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I Got Lost

You may have noticed that I have been on a little break from posting on my blog and from other social media. After the publication of Angry Macey, it was my intention to keep up my blog even as I took a little writing break before aggressively starting a new project. But other factors intervened. Then I felt as though I should announce my break. But by then it seemed like it had been too long and it was obvious.

My Seasonal Affective Disorder always kicks in with a vengeance in October. That has really brought down my energy level, my drive to get anything done, my will to live.

The holidays slowed me down as well.

I follow the case of the missing Skelton brothers from nearby Morenci, Michigan. The anniversary of their disappearance every year is a reminder that they are still gone. A recent news story where bones were discovered in Montana sparked new media interest. Initial testing showed that the bones were from three children, roughly the same ages as the missing boys. We still await results form further testing. Here is a link to the news story.

http://www.13abc.com/content/news/Michigan-State-Police-looking-for-clues-on-missing-Morenci-boys-in-Montana-464246273.html

And then shortly after Christmas, we got a new addition to our household. This little girl.

Bailey Boo, roughly 13 weeks old in this pic.

Here name is Bailey. She is a super cute shepherd mix, but 100% puppy and she keeps us on our toes. I am still not over my former dog Dave that I lost last September, and probably never will be. But our house felt very empty with no dog in it. Bailey fills that hole.

So, just stick with me while I decide what the next project is I should put my attention toward.

I have zero author events scheduled for 2018. So if you want to see my face, you should invite me to your event or local library, etc.

Please, please send along any house-breaking tips if you have them. They would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

You are special in your own way. Never forget that.
#LoveYourself

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
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NEXT FALL: A SAD To-Do List

I am currently in the full-on grip of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Need more info on SAD? Here is a link to an earlier post: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/03/11/im-sad/

Have I ever been diagnosed by a doctor, you ask?

Uh, no.

I exist under a perpetually gray sky, can barely get out of bed in the morning, have no energy, and no will to continue to exist. I don’t need to pay a doctor to tell me that is depression. And every year, just after Christmas, I want to run away, get a different job, do stupid, drastic things. It will pass in time; I know this. It is hard to accept right now, but I know when the days start to get longer, I will gradually move out of this, and move out of depression and lethargy into anxiety and insomnia.

Ain’t life grand?

But, it always catches me off guard. I mean, I have an actual imitation sun light that sits out all year because I never quite manage to get it packed away when summer arrives. So, these feelings should be no surprise. But here I am, chugging along, trying to continue being productive in my day-to-day life, and then I hit this dreary, gray wall. I am under a heavy blanket of despair that I can’t push off to even get the simplest of household chores completed in a timely manner.

So, I’m thinking maybe next October I need to put a plan in place to prepare a little. I am just making this up, so let’s see what I come up with…

  1. Lower production expectations.

Maybe I need to tie up as many loose ends as possible prior to this dim time of year. Not expect myself to start a book in January, because, let’s face it, I won’t.

  1. Prepare dinners ahead of time.

A great idea would be to prepare dinners on the weekend, during daylight hours, and then freeze them for the week ahead. It would help because by the time I pick up my son from school and we get home, there is barely one hour of sunlight left in the day. Maybe I will try this next year, if I have money for actual food.

  1. Get a nighttime hobby.

One article I saw online mentioned getting a nighttime hobby. Well, in the evening hours, I should be writing. But then I’m like, “What is the point, anyway?” Last night I decided to finish a quilt I started a decade ago, that makes me feel like a big loser failure when I think of it sitting upstairs unfinished. But, somehow, that morphed into trying to make my own stuffed animal. Two, actually, because my son insists on having one also. (I will let you know how this turns out in a future post.)

  1. Exercise?

The problem with this is my exercise of choice is walking and I am cold-blooded (my husband will attest to this), two things that do not go well together during wintertime in Michigan. I am not going to pay for a gym just to have a place to walk. And our mall is, well, let’s just say under construction and not as large as it used to be. I don’t want to be near stores because this time of year I am especially susceptible to retail therapy, which my checkbook does not support.

  1. Redecorate your bedroom.

I found a suggestion to redecorate your bedroom. I don’t know about redecorate, because I like the color of my walls and I like my curtains, etc. But tidying it could be a great step. Once upon a time I had a bedroom with a TV and a computer and tons of boxes in it. It was not good for sleeping. Feng shui, to one degree or another, is a real thing. If I clean my bedroom, maybe my sleep would be more productive and less stressful.

