February 16

“Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.”   Anonymous

       I don’t know – call me a nervous Nellie, but I’m feeling more ‘anxious’ these days than I normally do.  I suffer from ‘SAD’ (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which becomes a challenge this time of year.  Apparently, I don’t get enough sun in the winter months, and this causes me to feel gloomy and anxiously depressed.

       If you live north of the 49th parallel, you probably feel this way when the days get shorter and the nights longer.  It’s a Canadian thing; unlike our neighbors to the south we are quite gloomy this time of year.  I don’t think it’s the cold, so much, as it is the lack of sunlight.

       I tried using a sunlamp last year but I found it annoying.  Believe it or not, I found it to be too bright!  I took it back, and began taking several thousand milligrams of vitamin D every day instead.  And within a few short weeks I started to feel better.

        Gloomy depression and sleepless anxiety are close cousins; the flip side of the same coin.  I usually feel the anxiety – shortness of breath and a tightening in the chest – long before the depression sets in.  So, here I am wrestling with a vague sense of dread and apprehension on a Friday morning before I head into work.

           Be as it may, I choose to give thanks for the day – gloomy or not.  I am grateful for the fact that it’s Friday; the end of a week, and the beginning of a relaxing weekend.  I am also grateful for my health; a lot of people at work are suffering through colds and the flu.  I am blessed with good physical health, and on a good day, good mental health.

       I particularly want to give thanks for my recovery.  There was a day when I turned to my favorite ‘drug’ especially this time of year.  My addiction would only increase in an attempt to medicate these feelings of anxious depression.  I don’t have to do that anymore; and for that I am grateful.

       There’s no need to struggle against this feeling of anxiety and depression.  I can accept that it is here today… and most likely gone tomorrow.  Anxiety will increase and eventually develop into depression if I try to fight it, resist it.  I choose to embrace it and use it as a reminder to be grateful. 

       Fear is a dark void that can be filled with the light of love.  And what better way to create love than to be grateful?

 You can walk in the light when you practice gratitude.