On Friday, I wrote a blog titled “The Leftovers” and the theme was about fighting the way I think about my relationship. As luck would have it, Facebook reminded me that on the very same day last year, I wrote a blog called “Sabotaging Your Own Happiness” that expresses the same sentiments of wanting to leave the Ex Factor when everything was going great. ? Facebook also reminded me that I cry a lot around this time of year! Up almost the exact same nights…CRYING! ? As if the weeks of insomnia in October weren’t enough proof…Facebook has reminded me that I’m currently deep into my Seasonal Affective Disorder! The sad thoughts, crying, moodiness, and the need to be alone were all in place. Now being fully aware of what’s going on with my mind…I was careful to only speak with friends (over the weekend) who were also experiencing SAD and specific immediate family members who are understanding of it. I tried to stay away from friends and family who trigger it…especially my mother and the Ex Factor! My mother triggers about every negative experience I have had in my life. I hate writing that but it’s true. She makes the holidays/any special events hard on us all EVERY YEAR! ?? As a matter of fact, she sent me a group of text messages early Friday morning that just set me off. ? I know that’s hard to understand for those of you with great relationships with your moms but some of us have some serious mommy issues! ?? So my SAD is here? What to do? Last year, the Ex Factor and I fought so much during this time. He enjoys this season. The Ex Factor has great family and friends who all celebrate birthdays (his included) and anniversaries during this season…while I’m in my own circle of hell. In past years, I either break it off with him or try to keep us both going…but this year I have no energy for any of it! My first priority is ME! This is a time I need him to carry us. I warned him in early October of how hard this season is for me but what I did not do was spell out the support I need during this time! ?Communication is so difficult for me in general…but especially during SAD. I don’t know how to express myself unless I’m speaking to someone who is also going through it. I’m trying to limit my interactions with my mother (started that in May actually) and redecorate my apartment to welcome the holidays (instead of cringing at the sight of Christmas decorations). I plan on buying my first Christmas tree this year too. I love love love real Christmas trees but in the last couple years we have not been able to have one because my mother claims she’s NOW allergic to them! ? These are just some of the ways I’m trying to deal with my SAD and uplift my mood. While I have no clue how to successfully conquer SAD, I am aware that the methods are different for everyone.? My goal is just to be good to myself and to be patient with myself as my moods shift and sad thoughts are upon me. If you suffer from SAD or clinical depression…this season is not easy. BE GOOD TO YOURSELVES!!! I cannot stress that enough! For those with families that they are taking care of, try to set aside some regular ME time to replenish all the energy you have given others. In a way, I’m so lucky that it’s just me that I have to worry about but in other ways I’m unlucky because I live alone with no one to snap me out of my moods when they start to swallow me up. ? Blogging about SAD and how the holidays represent a season of loss for me (miss my Grandma Gloria so much) helps keep me grounded. Also, I am going to try to volunteer with my Daddy at least once this season, watch shows that make me laugh like the Golden Girls, try to exercise the body to take pressure off of the mind, and try to rest as much as I can. That’s the game plan! One last thing, if you are experiencing SAD it is good to acknowledge that it is real while the thoughts you are having may not be. Your fears and worries are real but the way you are drawn to dwell on them during this season is a sign of SAD. In other seasons, you may easily brush off some of these negative thoughts and focus on the positives! Try to be aware of all of this as you interact with others! ?? So no…you don’t have to instantly pretend to be happy for the sake of others but you definitely have to acknowledge that you are in a season (unless you are clinically depressed…in this case…seek professional help) that will pass! ?? The sun will come out! Hang on! ~KJM on Charm School Monday! ? FYI seeking professional help during a seasonal depression is not a bad idea either! Do what works for you! Good luck!