“Oh shit,” I yell, “I need to make a blog post!” I grab a computer, sit down and open up a document.
I can’t think of one intelligent thing to say.
Yes, this is a post that is going up now. I have an idea of what I want to say now. Before, when I thought about it, I didn’t know what to put here. Me, disabled? There’s no way. I get out of bed on time every morning, I make breakfast, I go to school, I do things around the house, I work, take care of the animals… There’s no way I’d ever classify my constant state of movement as ever being disabled.
But that’s the funny thing about being me: I can appear fully functional. I can get my homework done on time, I can run errands, I can keep up with my schedule. I can do all kinds of things! You’d never know I suffer from seasonal affective disorder. I have general mental illnesses too, but none of them are as difficult for me as seasonal affective disorder.
It starts in the fall with a gnawing inside me. I am Westeros and winter is coming, and I need to brace myself. I deal with fall casually and a little tensely, ignoring the leaves changing and falling and the chilly weather. Before I know it, I lose more daylight, and the cold gets worse. By the time I’m in the thick of it, it’s mid-November and I am nearly overtaken by a miasma of malaise to the worst degree.
I have papers. I have projects. I have work. I have holiday preparations. I have family obligations. I have so many things to do, so many things I could do without a problem in the summer. Bless summer, I miss it so much. I could write a million blog posts in the summer, and they would all be different topics and make absolute sense. Not in winter.
My energy is sapped. Sometimes I’m moody, usually in the morning or later at night. During the day, when I see the sun, my mood improves. I would do so much work if I could sit outside without freezing. When it’s dark, which it seems to be most of the time, it takes so much energy just to think about homework. When I sit down to do it, I lock up. Writing feels impossible; I can’t comprehend the topic or the requirements, even though I know I should. I sleep more which is why I’m in bed by 10:30 and up by 7.
I’m frustrated by my incompetence and perpetual exhaustion. I’m not lazy, I want to do things. I want to get all of my homework out of the way so I can relax. I always feel a need to get my work started early so I don’t agonize the night before, and I usually do it. It’s so hard to be that student during the winter months, where writing one page sounds like climbing a mountain. I’d rather sit and play a video game, numbing my mind, or just go to bed.
So maybe there are varying degrees of disability? Maybe I can be almost disabled but still functional? It’s ridiculous that I could look at someone with seasonal affective disorder and go, yes, it is disabling for you, but I look at myself and go, no, I’m okay. I think that’s part of mental illness in general though, always saying you’re okay even when you’re not. Maybe I’m not okay. Maybe it’s okay to not be okay. Maybe it’s okay to talk about how I’m not 100% all right and need some time. Maybe this is what they mean when they talk about temporary disability.
This post is disorganized and I think that says something about my current status (it means my brain is sprawling out in my skull until spring).
I miss summer.