  1. Snuggle.

I read where you should snuggle with your partner. My husband works second shift (I will have another bitchy post on this soon), so five days out of the week he is not home for snuggling. And the other two, he is usually working on some project or another. But I do snuggle my dog. But then I remember she is old and that makes me even sadder.

  1. Avoid sugar.

Now, that’s funny. I don’t think so.

next-fall-donut

  1. Supplements.

Begin taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D now and continue until May. Has anyone else tried this? I haven’t, but might look into it.

  1. Himalayan salt lamp.

I got a Himalayan salt lamp about six months ago. It won’t be a replacement for the lost hours of sunshine, by any means, but I think it helps with my anxiety. I’m not sure everyone would agree.

  1. Create a winter oasis.

Check out this link for how to create an oasis for your senses. It doesn’t sound like it has to be anything difficult or expensive. Click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/design-your-path/201509/seasons-change-creating-winter-oasis-prepare-sad

next-fall-hawaii

  1. Forgive yourself.

Here is another link. It mostly lists the same steps for easing SAD, except there is a new one on this list: self-forgiveness. Elizabeth May says that if we eat junk all day one day or can’t get off the couch, that is OK because we are human. You can try again tomorrow. Click here: http://www.elizabethmaywrites.com/thoughts-on-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-1-preparation/

  1. Take a trip.

Oh. I found something that says I should take a vacation to a sunny place. I will put that on my vision board. Oh wait, it is already on there. The picture has been on there so long, it is sun-faded. Irony, anyone?

  1. See a doctor.

Most articles I found end with “See a doctor”, mostly as a way to cover their asses. That is not as easy as they make it sound. I actually attempted to do this last year, unsuccessfully. I will get to the tipping point soon where I will feel like I am losing my mind. After that, hopefully my mental state will return to normal again.

You can always just get a blog and use it for therapy. That’s what I do 😉

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My Christmas Gift

My husband got me a rather extravagant (for our household, anyway) Christmas gift.
He got me a Kindle. I had told him how I had accumulated a handful of eBooks, but I just couldn’t make myself read them on my laptop. After all, I do enough of that when I am writing and editing my own books.

Hmmm...that book looks good.

Hmmm…that book looks good.

I made him sad when I unwrapped it, because I didn’t open it right away.

Number 1: Because I knew I should return it and buy a new cell phone, as mine no longer has a functioning camera, and the on/off button sticks, causing it to enter a restart loop that I have to pump the button to stop. When trying to get a job, it is kind of important to have a little thing like a phone.

Number 2: Our Internet quit working three days before Christmas. With no WiFi, I knew I couldn’t get it set up anyway.

Christmas depressed me, so the day after I decided if he wanted me to have my gift of a Kindle, then I was going to keep it and open it. Our local library was closed due to the holiday weekend. We decided to park outside McDonald’s and use their free WiFi. We didn’t want to go in because then my son would want something to eat, and fast food was not in our non-existent budget at that particular time.

The first book I read on it was a short story by Neil Gaiman called How to Talk to Girls at Parties. I had never read anything by him before, only shared his quote memes on Facebook which always struck a chord with me. It was good.

Next I read Pride & Prejudice. I know, probably an unconventional choice. But right after I watched the miniseries (date), I got the eBook to read. Since my eyes had been opened that P&P was the romance standard by which most modern tales seemed to originate, I wanted to read the source material. But, well, I had only made it a few chapters in on my computer before I had abandoned my previous attempt.

So, with my Kindle in hand, I tackled Ms. Austin. I was glad I did. I was also very glad that my Kindle has a built-in dictionary function, because I used it often, even if not all of the old-timey British words were in it. I wonder what other classics I should be reading?

My first eBook I read taking place in this century and located in the United States of America was Holding On by Rachael Brownell. Rachael organized an awesome event I attended last fall called Great Lakes Book Bash. If you are an author or a reader, you MUST attend the next one, coming fall of 2017. Holding On was a great book. I loved that it took place in Michigan and Tucson. I am not much of a traveler, but Tucson is one of the only two places I have ever flown to (the other being Phoenix). The characters were well developed and I cared about them and their circumstances.

