Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s SAD, hormones or totally, absolutely normal

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I’ve started getting stroppy again.

Stupidly stroppy where I mope and put myself to bed early in a bad mood because of pretty much nothing – the little things like living out of bags because we’re in the middle of decorating or feeling fat and unattractive and miserable.

The thing is, when I get myself in these moods – the sort of moods we all get – they make me feel so trapped inside my own head and unable to properly communicate what’s wrong, and they make me feel pure insane.

If I can’t describe or piece together why I suddenly feel so miserable and unreasonable, how am I supposed to try and explain to anyone else so they can help me feel better about life and myself.

I’ve noticed it more since the nights have been darker and longer, and what’s most infuriating is that i’m fully aware that i’m vulnerable to SAD, but when I get myself caught up in these downward spirals of sadness and despair, I think ‘yeah, this is probably a spot of SAD, you’re OK, you’re fine’ and yet I can’t snap out of it, I can’t think ‘aaah, SAD, you prickly beast, why are you rearing your head again? I’m going to get up and go for a swim and then you’ll be banished’. I just can’t. It’s like it freezes all my reasonable responses. It’s an absolute fucking nightmare.

The thing with these moods, when they strike, is that they make you feel like the most crazy person in the world – you’re aware things could be a lot worse, heck, things might even be good, but you’re suddenly drowning in numbness, unable to see a clear route out into the light and sunshine and happiness and rainbows and kittens.

Often these moods strike me in the evenings, so it’s easiest for me to make myself a herbal tea and read before having an early night, normally when I wake up the darkness in my head has lifted. But for me, it’s that inability to pinpoint anything bad in my life, anything that I can actively change to make myself happier, which I suppose makes it easier for me to look at things like depression as an illness rather than a mood – things are good right now, but there’s chemical and hormonal imbalances in my brain which are making me feel slightly unwell, the same way you might feel a bit sniffly and tired if your body is fighting off the cold.

The thing with depression, and most medical conditions, is once you’ve suffered from them, you’re constantly worried you’re seeing the symptoms again.

I remember when I was a teenager, going through repeated bouts of Tonsillitis, and I was always sure my glands felt a bit swollen, that it hurt when I swallowed, I was always paranoid it was flaring up again and it pretty much never was.

So that’s how I feel about my mental health, that i’m never quite sure that my low moods are a sign that SAD is creeping into my life again, or whether i’m just battling hormones from my period or because i’ve come off the contraceptive pill (not to have a baby obvs, read why here) or whether i’m just having one of those days that us girls know so well.

It’s so difficult to tell what my moods mean and I feel like I over analyse them.

They make me feel a lot like an angsty teenage girl who no-one understands. And if I was feeling like that all the time, i’d be worried, but I don’t. They’re maybe two evenings a week, and the rest of the time i’m busy doing lame things like sitting in coffee shops drinking cappuccinos and eating cake and planning world domination and it’s the damn sweetest feeling in the entire world.

Oh life, why must you play with our emotions so much?

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