Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Let There Be Light!

Today is the winter solstice, which means Annapolis only gets 9 ½ hours of light between sunrise and sunset–and the night is longer than any other time of the year. If you think of the seasons as a ride on a Ferris wheel (which I do), this means that today I am at the very top, soiling myself (because I am afraid of heights and all amusement park rides) as the rickety old thing stops to let more people on and my excited two-year-old (true story) rocks back and forth (“Wee!”), screaming “Binky!” which she dropped by my shoe and wants me to pick up.

Translation: I do not like winter. And I’m afraid of the dark.


But today I celebrate! Because as of tomorrow my days get longer, and I start descending from that scary place at the top of the Ferris wheel.

It’s not a coincidence that Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter holidays are full of symbols of light. People have always honored and ritualized the victory of light over darkness on the days surrounding the winter solstice. What’s not to like about the advent of warmer weather (if it’s not due to global warming) and signs of life (tree sprouts, tulips, carnivals with Ferris wheels) all around.

Like many people who suffer from depression, I wither in the winter. Which is why I force Springtime by sitting under a mammoth HappyLite and running my six daily miles with lots of layers.

Tonight’s long night means my dawn is that much closer.

  • http://HASH(0xd13e1fc) Lenora

    If you don’t suffer from depression, I don’t think a person can understand. I know my sisters think I’m greedy in some way…wanting more, being unhappy with so much in my life. I don’t understand it much myself except that I feel sad all the time…that’s with zoloft, xanax, and a therapist. Some days I feel there is no hope for me. But then I read your article and a little of me hopes spring will come again for me. thank you.

  • http://HASH(0xd13ef84) TC

    I wish you many blessings. Thanks so much for sharing. It really does help.

  • http://HASH(0xd13ffdc) Tammy

    I just lost my job yesterday, due to my boss beleiving I was “high” when in fact I am trying to adjust to new antidepressant medications. She says she know it its not my fault I have physical problems, but my mental problems I should be better able to control. Please pray for me, my singificant other is disabled so we now have no income until I can find a new job. And pray that those who do not understand mental illness become enlightened enough to realize you cannot “control” it.

  • Kevin Keough

    Well, First,–Tammy—I don’t know anything about your place of employment. That said, unless it’s a very small business, there are federal/state/local laws that prohibit a boss from firing you because of a medical condition. In fact, employers have a responsibility to recognize signs of health problems, make referrals to EAP’s and work to make accomodations. Too often, people don’t know these things. I love to guide people through the process of ‘enlightening’ employers re such matters. So, maybe your boss will regret his mistake….hoping so.Therese, it’s so nice to know another person so attuned to the winter solstice. As far back as I can remember, I’d slowly start to get down as we moved into September. Somewhere in my teen years I realized that I just needed to make it through the winter solstice….and every day would bring me closer to spring….literally and psychologically. Until about 7 years ago I dreaded the fall….even chilly August evenings. Granted, my dislike of school didn’t help my attitude toward fall and winter. But, when we lost daylight savings time, I crashed. Since I started using the happy lights you mentioned about 7 years ago—the dread is gone. My mood doesn’t crash through to China anymore. The last 7 years have been the most difficult of my life yet I seem to weather the darker days much better. Tis the light ! Tis the happy lights and everything that Light is and represents. Hey–“Oh Holy Night” is my favorite too ! My favorite version is done by Jon Anderson…who sang it with well known daughters of a famous gospel singer whose name escapes me. This song moves me so deeply. It answers my deepest Dream, responds to something I thought impossible. Tonight is a night divine. Everynight is a night divine. And God is glorious Every day even when I am down, thrown to the ground…for then as I get myself up…..I am standing on sacred ground. Yes, suffering is not for nothing…there is meaning. Ah, but I pray that All God’s Children realize there is no point in messing with unnecessary suffering. So, Peace on Earth, Happy Everything, and even tonight we know we are Love and Everlasting Life…..even as we slog through those dark nights. Thanks again

