Tuesday, December 05, 2006


This has to be a short post. Work is calling. . . .
Shortly after I wrote on the Sunday Scribbling entitled "A passenger in my own life", I stumbled across one of Diane Ackerman's books at my favorite used book store (we are blessed with two good used bookstores and several new ones within a few blocks of my home). This book is Cultivating Delight, A Natural History of My Garden. Since I like gardening books, this was a sure thing. I'm only on chapter 3 but ran into a paragraph that seemed appropriate for the day and season.
"We may feel cozy and safe in our homes, protected from both blast and predatory, but we pay the price with slack muscles, weak hearts and glum spirits. Deprived of fresh daylight, we sink low during winter months. And yet when we search for remedies to those distresses, only the artificial springs to mind: gyms, pills, lightboxes." So true. As I sit here in front of my space heater and light box, I find myself craving light and warmth. So do many of my patients. This is depression season, especially for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I wish I could give all of us a prescription for a trip to the Bahamas for a week. Someone told me recently that the Norwegian government gives grants to its citizens for travel south in the winter if they need more light. I'll have to check if that is true. Since most of us in Chicago cannot run away into the light, we are stuck with pills, lightboxes and so forth.
I am on the thin side, so the cold really hits me hard. My hands are cold, even indoors, especially while writing or typing. I feel every draft in my 1880's house despite new insulated windows. I hate leaving the house on days like today when the highs are in the 20's. My energy levels plummet and I want to sleep until noon. I fantasize about summer in Italy, winter in Fiji (although not this week, I gather bad things are happening in Fiji). Perhaps I should move to Arizona, Texas, California or Florida, but I have roots here in Chicago. Besides I'm not sure if I'd like to live in most of those places, I'm picky.
Well, dreary depressing December and merry manic March, keep shrinks like me in business. Speaking of which, time to pack up laptop and get to the office.
P.S. I will add a picture and revise post in my next break.


BendingPeak said...

I am going to suggest you not move to Texas. I am here for 2 years working towards my LPC and already looking for internships elsewhere.
We did however have "snow" last week, but it is back up to 50 today.
Enjoy the light bos, and if its not enough I would suggest Aruba.

Patry Francis said...

Just wanted to let you know that Third Day is reading Suite Francaise for January! Hope you'll be joining in!

Rose of Sharon said...

Thanks for the beautiful sunset picture from yesterday. I would suggest moving to Phoenix. It is beautiful there, or the Bay Area in California, although this time of year it's pretty chilly there, not as cold as Chicago, but still a mite chilly. I don't know that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I am definitely strongly affected by sunlight. I can't wake up in the morning unless the sun has risen, otherwise I'm dead in bed even if I've slept adequately. Reading your blog makes me miss my shrink from back in my college days. I should call her up and just see how she's doing, or is that considered a bit like stalking? LOL! :)

Skittles said...

I've wondered about those light lamps. Not just in the winter, but year round. With my agoraphobia I don't get outside much.

Pepper said...

You are so fortunate to have a house built in the late 1800s. I love old homes.

Winters are dismal. It is a time where everything goes to sleep, resting until Spring brings them out of their slumber. Wow I became philosophical must be the 6 cups of coffee.

My name is Pepper oftentimes I am called Dr. Pepper and my professional advice for you is this... listen to the voices in your head and take a week off and fly south.

Have a good day.

m.m.crow said...

perfect timing for this email. we are in the first throws of snow and cold here in vermont and i spent the better part of yesterday wondering if i'll still be here when i'm an old woman. most of your thoughts resinate with my own.