I’m moving south. I’ve had issues with depression and anxiety and all that fun stuff since my teens, but since the stroke my mental health has absolutely bottomed out and gone kaput. Since the stroke, I experience intense, severe Seasonal Affective Disorder. The winters have never been as miserable for me as they are now. If winter is five months long, which is roughly 150 days, I was in tears probably 147 of those days this year. It was on my honeymoon in the Bahamas that I was absolutely amazed at the drastic difference in my mood. Drastic. I was in the Bahamas over the Christmas holidays, which was planned well before Pat proposed because I badly wanted to avoid all that fake holiday crap. And I was shocked. I left for my trip excited – it was my honeymoon after all – but in all honesty not feeling that great. Not feeling near the level of excitement that I thought I should be feeling. But by the end of the trip I felt GREAT. I mean great. We got back to Pittsburgh and on the day after we got home we went out to breakfast and I was in tears again in the restaurant and said to Pat “I can’t live the rest of my life like this.” He said “I know.”
So, we’re moving to Florida. It took some convincing but ultimately, seeing his new wife in tears all winter I think was all the convincing he needed. I have been told before how much relocation can change your life when you suffer from this, but I guess I had to experience it for myself to really understand that I need to make this move for my health. It’s not just because I don’t want to live in Pittsburgh anymore, which I SOOOO don’t, but I need to live in a different climate. I’ve tried everything else – light boxes, meditation(lots and lots of meditation), breathing exercises, regular exercise, diet, going to freaking tanning salons throughout the winter to try to get some UVB rays – but it’s not enough. All of those things make me feel good for a time but it’s not long lasting. Part of the problem is just living here and all of the reminders of bad things. I’m sick and tired of living my life a few hours at a time around anti-anxiety pills and meditation, exercise, whatever. I’m done. I won’t do it anymore. And functionally speaking, on the most beautiful, gorgeous, sunny summer day – I already walk outside and am fearful of stumbling, tripping, and falling. Add snow and ice. I need to leave this place. Pat is putting my health and my emotional and physical needs first, ahead of his own – this I’m so not used to. I had my boss over for dinner Saturday night and talked about it. I will be able to keep my job since I work remotely right now and he is genuinely very excited for me. He’s wonderful. That made it feel real to me.
So, goodbye Pittsburgh. I’d like to say it’s been fun, but……well I’ve had some fun here I guess.
Someone left a comment on my relocation post that said what I’m doing (moving to Florida) in order to treat the intense Seasonal Affective Disorder that I experience will be no more than a placebo effect if it works. Nope, this couldn’t be more wrong. It made me angry and upset that this was said because mental health issues are largely ignored and not taken seriously in this world. There is a ton of published research about the benefits of moving to a different climate when you suffer from this. Wanna read some? Here ya go….
I want this both for myself and my future therapy gym.
walking bike for stroke rehabilitation
Massive amounts of therapy available in one intervention.
Upper limb extension.
Sensation – Wind blowing over skin.
So why doesn’t your stroke department have this?
I just received this email…..
“Good day. My brother had a stroke of the left cerebellum a month ago. He had decompression surgery and was in Critical care for 3.5 weeks. He went to rehab 4 days ago but he is having trouble completing the exercises because he is so dizzy and nauseous. Was this your experience? Do you have any suggestions? Trying desperately to find resources to help him.”
“It’s wonderful that you’re trying to help your brother. I wish I had someone do such things for me. That didn’t happen to me but I’ve heard of others saying the same thing. I wish I could give you names to get in contact. I’m sorry.
My suggestion is while the physical exercises make him dizzy and nauseous, get him into meditation ASAP. ”
Please go here for a better, affordable alternative to learning Transcendental Meditation.
Can anyone give him any suggestions?