of sunburn and warm air, because you know that pumpkin spice lattes and cute scarves are not going to cut it this season. Instead, you spend these days hidden away. These are the worst days. They are the days that make you question what you are doing with every aspect of your life.

They are the days that make you feel so internal that you want to scream at the top of your lungs, yet nothing ever comes out. In fact, you don’t even know if you can make the words out. The energy it would take to form a word from the thoughts that are going through your mind would just simply take too much. You just can’t “people” today or any other day, and for whatever reason, every little movement can feel like your body weighs a thousand pounds heavier than it actually is.

You find yourself standing in the shower, wishing it felt better. You thought that somehow the water would wash away all the dread that you have been carrying on your shoulders. You turn off the water, you turn it back on. You can’t really decide much about anything; not even how long you want to stay in the shower.

You are sad. You are sad and stressed and fed up and angry. You are all of these things about everything that seemed to have happened over the last week, or the month, or even the last year. And you are the saddest because there is nothing you can do to fix it. You are a fixer, and for some reason these things cannot be fixed. They cannot be fixed because you don’t quite know what it is to begin with that you are chasing after and trying to discover. You don’t know what it is that is making you feel this way, but you know that there is change that needs to happen in order for you to just continue existing.

Existing is hard on days like this. You wake up wishing you could just fall back asleep and skip the entire day. You wish that you could just tuck away all of the emptiness and lack of feelings that you have for life and everything in it in order to start fresh again.

And you know there is help, but as you see this kind of feeling arising within you, you know that it will fade away. The concept of therapy, medication, meditation sounds too severe for what you are going through for just these few weeks or a month out of the year. You know that you have a silent struggle that you make due with by celebrating little things that will bring joy. Because, like clockwork, you know that this feeling is temporary.

I like to think of these kind of autumn days as the days that your body and your mind use to work against you. They are the quiet days. The days where you have nothing and everything to say about any subject at a given moment. You want to scream and nothing comes out. You feel so numb, yet everything hurts all over. You only leave your house to make yourself feel better about achieving something that day. They are the days that no matter what you do or where you go, you seem to just be floating through the air.

But the thing is, we overcome these days. We survive them. And you don’t just survive this thing called life without learning a few things. And even though you know that this struggle is hard, and it seems to be never ending – it always ends. These struggles come to a halt with the sun, with the spring. And if they don’t, you know…you know that you can get the help you need. And you are SMART and STRONG enough to make it through the gloomy days, both literally and internally. You can survive this season.

If you or a friend is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255.