Thursday, January 3, 2013

Trading Blue For Bright and a Happy Light

I wonder how many widows experience situations similar to what happened to me recently? I thought I was doing just fine as I made my way to my dentist appointment: an hour commute from my home. I knew I was feeling weary, but as my dental  hygienist greeted me and asked how I was today, I could only squeak out, "I'm okay I guess".  As our eyes met, I couldn't hide the realization that I was having a blue day and the tears started to stream down my face. This blue day and my emotional response were totally unexpected as I found myself in this awkward, familiar place again. I felt embarrassed and helpless to be breaking down in public after all this time. I questioned myself: Really... here, in the dentist chair? I apologized to the kind young woman who was serving me. She was warm and compassionate and invited me to talk about what was going on inside of me. I had no explanation and couldn't point to any grief triggers.As she worked,  I could still feel the emotions bubbling up and escaping from the corners of my eyes. I still hate the powerless feelings that come over me on occasion like this.

To be honest, I have observed that I have been more emotional again with the arrival of autumn. Even with my best intentions to fully embrace the fall season this year, I know that the well being I enjoyed this summer is quickly slipping away. I watch helplessly as my will, motivation and energy escape like the extended hours of daylight that disappear with the return of Standard time.  Like trying to hold onto a handful of water, I sense the brighter days slipping away into the all too familiar, shadowy place that I thought was a thing of the past.

I recently decided that it was time to find some new local doctors, instead of having to travel to Maryland whenever I had the need for medical attention. After living in this area for nearly five years, it was time to transition to a more convenient way of dealing with my health needs. While attending my new patient visit with my new family practitioner, I asked his opinion about the possibility that perhaps I might be experiencing the symptoms that come with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): a condition that comes from the lack of sunlight in the fall and winter months. He agreed that SAD was a very real condition that many are sensitive to, and he recommended either the use of anti-depressants or exposure to a very strong light that is supposed to simulate the sunshine that we lack in the cold months. He recommended a particular brand to try, so I opted to invest in what I call my happy light and sit in front of it for 30-60 minutes a day. I had heard about these lights over the past years, but was not willing to make the pricey investment. My doctor's referral made me feel more confident that I could indeed benefit from its use, so I decided to give it a shot. I hope to be able to report that it is making a big difference in my state of mind and I have high hopes that my motivation, energy and happier, more joyful days will soon return. January and February will provide prime testing conditions. I'll be sure to share my opinions on my personal experience and my insight as the winter progresses.

Although I really enjoyed the time I spent with my daughter and family, I'm glad the holidays are behind us and happy to be home again. I'm hopeful the bronchitis will disappear soon and I pray that 2013 will be a good year for all of us. Happy New Year to all of you. May we all experience a bright year ahead!


  1. Dear Renee' ~ I hope the 'happy' light will help. My heart aches for you as I've just started this widow journey and you've been on it for four years now. May we both feel the healing Love, Light and Peace of Jesus flowing through and surrounding us at all times.

    Yesterday was an emotional day for me. I cried at work and cried some more when I got home. The silence is so LOUD here.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

    1. My thoughts and love go out to you Renee'.

  2. Renee', I am glad to know that I am not the only widow further down the road (3 years) that is struggling with this time of year. Just yesterday I saw a "Happy Light" and decided to take the plunge and buy one to use during these dark, dreary winter months. Hopefully we will both benefit from using it. It certainly does feel almost as warm as the sun while sitting in front of it.