When times get bad, I nearly drown in a flood of my own insecurities, fears and dashed dreams, and the drops that push the dam over capacity are alcohol.
When I am feeling normal (during well-lit months) alcohol is not at all a problem in my life; I drink socially, rarely have too much, and enjoy the brew, vintage or spirit I am sipping because I enjoy the taste and/or setting. In some special cases, the beverage will remind me of favourite places, times or people. This association makes me happy because I enjoy remembering. This happens with non-beverage items, such as novels, but a drink is a much quicker route than a 300 page paperback.
However, it seems that the ability to drink without problem is just one more thing that S.A.D. robs from me. I’ve not wanted to give up my occasional drinks during the dark months because, under normal circumstances, they are a joy, and it feels like a punishment to be self-scolded into giving up something I like. It is already hard enough to live with several food allergies (much easier to manage when it is sunny and warm outside and my soul doesn’t scream for comforts, not to mention my lack of energy/effort to cook), giving up caffeine (it also amps up the depression felt during S.A.D), lacking strength/motivation to leave by bed until another moment would cause me to miss my bus to work… It feels like S.A.D. takes a lot from me, and I just wanted to hold on to at least something without it turning out badly.
Since I decided to talk openly about my S.A.D., I have felt vulnerable much more often and intensely than is comfortable. I’m not used to displaying vulnerabilities to the world. I have fears that those I love will catch my sorrow like a cold and want to disengage from the source to save themselves. It doesn’t work that way. It is not fair for me to assume how other people feel. Since I fear the worst, I often fail to see when opinions are the opposite; being open about how I feel is an act of courage, not a sign of flaw.
It is time to disengage from the perfectionist standards I set for myself. It’ll be a process, but anything is worth it to be able to readily identify my own awesome attributes.