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.



Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Recovery, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. Congrats, Amy!

    It should make a world of difference. We moved from Atlanta to Florida in December and I couldn’t be happier.

    Not only am I am very fortunate stroke survivor, I am also bi-polar. The climate will do wonders for your mood!

    If I may ask… Where and when?

  2. Congratulations, I remember you visiting a friend in Florida and loving it.

  3. Good luck Amy!!

  4. I know what you mean. I’ve been diagnosed with dysthymic disorder a few years ago (that’s a chronic low-grade depression) and since I know what it is, I recognise the feeling I also had as a teen. I think I live in a climate similar to Pittsburgh: the Netherlands (even though that’s not subtropical). We have lots of cloudy days and too much rain in summer. Basically I’m waiting for summer all year long. I also feel better and my spasms are not that bad as in winter. (I’ve had a subarachnoid haemorrhage by the way, but a block was created to stop the bleed. I don’t have balance issues like you probably suffer from because your cerebellum was affected. My main problem is painful spasms in my affected leg and a spastic arm, but that doesn’t hurt.) I often fantasise about what it would be like to live in a warm climate. We’re going on a holiday to FL this summer for 3 weeks. In July and August, so it’s going to be freaking hot, but that was also the case in TN and GA and I’ve survived that too. Even loved the heat.

  5. Amy,this is uncle Greg.mare and I wish nothing but best for you.Anything that makes you feel better is all we want,because we love you no matter where you are! You take care.

  6. Just perusing some new blogs with depression as a tag. I am so sorry to learn about your stroke. I read a couple of your other posts. May I ask if you suffered from depression before your stroke? Have you ever tried anti-depressants? Anyway, you sound like a brave person and someone who is determined to get better. How I hope you do. You are so young and have your whole life in front of you. Your husband sounds very supportive. Good luck with your move. Would you mind if I add you to my prayer list? I am following you now so I can check in on you. God bless.

  7. How wonderful! You and I met in real life one winter a few years ago because you wanted out of Pittsburg so badly, even just temporarily. Back then, you were already talking about moving to FLA. I’m so glad you’ve found the solution to your trouble.

    Can Tom and I visit? We spent some time in Panama City this past winter because of the previous winter. It made winter much more tolerable

  8. Amy, I moved to Florida before my cerebellar stroke but totally agree with your decision. I am further south than you will be in Brevard County and absolutely love it. Still go north during the summer because of being retired. Use Skype to keep in touch with friends/relatives. Good Luck to you and congratulations on your marriage.
    Clairese Russell

  9. Hi Amy, The best of luck to you. I commiserate with much of what you are saying. I, also suffer from fears of falling in the winter. And the cold wind will shut me right down. But I have decided to stay in CT because I love my little house and my yard in the summer, and I really don’t mind hunkering down in the winter. I think the difference is that I don’t think i have SAD, but my discomfort stems from my difficulty in getting around, which I expect to lick soon!! All the best …

  10. So happy for you Amy. I read your post this AM and wrote a comment and somehow lost it all.
    I can’t stand the winter either. We have much milder winters than you do but I can’t stand how dark it is in the winter. I drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark.
    My BFF lives in Coral Springs. I hope to move there when we retire.
    So happy for you.
    Much love to you and your hubby,
    Aunt MJ

  11. Sounds like a great idea. I have no idea how people live in places with all that “weather”. I was born and raised in Socal and i dont think i could live anywhere else. Even florida has that crazy humidity that I think would be a deal breaker for me….but at least there’s lots of sun. 🙂 Good luck!

  12. Happy happy happy happy!!!!! -EJ
    Yay! – Eli
    I am so exited and can’t wait to have you guys here to feast on Cuban food and be introverts together!!! – Me

  13. Hi Amy
    I feel like I was led to this blog I met you and your mother once it was extremely brief do to the person doing the introduction I wanted to speak with you many times about your experience with alkalized water and the benefits that you received from drinking the water I introduce the water to the person that introduced it to you.
    I tried many times to reach out to you through her anyway I’m happy to have found your blog and that you are doing so well I’m talking to someone right now who has had a stroke about this amazing water.
    If you could contact me through my email I would be so grateful thank you and Amy I will share your personal story with her

  14. Amy, great to see you’re doing well. Have fun in Florida and congrats on getting married !

  15. Hi Amy, Wishing you all the best. Congrats to you on all of your successes to keep improving, and on your marriage. St Petersburg is a great area. I was at Anna Maria island in October and had sunny, low humidity weather that week.


  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder – mycerebellarstrokerecovery

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