I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Monday, 5 November 2012


Remember remember the 5th of November. Nothing lasts forever even cold November rain.

Yep, it's November. And that scares me. Looking back at the last few years, my biggest crashes (including the onset) have all started in November. Why is that?

Cold season? Yeah, I have caught another cold.

Aftermath of Hallowe'en? Could be - we all know I go a little cuckoo for the holiday - but I was careful this year. Although even after all the care I took, even sitting on the floor by the candy so as not to have to get up or lean over too far, my house somehow ended up as the great reunion spot for my boy, his cousins and best friend, and the assorted parents and grandparents that followed them.

Shorter daylight hours? End of Daylight Savings Time? Yes, and yes. Shorter daylight hours means less vitamin D (which I take a huge amount of anyway), and generally for a lot of people, a decrease in energy levels and good moods. I use a Seasonal Affective Disorder lamp, even though I don't technically have SAD, because it is helpful for all kinds of things, including resetting circadian rhythms. So yeah, circadian rhythms are affected by the shortening of days, and guess what - this is further exacerbated by the change in the time. Yup, fall back. No problem. Sure. It's a problem (albeit usually a small one) for healthy adults. It's a problem for adults with children, because the children take a week or so to adjust. It's a serious problem for people with chronic issues relating to any kind of sleep disorder, and who rely on any kind of routine to get them through the day. Especially when we have children.

Colder temperatures, more rain and cloudy days? Yep. We know what air pressure changes do to me. While I am thankful that we were not directly in Sandy's path, and do realize the severity of the situation where she hit directly, the drop in air pressure did a serious number on me. So in addition to the air pressure changes that usually come with cloudy and rainy days, clouds and rain also mean less sunshine, and lead right back to the effects of shorter days. Colder temperatures do not actually make the fatigue worse, but they do make it harder to go out and get fresh air - putting on and taking off added layers of clothing uses marbles, and staying out in the cold is not exactly pleasant, so the motivation level to get out of the house drops quite drastically at this time of year.

School in full swing? Well, yeah, that used to affect me when I was teaching, and probably had something to do with the onset, and the relapse. But now? I'm not sure. I know I am picking up on my family's moods and energy levels, so yeah, it could still have something to do with it.

Hibernation - yes, this is what I think it comes down to. Many animals of all classes hibernate - amphibians, mammals, reptiles - they go into a state of repose and regeneration. Just like trees. Technically, trees are hibernating, although I'm not sure if botanists use that terminology - they do not actually die in the winter, but they stop above-ground energy production and expenditure. Instead, they are sending their roots deeper into the ground, so that when spring comes they can continue the cycle of growth.

It is all well and good to seek out the reasons, to see if I can mitigate any of them (and I do try, but most of them are not even close to being in the realm of my control). More important, I think, is to simply understand that there is a pattern here. Nature goes to sleep in November - at least in the Northern Hemisphere (I'm trying not to be hemisphere-ist, because I know there are a couple of Aussies who read this, and it is getting hotter and the days are getting longer for you). Maybe that freaks us humans out, so we overcompensate, and build bonfires and turn on all the lights and try our damnedest to keep ourselves going despite the fact that nature wants us to settle down.

Maybe, just maybe, if I can surrender to the waning of the energetic fields of nature, then I can get past this November without a major incident. That means, guess, oh come on guess guess guess.... yeah, that means living each and every moment as it comes. It means tuning in to me, my processes, and to my environment, and it's processes. It's a different approach for me, this November - and I have a good feeling about it. I'm pretty sure I'm heading into a period of low energy and high symptoms right now. I'm also pretty sure it will pass. We shall see. And in the meantime, I need to be ok with doing what I can when I can, no more no less.

Happy Guy Fawkes to all those who like to burn things! (just don't forget to check for hedgehogs before you light your bonfires)