To my friend with SAD, I care so much about how you’re feeling. I know how it is to be wrapped in gray fuzz, to feel that nights are never long enough to get enough sleep, to be afraid that someone will bump you and spill out all the acid inside you. I know irrational tears and impossible fears. This winter, for whatever amazing, incredible reasons, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) hasn’t come to visit me, but I know what you’re feeling. I get it. And I would like to help you, how ever bumbling and unprofessional my care is.
If we lived in the same town, I would want to invite you to my place. If you didn’t want to come, I’d go to your house and make you some coffee or tea and listen to you if you want to talk. If you wanted to be quiet, that would be ok, and I would hand you some tissues, and ask if you want to journal. While you journal, I would journal too, or doodle, or read stories to your children. I’d make you some more coffee, but not more than one more cup, and fix you an egg or yogurt (protein instead of carbs) and then invite you to go on a walk with me.
We would put layers and layers on–leggings, socks, fleece jacket, scarf, hat, coat, boots, and gloves, then go outside. If it’s raining, we’d use umbrellas. We would walk and walk for at least 40 minutes, talking only when you want to.
Back inside, we would talk about what we want to create. A new recipe for supper? Something abstract in acrylics or pastels? Plant bulbs or repot seedlings? A new centerpiece on the table? A collaborative poem about our walk? A photo collage of your last holiday? It has to be something new and something you care about. Something that has never seen the light of day before.
Then I’d hold you and pray over you and go home. I would be confident that God is up to something good in your darkness, and that you won’t always feel this gray.
After a day or two, I’d call you again, and ask how you are, and as tactfully as I could (which is really hard for me because I tend to lecture), ask if you took a walk that day, and what you had for breakfast. I’d ask God to pour His grace into your day, and tell you to call me anytime you need to talk.
This is what I would want to do. Would that help? What is it that you need, and that your friends could do for you? You’re not alone, and maybe this comment section could be a safe place for you and others with SAD to be heard and cared for?