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Need suggestions.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I've been feeling very confused. I love almost everything here in Seattle - but, there's a lot of grey days for most of the year, and it has affected me seriously with seasonal affective disorder.

I have used the bright lights and a few other tricks, and have gotten better, but still don't feel 100%. After going to the mountains and being in bright sun all day, I realized the lights do not cure the SAD, it seems to only stave off the action of it for a while. Even my weight loss stalls and can reverse when it hits hard.

The cost of living here is very high, which is a secondary negative, but I could get over that if everything else lined up. I'd rather not move again and to a place where I don't know anyone again. At the same time, this is a health issue. I go from being the Energizer Bunny to just wanting to go back to bed. I don't even feel like running after a while, so you know it is serious when I say that.

I don't want to discount it's been a stressful year for me, in many ways, ending with my father passing away. However, I notice a big difference with the weather. When there's been a lot of grey I tend to focus on those negative events more. When we've had some sun, I feel like I can think, have energy and move forward with my life.

I guess I'm considering Denver again, though I don't know that I want to deal with the weather extremes. I used to live in Northern California, that was nice but I feel like if I thought it was that great, I wouldn't have moved away, though I was at a different point in my life back then, too.

So, I'm not sure what to do. Tomorrow, I am going to accompany my Mom driving back to the Midwest, then maybe I'll take a vacation to somewhere sunny. I've not had a vacation in a long, long time. Then, on the way back to Seattle, I'm going to take an extended road trip and visit several cities. Maybe I will find one I didn't think about before.

The summers here are sunny and gorgeous, so I have some time even after I get back to decide. However, the danger is that I will love it so much during that time that I will discount the SAD and decide to try to stick it out and stay, and become unhappy, unmotivated and start gaining weight again.

So, I don't know what to do... Have you dealt successfully with SAD, or had to move? What would you do??
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  • HILLSLUG98239
    No suggestions, but sympathy. I am a native Seattleite. I've lived east of the Cascades for the past 13 years. Eight inches of precipitation and 300 days of sunshine a year. (On the other hand, we have rattlesnakes, an ever-present wind, and goatheads/tackweed/puncturevine.)
    1822 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    I got nothin' but good wishes. Key West is nice but its a bit far from your sister. I'm in NY btw, plenty of grey here. I get a bit bummed towards the end of the winter, but not SAD level. Still, cant imagine living anywhere else!
    1823 days ago
    You need to come to the high desert and mountains of southern New Mexico.
    1823 days ago
    I have lived in different parts around Pittsburgh PA. 1st off I have family here that I want to be around. Second I really enjoy the four seasons of the year. I am lucky I do not suffer from SAD in the winter. And there are sunny days in winter to break the mood too. I like being in an area that I am familiar with. With my medical needs this is an awesome place to be since I receive excellent care. From a Doctor I have had for twenty five years and a visiting nurse who I have known for 6 years.
    1825 days ago
    Portland has a bit more sun than Seattle, and we have a HUGE running community here. If I wanted I could find a running partner every day of the week, at any time of the day or night.
    Just Sayin'.

    1825 days ago
    I have not had to move because of SAD. I do live in Colorado Springs (hour south of Denver). I love it!!
    1825 days ago
    I haven't had to deal with SAD which I count myself fortunate, I hope that your vacation and road trip will help. South Carolina is sunny a lot, but it also gets HOT in the summer.
    1826 days ago
  • PATTYE255
    I've noticed that SAD is getting me, too. My doc told me I was low on Vitamin D a few times, so I began taking it. It seems to have cured me.
    1826 days ago
    You know - despite what the national presents that Denver has sun over 300 days a year! Just saying. Come on back!
    1826 days ago
    I see myself in this blog. I grew up in Michigan, lived in Alabama for 12 years and moved back to be by family when I split from my husband. Wednesday, it was sunny and 80. Thursday, I wore my winter coat and have been down ever since. I think the others have given good suggestions. Try new places if you want to. Meanwhile, we both need to get on a schedule of exercising more and need to find new things to try and keep us busy. Good luck to you.
    1826 days ago
  • JLITT62
    I used to use a light box when I lived in VT, but it eventually broke. By that time we were living in TX so I never replaced it. But now that we're in NY I'm feeling the need for it again.

    Seattle seems like a great place to live, but I don't know how well i'd deal with the weather. My SIL likes it better than Chicago tho!

    Sorry, no real answers.
    1827 days ago
    I really hate humidity and dampness, as well as dealing with SAD, and yet I live in Ottawa. Every year I ask myself, "why do I live in this city again?" However, at the same time, I don't just draw happies from the sun: yes, I spend as much time as I can in it when it's out, but I have found other things to bring me up.

    I've found that the light therapy helps with my headaches, if not really my mood. I make sure that even when I'm having a down week I get in some exercise as well as some rest. If I'm having a really hard time of it, I disappear into a book for a couple of days and that pops me back to my old self. I also derive happies from my friends and non-active hobbies.

    I think that if you really do want to stay near your family you need to build a groundwork to support you through the grey. Set a schedule and stick to it for exercise. Make some of your exercise play. Regularly try new things, and meet people. Spread your social network a bit to include more people: find people who make you laugh!

    Good luck :)
    1827 days ago
    LOL Lecates, the main reason I didn't commit to a place before is because I knew I was eventually moving - cincy for sure (but even then was there for five years) and before that was in whatever city just to pursue a degree or an intenship. Yeah I just moved with no job, couldn't go for a long time without one if I moved again, but I could do it. I realize many feel they are stuck in situations that make them unhappy, so yes I'm glad I have options. Would rather not leave my sister but, I'm not sure I can deal wih SAD half the year either so...
    1827 days ago
    It is great that you have the options---but most of us live in the same place forever and learn to cope with what is thrown at us. If you choose to stay there, my advice would be to design your new place to have optimum light use and install tons of light fixtures that you can use during the dreary times. In reality, I think a lot of the other places you lived, you were not committed to giving it your all---when you decide to do that, I think you will cope. But can you make a commitment to any area without a job?
    1827 days ago
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