Now I’m older I can admit it.
Now I’m older I can realise there actually is a problem.
It’s not me. And it’s not my fault.
No amount of ‘snapping out of it,’ ‘stopping feeling so sorry for myself,’ no ‘up at the corners’ is ever going to change it. Only one thing does. The thing I don’t want to do. That’s part of it, somehow.
It’s the light at this time of year. It wrecks me. Light seeking light might light of light beguile, but when there isn’t any, you’re stuffed, Mr Shakespeare. And some, not a lot at all, but some of your stuff was frankly bollocks. Like this quote, for example.
It makes me keep the lights off in doors, which makes it ten times worse. I have no idea why I do that. I have to stop myself doing it, consciously, and turn on lights. But I know I don’t want to. I have lights all over the house. A massive silver Anglepoise that would sear the retinas of a German gynaecologist. But I don’t want to put it on. Or any of them. I want to cave. It’s the light.
It makes me clumsy and disorganised. I’ve hurt my left hand five separate times today, doing simple things that got out of hand. My knuckles are cut where a spanner slipped; sorer because of the bedstead and cupboard and something else I hit the same hand on. I wanted to go out tonight, but because of this I think it’s safer to stay at home. I went out this morning. I need to go out tomorrow. I need to do this and I know I need to do this. It’s just that I don’t want to. Because of the light.
It makes me tired all the time. By four in the afternoon I’m ready to just sit on the sofa, because it’s too early to go to bed. So I watch films or read or play my guitar or all of these and then it’s half-past one in the morning and the next day is going to be more difficult. And the next.
It’s the light. And there’s nothing I can do to change it.
I’ve got one of those Seriously Affected Dysfunction lamps, or whatever they call them. That actually helps. Except it also floods the entire room (well, dur!!!) with ghastly rays brighter than a thousand suns, which doesn’t make for a relaxing evening. And because my sleep is shot what I feel I need is a relaxing evening. And morning. And lunchtime.
It makes me stay indoors when I need to be out in what light there is. It’s not helped by the fact that I haven’t any more students to teach this year. If I had to go out, get in the car, drive to the school and stand-up on my hind legs telling people they can do things they don’t think they can it would be different. I could do that. Not doing it doesn’t help.
In two weeks it will start to get better. All I have to do is get through to the 21st and suddenly and faster and faster the evenings will get lighter, the days longer until by the end of freezing January it will be back to tolerable light. I’ll start going to walks again without feeling it’s a penance.
I can get through. I have my lamp. I have wonderful, caring friends who recognise what’s happening and text me to say ‘turn your lamp on.’ I am so lucky with that.
I still have to deal with it. But at least these days I know it’s not me.