When I first heard about it, I just ignored it thinking it must be Mzungu´s ideology of making a fuss about the winter or just making a mountain out of a molehill. So today, I have just confirmed that I have it! I didn´t really have to go the doctor to check on my status, because I already know it is positive. I checked out it´s defination and I have it.
I am suffering from SAD, which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It´s also know as winter depression or winter blues, which is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health through most of the year in turn experience depressive symptoms in the winter. I went further to check on the symptoms of SAD, and what I read entirely explains my status. These may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning, morning sickness, tendency to oversleep as well as to overeat, and especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to the depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder.
I had an early morning today, so I set my alarm at 6.30am. When it rung, I still wanted three more hours of sleep and to let it get clear. I checked from the window, it was so dark; it was raining and just cold. I have always taken very hot shower, but today I wished I could escape going to the shower, I just didn’t want to take off my clothes. Anyway, I managed to do all the necessary things and left the house at 7.30am ready to catch my bus. I felt really heavy but all the clothes were important. My bra, woolen lining, my blouse, cardigan, my jacket and finally a rain coat. This is rather too much, but I could still feel the cold, strange!! I guess my housemate is suffering from the same disease, so we walk to the bus stop not talking to each instead listening to music from our iPods.
In 5 minutes time we make it to the bus stop and within 3 minutes, the bus is finally here. I pass through the driver’s seat and swap my card and head direct to the last seat. I really want to seat at the very front but all the seats are occupied. Most Norwegian buses have two columns each with two seats. But you see, one seat is yours and the other is for your bag, or your dog or a cat if need be. If they are not carrying any of these, then they just need their space, so get your seat elsewhere, if they are all taken up, just stand, it´s not an offence to stand on the buses here. I am seated at the back row, at the window and all I do is struggle to see outside just to ensure I get to my destination.
I am heading to Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, GSCJ where we occasionally do teaching sessions. We need to meet one of the lecturers to discuss our presentation tomorrow. The rest of the other days, it takes less than 10 minutes to be at GSCJ. Today, the bus seems to have taken too long and I get worried. Many are the times I see familiar faces when I have to alight at this stop. Today it is a different day all together and I reach for Annet. “Are we lost?” I ask. “It´s taken too long I guess we should have alighted long ago. Maybe we need to alight at the next stop.” Ok, so we alight and for sure we are lost. Still dark, raining and not sure of how to go back, actually how far back. Confused, frustrated and depressed, we start blame game on each other.
Finally, we decide to try guess-work. We use the same route that the bus used to this spot. Annet is having fun, taking photos of me frustrated, I get so annoyed and shout at her. “Please stop it, I need no more photos!” She sarcastically asks. “I thought you loved photos?” I am so depressed right now, true symptoms of SAD. I love taking photos, but today, I need none of that. The walk continues with no idea of where we are, or where we are headed, so are now enjoying the rain. Finally, we are at Asses Vei route and we see a map. It says, Welcome to Gimlekollen. Ok, but where is GSJC? We both have no idea but according to the map, Asses Vei is at point 1 and Media School is at point 5. So how do we go from here, five roads all heading to different directions.
We stop a couple by the roadside as they park their car. We explain our situation and the man goes like, “Wow! That is very far away, you can´t walk there, you need a bus but where you get that bus, I have no idea.” He then suggests a route we could use to find out our way. More depressed, we decide to call our GSJC boss, Pamela Melhus. She of course feels sorry for us and promises to be at our rescue in a while. We keep walking and in ten minutes, there she is. We finally get to the office and we feel at home as she shows us where to dry ourselves and dry our clothes.
This lecturer confirms we are ready for the presentation tomorrow. I just find myself feeling irritated and longing for my warm bed. One hour later, Pamela comes back and asks, “Are you done, do you want to stay here or do you want to go home?” I quickly reply her, “We have our computers at home; we can work from the house.” She drops us via her place where I get to sleep for one hour as she completes some errands. I finally wake up and all I want is to go back home. 12 O´clock I am finally at home and I feel better, I just want to be in indoors and work from the closure of my bedroom under my duvet. Tomorrow is another day, hoping this will be different! I am told I have to deal with it, this is just but the beginning!!