Winter has always been a challenge. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a brutal and unforgiving condition to handle. I was lucky to be able to maintain a high level of well being through October, November and December which was a welcome surprise. As the sunlight receded and we experienced the Winter solstice this soon has a slightly delayed detrimental affect on my mental health. My anxiety began rocketing and depression started setting in.
The hour long commutes to Liverpool three days a week began to take a toll, the rising anxiety was becoming unbearable making lectures almost impossible to attend. The biggest challenge of mental health is the cycle that you fall into which becomes increasingly difficult to break. Nothing feels possible; the depletion of energy, the existential dread that coats your being and the internal panic as you fall behind with all aspects of life.
Thankfully the darkness is beginning to recede as spring breaks. There is still a little way to go as the cold still bites and the sun still sets before dinner time. But there is hope, that is the only thing that really keeps you going through those deep Winter months that almost completely debilitate you when you are susceptible to SAD.
My workload is heavy and the deadlines are rushing towards me like an unstoppable avalanche, but I am confident I can run fast enough to keep my head above the snow. I am currently working on an annotated bibliography and have fieldwork next week where I will be researching homelessness in Liverpool. The final three pieces of work are sizable assessments but I’m confident I’ll be able to get through them effectively.
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