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Note: I thought about not posting this. It was therapeutic to write but I worried posting it would cause people to be upset. I decided to post it with the assurance I am not going off the deep-end I needed a space to vent.   Spo

Seasoned Spo-fans know I often get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) at this time of year. It doesn’t always happy and when it does it varies in length and intensity. There is comfort knowing SAD always ends by the end of October. This year’s bout is quite a doozie, worse one I’ve had in a long time. The hopelessness is often ponderous. Normally these episodes have no rhyme or reason to them but it doesn’t take much to connect the dots as to what is making this year’s bout a baleful one.  2020 is a long list of losses. Covid19 evoked loss of normalcy and (more important for my mood) going out and socializing. I haven’t been to the gym in six months which has taken a toll on my physique as well as my mood. Then there is the loss of my mother. When she went so many other things were lost as well. As I write Brother #3 is preparing the family house (since 1975) for sale.  I realized this week I will never see it again. There is the loss of the country: civility, justice, and probably democracy. As the country delves further into preferring dictatorship and paranoia I see no hope on the horizon.

More personal for me is the probable loss of Hallowe’en. There’s rumors politicians will cancel trick-or-treating due to fears covid19. This really hurts. This year’s All Hallows Eve is a remarkable one (Saturday night and a full moon). To cancel it shows the hypocrisy of politicians allegedly so worried about the kids when a month ago they didn’t give a f-ck to shove them back into the classrooms for covid19 exposure and the next round of shooters. 

In Sunday School we we were taught we are not allowed to give up. We can give up what we want and what we are doing but not hope. In Medicine I was taught similar: never tell a patient their case is hopeless. Even the Stoics (who took no truck with hope) emphasized we persevere and do OK no matter how bad things are. 

For sanity sake I have stopped visiting Facebook and Twitter and I don’t read the news. The former is a seething cesspool while Z makes millions from undermining democracy and civility.  The news only worsens the despair my vote is futile as the GOP and/or The Russians (maybe the same) have the election already concluded. 

The worst symptom of depression isn’t loss of appetite or insomnia or poor motivation but the loss of hope. Like Mrs. Danvers it whispers in your ear what you are experiencing is hopeless and it will never change or improve. From professional and personal experiences I know not to believe this lie but nowadays it is always there.  

When I feel this way I want someone like my mother to tell me things will be all right. Mother isn’t here now and really no one can say so.

My worry is SAD 2020 won’t pass as it always does as the usual ‘medicines’ of Halloween, free elections, and hope for the future will not be.

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September 2020

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018