  • http://HASH(0xd1412f4) Linda

    Like Tammy, I also am unemployed, but it was due to external reasons that I had no control of: a fire broke out in a back file room behind the main floors offices, causing minor damage to a lot of files the company kept in there. Consequently, the fire investigator showed up at the company, and interogated me for 45 minutes, basically accusing ME of starting it, because I was an office cleaner and therefore had access to most of the building. He shook me up so much that I was almost shaking afterwards, and I was so upset I left work early that day. He had told me also that the other workers had “seen me near the area where the fire started” and that was an absolute lie, and made me quite angry to be accused of something I had NO knowledge of. The next day I gave my notice, and that was on November 17th. I’ve been looking for work ever since (not in cleaning) since, and my spouse doesn’t make enough in his job to cover my own bills, including the cable. I’ve had a few interviews, but nothing has come of them as of yet.This year too, I am spending Christmas away from my family who live in Manitoba (I live in Alberta) for the first time, and my 100 year old grandmother also died this past August. Apart from an older cousin (who I rarely see, as he’s so busy working)and an aunt, (my cousin’s mom) here where I live in Edmonton, I have no other family, and haven’t made any friends my own age. I’ve been feeling isolated, down about my finances, and it’s hard to be cheerful when the holidays are upon us and people everywhere are celebrating, attending various Christmas parties and such when you’re not, and you don’t know that many people.

  • http://HASH(0xd141b54) MM

    I know how it is — I lost several jobs by not revealing my “defect”… this was from 1992 to 2001 and now I have job which I performed when I was 18 (and I probably performed better then and I 3 credits shy of a Master’s degree).

  • http://HASH(0xd1433c4) Suzan

    I always ‘crash & burn’ in winter as hard as I try not to. We have many family problems as do a lot of people. I try not to let Christmas get to me, but I work retail (thank God NOT in a mall), and the radio at work has the station on that plays holiday music 24/7 since the week BEFORE Thanksgiving. I am too tired to pray. I am usually better by February 2, which is the halfway point between winter and spring. Happy Solstice! Sue

  • http://HASH(0xd144614) James

    I applaud all of you for acknowledging your feelings, for sharing them in this forum, and for looking for support and guidance from others. I also love that you’re supporting each other. When I get down, I’m learning to kick into “hyper-gratitude” mode where I thank the Creator for absolutely everything I see, hear, feel, taste, smell and touch constantly for a minute or two (or as long as I can keep it up). It really helps – try it! God bless every one of you!

  • http://HASH(0xd144938) sara love

    We all need to look to those moments when we see the divine, in a kind person, in a hand outstretched to us maybe with just a clementine, but outstretched none the less, to sunsets and sunrises, to the laughter and viewpoint of children, to things said differently than the ususal, to the look in another’s eyes, to kind words and compassionate hearts. Bring out the good in as many moments as you can. Practice and perseverence make all things possible. Living with agonizing depression or grief tries even the saints among us, but the creator provides respite again and again. Keep your faith warm and bright, believe that tomorrow will bring all answers and desired things…because surely it does to those who open their eyes and hearts, and who humbly ask the Lord for their prayers to be answered.

  • http://HASH(0xd145ab0) Joy

    I’m a bipolar 2 I can no longer work any more so I’m on disabilty. Its a battle every day and winter is hard for me too except for December Thats the day of our Lord Jesus was born and he is the only one gets me through day by day, I pray and he is always there to help me through. there is nothing any better. I do take meds. but with out Jesus I would be so lost. Thank you for listening.

  • http://HASH(0xd146360) Deb

    Good to read this. This is one of my better years, but it is still hard. It is good to know I am not alone. Tammy, I have FML protection at work. Unless you work for a very small company, you are covered too. You just have to have your doctor fill out some papers. There is probably a lawyer opr someone who could help you get your job back or get a settlement. It is very much against the law to fire you for those reason. Hope you can follow up. Your doctor may know who could help you. Good luck.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.