People Who Say Seasonal Depression Doesn’t Exist Are Probably Right, But I’m Still Convinced I Suffer From It
December 11th, 2006
I’m a bit of a hypochondriac.
I’m not a germaphobe or anything like that.
I don’t carry around a handkerchief with which to open doors.
Nor do I refuse to use public phones.
But I have been known to diagnose myself with diseases.
Some such diseases have included arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, melasma, walking pneumonia, strep throat, asthma and carpal tunnel syndrome.
This is not an exhaustive list.
I also convinced myself I’m lactose intolerant despite the fact that I continue to eat cheese, ice cream and yogurt regularly.
My most recent self-diagnosis is SAD, commonly known as seasonal depression.
I’ve had the sneaking suspicion for some time that I’m a victim of this disease.
But in years past I was able to attribute my overly depressive state to life events occurring simultaneously.
2003: starving and alone in Paris.
2004: entire family packed up and moved to Idaho.
Fall/winter has generally not been a happy time of year for me, at least not in the recent past.
But this year things are different.
I finally have enough money to pay my bills.
I have a great job that gets my name on the front page of a newspaper every day.
I have a fab boyfriend.
My sister even came to visit me for Thanksgiving.
In essence: life is good.
Yet I break into sobbing fits for no apparent reason.
For the past week or so I’ve had to leave the office because I couldn’t keep myself from crying.
It’s ridiculous really.
The only bad thing I can think of is that my car is costing me $600 a month.
Far too much if you ask me.
The good thing about my recent self-diagnosis is I’m not alone.
My best friend and roommate, Sofia, has also been self-diagnosed with seasonal depression.
Her and I basically begin to feel stir-crazy in the winter time.
There’s not enough light.
It’s too cold.
We’re unexplicably sad.
And we have an overwhelming desire to run away from everything.
Last year we’d periodically jump in the car and make a run for the coast.
The beach tends to make us feel better, at least temporarily.
We drive to Half Moon Bay, three hours from home.
Usually we’re on the beach wrapped in all matter of warm clothing — sweatshirts, scarves, gloves and Mexican blanket.
Noses running uncontrollably.
Hair whipping our faces from the harsh wind.
It doesn’t sound appealing.
But the sound of the ocean and the feel of being somewhere so open for some reason makes us giddy with happiness.
Even after we crash Sofia’s car on the way there.
That’s what happened last year.
It was raining.
Someone about three cars ahead of us was making a left-hand turn.
The breaks worked, but the slippery road meant we didn’t stop.
We rearended the car in front of us, which then rearended the car in front of it.
Police were called.
We waited in the rain looking as apologetic as possible.
Sofia got out and kicked her car for good measure.
It ended up working out though.
Sofia’s car was “totaled.”
This meant she didn’t have to pay any more on it.
It also meant her car insurance company sent her a check for $3,000.
That sounds pretty nice to me.
I’m sick of being depressed, so we’re headed back to Half Moon Bay this weekend.
And I’m really hoping we can total my car too.
I’d love to not owe $9,000 on a shit car AND get money for it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.