Living in the Gray

Lately, I haven't had much energy.

My alarm goes off at some hour much before light and I'll roll over to see the temperature and it's always cold. 'Feels like' freezing. Even when the sun does rise, I can't see it, the sky an endless and varying shade of gray so that at any given time during the day- it all looks the same. Only at night does it turn black.

I find myself hitting snooze more frequently.

I'll lay in bed mentally going over my day and wondering if I even have to get out of bed. 
Or if I can just lay there and doze. 
Hibernate until spring. 
I'll tell you that I'm not at my best right now. 
I'm hungrier. Sleepier. Grumpier.

Even Roxy is a little SAD
That's how I've been feeling these past couple weeks.

I had a teacher in high school once suggest to me that I had SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I was promptly offended  by her comment and suggest she not give out advice she knows nothing about (it being February and all and I was just FINE).

But as years have went on, it has become apparent to me that she may have been on to something. 

Last winter was unseasonably warm for Iowa and I was able to run outside almost everyday, walk my dog and breathe the fresh air.

This winter the dangerously cold temperatures and freak weather have kept me pretty isolated.
It's a feeling I don't really enjoy.

I'm not a stranger to depression.
I've been depressed. Pretty severely at times. I've been medicated. I've seen a therapist. Mental illness is not new to my family- we have a history.
I remember being 19 and dragging myself to the doctor and telling her I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm not okay. Help me.
Being so desperate after weeks of no sleep, no appetite and a slew of various emotions often followed by angry outbursts, crying jags or both. 
I remember getting the number for the therapist and taking the pills as scheduled. 
I remember them changing the brand and changing the dosage. 

And I remember me.

Becoming the opposite of depressed at that point. 
Medicated enough to where I wasn't sad, but where I didn't care much at all about anything. 
So I stopped.
Quit taking those little pills.
Worked with the therapist on ways to cope when I was feeling overwhelmed or anxious. 

I told myself: I make the choice everyday about whether it's going to be a good or a bad day.
Therapy speak, for sure.
And it worked. 

Having that mindset that I choose to make each day good or bad regardless of circumstances, to focus on each day one at a time and just to let go a little bit (more therapy speak). 

But lately.
When each day is an endless shade of gray- a cold, dreary vast of blahness- it's hard to remember the sun still exists.
When things in my life are seemingly undecided and have no clear resolution, it's hard to see how it will all end up. 

I KNOW everything will be okay.
That in a few weeks the sun will be shining again.
That a plan will emerge from the various 'unknowns' in my life.

I just gotta hold on.

Until the sun is shining again and the future doesn't seem so murky, I'll keep these words close to my heart and mind:

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
good news makes for good health.
Proverbs 15:30

I can choose a cheerful outlook. 
I can wake up and smile and wear bright colors and laugh and enjoy the small wins found in everyday. 

For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. 
Proverbs 15:15

Nothing is ever the end. 
Even when the future seems hazy, every day is a chance to get it right. 
I can (and will) find the happy in even the smallest moments- strong coffee, a good run, warm hugs. 

A glad heart makes a happy face;
a broken heart crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:13

No matter the weather, no matter the ambiguity, my heart is not broken. 
My glad heart will make a happy face. 


How do you cope with living in the 'gray'- weather or otherwise?