This winter is close to breaking me. It seems like every time it warms up enough to melt the snow off the roads, it’s just in time for the next round of snow. Even this week has been no exception. We had a blizzard that originally was supposed to skate by us, but dumped a couple inches and blew them around. Yesterday we got another inch. And tomorrow? Another 1-2 inches. Have you ever read the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper? That’s about what South Dakota winters do to me. It’s an oppressively slow descent into madness. There are other things that have contributed to my sinking even further into seasonal depression this year, but the biggest is the lack of consistent sunshine. I have relatives who don’t seem to grasp the fact that depression, even seasonal depression, is not just a bad mood, but is a chemical imbalance, so this isn’t something I can just “snap out of.” Last year I was given a prescription anti-depressant, but after a couple of days of feeling really medicated-loopy on it (that drowsy-but-wired feeling), I stopped taking it. My daydreams involve me getting in the car and driving until I find a sunny coastline, but I can’t really do that. Instead, I try and combat the sadness and lethargy by baking things like these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars.
I actually made these about a month ago–During another depressed spell. Sometimes it helps just to force myself to do something else. There are times when I need to just sit and write or cry, to get it out of my system and get to a point where I can stop feeling as bad. Baking helps me with that.
And I know that if I were to get off my duff and start working out again, exercise would help as well. That’s a never-ending loop I get stuck in, though. I don’t have the energy to work out, so I don’t, but I feel better when I do. But I’m too tired to bother, so I don’t.
And while sugar isn’t exactly the best thing to combat depression, sometimes I feel better myself when I bring a little smile to Jay’s and the bambino’s faces. The bambino comes home from school, runs into the kitchen proclaiming his hunger, and I surprise him with a homemade treat. That IS something that cheers me up immensely.
And if nothing else, it hopefully won’t been too much longer until the days are sunny and warm again, and the snow is gone for awhile!