When you tell “Southerners” (anyone South of the 60th parallel) that you live in the Yukon, the most common response is: “Oh wow! Isn’t it cold up there???”. And while they are theoretically correct, they have failed to identify the true villain of the North. The weather can be frightful, but it’s more like a boogeyman who pops up every couple weeks. The really scary thing is actually the light – or more accurately, the dark. The dark lives under your bed, a nagging presence that slowly gnaws away your sanity.
With only about 1 week until the solstice, we are deep in the throes of darkness – and many of us have got the SAD. It’s important to distinguish the difference between being sad and having the SAD. The SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder, or as we like to call it Season Defective Disorder. Although the SAD may make you exhibit similar symptoms to being sad, they are not necessarily related. The SAD can make you cry, even when there is nothing wrong. In fact 50% of people who’ve got the SAD have already started crying at this point in the blog.
An important characteristic about SAD is that it is like a poison. The darker the day, the more infected you become – creating a progressively dangerous situation as you approach the solstice.
To fully illustrate the power of the SAD, here is a week by week breakdown of what will make a normal Yukoner cry:
November 1 – A close family friend, or relative passing away.
November 8 – This touching commercial:
November 15 – The emotional scene in E.T where Elliot thinks E.T is dead.
November 22 – Your dog stealing a $10 box of crackers, and leaving crumbs all over the floor.
November 29 -This touching commercial:
December 6 – The emotional moment in Talladega Nights when Ricky Bobby becomes paralyzed:
December 13 - The color green. It’s existence in this world. It’s absence from trees. It’s presence on a co-workers shirt. Everything about it.
December 20 – Not having coffee. Having coffee. Coffee being too weak. Coffee being too strong. Liking coffee. Hating coffee. Coffee being hot. Coffee being cold. Decaffeination. Screw you decaffeination.
So what do you do during this spiral of SAD despair? Extensive personal research suggests that consuming wine is not actually an effective remedy – and in fact may enhance some symptoms. But, I’m currently exploring the effects of warming the wine and adding spices, to see if that helps. The only cure so far seems to be the company of friends, who are all suffering from the same epidemic. Together, you can laugh (or as we like to call it craughing – more of a crying laugh than a smiling laugh) and dream of sunnier days.