Necessary gloom

The weather is cold and wet, but I think the consensus is that we need a wet fall to replenish the subsoil moisture. Despite a dry, dry summer, the crops weren't all that bad. That was due to subsoil moisture remaining from the past very wet years. However, if we had two years running of such little rainfall, things wouldn't be nearly as good.

I selfishly pull for rain so the swamp in the front of the house fills up again. It is almost completely dry. The swans won't come back next spring without water. The water drained due to the collapse of an old beaver dam which had been keeping the swamp filled for about ten years. Although I hear it might be illegal to do so, I have taken measures to make dam sure the water doesn't escape again.

I love this weather. I love the turning colors in the wet mist. I love the good sleeping weather. Even so, I can feel the weight of winter coming on. So, I pulled the old sunlamp out and sat next to it this morning before starting my day. They say that if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I do, that you should start the sunlamp treatments after Labor Day and continue them until Memorial Day. I am rarely that regular, even though I know they help a great deal. I would advocate the sunlamp to anybody who gets winter blues, although not all people enjoy sitting in front of a bright light and not all people get good results.

And to be fair, I am also taking the anti-depressant Lexapro, which makes all the difference in the world, especially in winter. I would be slogging in molasses from mid-October through mid-March if it weren't for anti-depressants--or a trip to Arizona, which should be deductible as a medical expense.

Some people have a tough time with antidepressants, so I am hesitant to advocate their universal use. They have some unpleasant initial side effects which tend to go away, but which can be miserable in the extreme. You can either tough it out for a couple of weeks and see if they go away, or change anti-depressants and see if the next one is better.

Once you get acclimated to a particular anti-depressant, you're fine. The side effects go away. But even then, it takes a long time for the full effects of the anti-depressant to kick in. In fact, I think that the effects are cumulative and build over the years.

But by all means, if winter is miserable, or if you feel unlike yourself, unable to enjoy life, unable to motivate, pestered by unshakable irrational thoughts, filled with anxiety at the thought of going to town because it means seeing people, unable to shake off the anxiety caused by the last visit to town--consider anti-depressants. If not for you, for the ones who have to put up with your crazy moods.