|That's me, on the right.|
It's the first couple days of Fall, the earth is now headed in the direction of the Winter Soltice in eighty-seven or so days and Cookie is having his annual onset of Seasonal Affective Disease Disorder or SADD for short.
My version of SADD tends to begin in the waning days of August, picking up speed just in time to crash into November, the most dreaded month of months for Cookie. Yes, I know that fall clothes are supposed to be the funniest, sweaters (jumpers) and all - including the scourge of our lifetimes, Pumpkin Spice - but to Cookie, fall will always mean the onset of the "grey" - that filmy cloud that descends over my senses and makes me feel horribly alone, blots out lasting happiness, and ennui strikes to my very marrow.
It's not my first time in this rodeo. No, this has been going on since childhood. 1995 was the worst. That was the year that I was being set up at work by a lousy boss who had me believing I was the problem. That was the year that I almost drove my car off the road at a high rate of speed to end it all, and that was the year that a medical professional listened for once and gave me a diagnosis that made sense.
There are many of us with this affliction. But it strikes at different times of the low sun months, and at different levels of intensity. As I said, my worst month is November. Then I start climbing out of it. By the Solstice, things are looking up. My MLK Day, I know I can get through it, and by Ground Hog Day, brother it is s spring in my book because that is the season I love the most. I have a family member who does fine until January and then drops into the abyss, only to reemerge in April. A friend goes over the edge in October and then struggles until March. It's different for everyone.
Still, it's not a disability for me, like it can be for many. I just become very bear-like. So I am more fortunate for most.
Anyway, if I post Hood's poem, "November" you will know that I'm not in a good place. I will summon up the will to be happy in a few days. After all, November IS the month for dressing balls and other home-cooked delights. So there are some good things to look towards!
You only need to be alarmed if I post a picture of me eating the turkey-shaped candle so traditional with Americans of my age.