Next I read Chasing Rainbows by Linda Oaks. I really meant to only read a few pages. I was waiting for something to download on my computer and had just a few minutes to kill. But, as in usual fashion with me, I found myself compelled to finish it the same night. Linda’s writing really meshed with how my own thoughts rattle around in my own head. It felt awkward to me that the main character of Addie was involved with three different guys all in the length of just one week. But, maybe I am just jealous. That is pretty ambitious for a high school girl. And the first week of school too! I bet she got absolutely no homework done. I am glad that she ended up with the right man in the end.

What will I read next? Hopefully my own Be Careful What You Wish For. Need to finish up work on it.

After that? Probably Frozen Dreams by Cori Williams, A Place to Stand by Meg Farrell, Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish, A Reliant Love by Taylor Lavati, and something by Casey L. Bond.

I am in the midst of starting new employment. It is terribly scary and overwhelming. My anxiety has been working overtime lately. The fact that Southeastern Michigan was like the land of the eternal gloom over Christmas break didn’t help matters (or my Seasonal Affective Disorder). I put a solar light in my front yard. Literally, the damn thing never lit up at night until just two days ago. There had not been enough sun for two weeks to recharge the solar battery. Even with just the two days of sun (plus a few other factors), I am feeling slightly more like myself. But reading is a great escape from the stress of reality, even if just for a little while.

My Kindle is just a basic model, 7th generation. While I feel a little deprived of the bells and whistles of a K Fire, I also know that I am constantly tempted to check my Facebook as I am reading. Which I cannot do on it (or, at least I haven’t figured out how yet), which is good because then I keep reading.

The verdict? A Kindle has certain advantages, but it is just not as good as having a print book in my hands. A highlighted Pride & Prejudice just cannot compare to my underlines and stars in my hardcover copy of Twilight (autographed by Peter Facinelli!), but it is way better than trying to get lost in a book on a reflective screen while sitting at my desk.

A Kindle is just way easier to take to the bathroom than my laptop ;-D

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
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Re-Post: I’m SAD

This was originally posted on 3/11/14. But I figured it may be good to share this time of year, as this is when the onset of symptoms tends to happen. Original post can be found here: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/03/11/im-sad/

I get Seasonal Affective Disorder. I suffered from it long before I ever heard about it on the news. I suffered from it for many more years because I had heard the special lights that could help it were available by prescription only.

I live in cloudy Michigan. It only gets cloudier and more dreary with less daylight hours November through March. Being a fan of the Twilight books, I sometimes like to pretend I live in Forks, Washington, where there are sexy vampires and shirtless werewolves around every corner.

Every year when the Christmas celebration died down and January rolled around, I would write depressing poetry. Or want to quite college. Or quit my job. I didn’t want to get out of bed or laugh or smile. But I did. I faked it. Because I am a Capricorn. Life must have order and go on.

Even at my previous job, when I would walk outside for 30 minutes a day on my breaks and be in the car for two hours Monday through Friday, there still was just not enough sun outside to ease the symptoms. I believe that people who are more prone to depression are probably more sensitive to this. That has been my experience anyway.

Then, a couple years ago, my mother-in-law’s doctor suggested she order a SAD light to use during the winter. His nurse printed off a list of lights that could be ordered off of Amazon (Go figure!). So she ordered and received her light. I kept inquiring to find out if it was helping. It had only been a short time, but she seemed to think that it was.

So, I totally pestered my husband to order me a light as a Christmas present. After studying them all online, I ended up picking the same one that my mother-in-law had. When it arrived at the end of November, I had to convince my husband to start letting me use it right away, as I could already feel the effects of less light creeping into my body. Plus, it is not like it was going to be a surprise. I had told him which one to buy.

And it did seem to help with my symptoms that year, although I think it would have been more effective had I started it earlier. My light is a SunTouch Plus by NatureBright with an ionizer. The instructions say to start with a half hour of light per day, then you might be able to step it down to 15 minutes. I always do a half hour every morning. With a toddler and two dogs, I have trouble staying seated in one spot for 30 minutes straight. And there are always a few days when I forget, or I have to get to work, so some mornings I might only get ten minutes. It is sort of like taking birth control pills. If you miss more than one day, you are going to have serious side effects.

Rainbow bear demonstrating my SAD light

Rainbow bear demonstrating my SAD light

You have to be fairly close to the light to get the benefits, as the lights are only like 15 inches tall. If I try to use my light and my laptop at the same time, it takes up most of my kitchen table width-wise.

