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  • Robert Lynch

Winter

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the sun. Working nights makes the sun my enemy most of the time. By the time I get up the sun is gone, and in the morning I want to stay away from it lest it keep me from getting to sleep. The sun is well known to have mood affecting properties, as natural light stimulates the production of serotonin and its absence stimulates melatonin. On a very simplistic level, serotonin helps to regulate sleep, make you happy and calm, and helps regulate good bone health. Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and anxiety, although like most chemical regulators, high levels can also have a harmful effect.

For the last month, I have been tired, so exhausted that I have barely touched the computer. Barely written a word. I ran out of steam a while back. I kept moving for a while on momentum alone, but a few weeks ago I stopped writing. I was just trying to get whatever sleep I could. I was sleeping in little 3-4 hour naps, sometimes I would spend the whole day in bed and listlessly wander through the half-sleep of insomnia.


Last week I had a week off, as I do every twelve weeks. I was awake during the day. I saw the sun. I rested. In my weeks off, I always plan to do a bunch of work that I never get close to finishing. With the higher rainfall we have seen this season, and a large number of overcast days, I think last week was the first day that I have seen the sun in weeks. Last week was very nice weather, a brief ray of sunlight between the polar blasts that have been crashing against the country this year. I cannot explain how much better I feel.

It took probably five days to get a good sleep. By Wednesday, I finally felt awake again. I was waking up from months of dreary greyness. Colour flooded back in, and my eyes finally opened fully for the first time in months.

This week I am back working nights again. The days are getting longer, and soon the sun will be up when I get up so I can steal the last rays of the day with my ‘morning’ walk. I am wary of spending all my energy going headlong back into my content schedule. But for now, I will start to do what I can and see how it goes.

I can’t help but rebuke myself for not getting any writing done last week. I need to make progress, and I feel like I’m going backwards. Still, trying to climb a mountain without enough rest is going to give you cramp. The last month was a cramp of sorts. With exercise and magnesium, you can lessen the frequency of cramps, but you can’t stop them from happening all the time.