Supposedly, the ionizer will help with symptoms as well. I do not use the ionizer at the same time I use the light (it has a separate switch). I don’t like to be that close to the ionizer when it is on. The ionizer has a slight, weird, plasticky smell that makes me feel a little sick. Sometimes I turn it on while I am making dinner or something, and I feel like it freshens up the stale winter air in my house.

I had a scare when my dog knocked my light over and one of the four bulbs quit working. I thought I was going to have to call the company to order a new one. But it turned out that she did not break the bulb, she just knocked it loose.

In a normal winter, it does help. It keeps me from wanting to peel my own skin off. It helps me get out of bed in the morning. But I have felt especially bad in the last few weeks. I think that is because this has been an especially horrible winter, with too much cold and too much snow. Where I live here in Michigan, we have had the snowiest winter on record, combined with that PMS and the death of my hard drive.

While I can’t wait for sunshine and warmth, I dread the ants waking up and crawling into my kitchen, and days over 80 degrees.

SAD-Once

I’m SAD

Posted on

I get Seasonal Affective Disorder. I suffered from it long before I ever heard about it on the news. I suffered from it for many more years because I had heard the special lights that could help it were available by prescription only.

I live in cloudy Michigan. It only gets cloudier and more dreary with less daylight hours November through March. Being a fan of the Twilight books, I sometimes like to pretend I live in Forks, Washington, where there are sexy vampires and shirtless werewolves around every corner.

Every year when the Christmas celebration died down and January rolled around, I would write depressing poetry. Or want to quite college. Or quit my job. I didn’t want to get out of bed or laugh or smile. But I did. I faked it. Because I am a Capricorn. Life must have order and go on.

Even at my previous job, when I would walk outside for 30 minutes a day on my breaks and be in the car for two hours Monday through Friday, there still was just not enough sun outside to ease the symptoms.  I believe that people who are more prone to depression are probably more sensitive to this. That has been my experience anyway.

Then, a couple years ago, my mother-in-law’s doctor suggested she order a SAD light to use during the winter. His nurse printed off a list of lights that could be ordered off of Amazon (Go figure!). So she ordered and received her light. I kept inquiring to find out if it was helping. It had only been a short time, but she seemed to think that it was.

So, I totally pestered my husband to order me a light as a Christmas present. After studying them all online, I ended up picking the same one that my mother-in-law had. When it arrived at the end of November, I had to convince my husband to start letting me use it right away, as I could already feel the effects of less light creeping into my body. Plus, it is not like it was going to be a surprise. I had told him which one to buy.

And it did seem to help with my symptoms that year, although I think it would have been more effective had I started it earlier. My light is a SunTouch Plus by NatureBright with an ionizer. The instructions say to start with a half hour of light per day, then you might be able to step it down to 15 minutes. I always do a half hour every morning. With a toddler and two dogs, I have trouble staying seated in one spot for 30 minutes straight. And there are always a few days when I forget, or I have to get to work, so some mornings I might only get ten minutes. It is sort of like taking birth control pills. If you miss more than one day, you are going to have serious side effects.

Rainbow bear demonstrating my SAD light

Rainbow bear demonstrating my SAD light

You have to be fairly close to the light to get the benefits, as the lights are only like 15 inches tall. If I try to use my light and my laptop at the same time, it takes up most of my kitchen table width-wise.

Supposedly, the ionizer will help with symptoms as well. I do not use the ionizer at the same time I use the light (it has a separate switch). I don’t like to be that close to the ionizer when it is on. The ionizer has a slight, weird, plasticky smell that makes me feel a little sick. Sometimes I turn it on while I am making dinner or something, and I feel like it freshens up the stale winter air in my house.

I had a scare when my dog knocked my light over and one of the four bulbs quit working. I thought I was going to have to call the company to order a new one. But it turned out that she did not break the bulb, she just knocked it loose.

In a normal winter, it does help.  It keeps me from wanting to peel my own skin off.  It helps me get out of bed in the morning.  But I have felt especially bad in the last few weeks. I think that is because this has been an especially horrible winter, with too much cold and too much snow. Where I live here in Michigan, we have had the snowiest winter on record, combined with that PMS and the death of my hard drive.

While I can’t wait for sunshine and warmth, I dread the ants waking up and crawling into my kitchen, and days over 80 degrees.

SAD-Once

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