The Absence of Light…
I am suffering with the light change and it hasn’t even officially happened yet. I am tired all the time and want to do nothing except lay around. I guess this is my version of hibernation. It isn’t something I can control or manipulate. It is just a thing that happens every year and I am not a fan.
Every year at this time, I sleep an hour later in the morning. It isn’t optional, I just can’t get up at my usual time. It is like someone flips a switch and me getting up at 4 am is now no longer an option. I struggle to rise at 5 am. This of course severely truncates my day.
On the other end of the day, I find myself in bed by 7:30. Seriously. I am so tired that I am just done by then and I have nothing left to give. I am usually out by 8:30.
Every year it is the same and every year I struggle because I feel like my body and I are at odds. Nothing has changed, I am exactly the same as I was a month ago but now suddenly I need three more hours of sleep.
The only thing that has changed is the light…
It is hard being part chicken in a human world. My ability to sense the light directs, drives and really controls me. I know it is weird but I am really affected. I know some of you are already thinking to yourselves, “yes, totally affected, how is this a shocker to her?”
I think that I don’t realize all my little idiosyncrasies. I mean I know I am quirky and sometimes even weird, but I guess I feel like I have enough normal that it balances out, the normal obfuscating the less mainstream parts of my personality. I guess as I age, the normal is falling away more rapidly and I am left with more and more weirdo…
This was brought to my attention yesterday at my long overdue eye exam. I am really having trouble seeing and I need to wear glasses probably all the time. But I have not one pair of my four pairs of glasses (this count does not include the 15 pairs of readers that I have all over my house) that I can see in all situations. And I guess I am really tired of taking them on and off and have finally reached a place where I will just surrender and wear them all the time.
The additional challenge is that I can’t find a pair of glasses where I can see far away, my computer and up close. So far, having a pair of glasses that will do that has been impossible. The doc and I broke this all down yesterday and we arrived at the following conclusion (well, really she did and I kind of sat there, taken aback by the realization that should not have hit me so hard)…I am particular and sensitive.
She told me that my distance correction is so minor that most people would not even notice a difference. This seems outrageous to me because I need the correction, and the difference the correction makes seems huge to me. She laughed hard and outloud…really. She said that I can notice 1/8th of a diopter correction and they don’t even make lenses like that, 1/4 diopter being the smallest correction. But to me that 1/8th is super important.
This discovery led us to a deeper discussion about me and my habits and issues. Which didn’t really make me feel better, except that maybe now I can have a pair of glasses made that I can actually use and not take them back three times to be remade (this happens every single year). I am amazed that they still see me as a patient…
So I left there yesterday with the thought and the feeling that I am getting weirder by the year. And there is really nothing I can do to change it. My internal feelings about tiny, almost imperceptible things to other people really drive me and my life. I guess it has always been this way, but I was in denial. All of that kind of fell away yesterday in the optometrist’s office. She was kind and funny about it and said that she now understood me better. And I sat there feeling like I didn’t know myself very well which is an odd feeling for someone who works so hard to get in there and know myself.
So apparently I am just this person who is gravely affected by tiny things that do not really seem to matter all that much to others. I am now going to spent the Fall and Winter sleeping too much and not being able to exercise and do what I normally do. I am going to lie around a lot more and that makes me sad and happy at the same time.
I think most people with this light sensitivity get depressed. I don’t feel depressed, I just am tired and have less motivation than usual. Which is weird for someone like me. It is hard to pop it into lower gear…but I am rendered impotent in the Fall and there is really nothing I can do about it. Just another thing that I have to accept in a long line of things that I wish were different.
Yesterday’s literally eye opening experience with the optometrist was another blow for me. How have I operated this long in such denial about my own inner nature? How have I not seen that the things that I do, the needs that I have are so exacting for myself and all around me? How did I not know this? Why does it come as a shock to me every year when the light changes? Why do I reel against it like it is changeable?
I don’t really have any answers except to say that the older I get the more I understand myself and that is not to say that I always like what I find. Seems like as the days give way to years, I am more and more enlightened about things that have always been present in me but that I somehow missed noticing in some pretty fundamental ways.
The absence of light causes me to need different things. My suffering because of this fact is the optional part. Every year I feel like there is something wrong with me, and every year I am right and wrong. This year instead of circling the drain and feeling like I am getting sick or depressed, I am just going to go to bed early and get up later and get on with it. This is just how I am and the absence of light will end and I will return to the person that I like more in the Spring. And I can be grateful that I have a life today that allows me to get up later and go to bed earlier. That I have an optometrist that “gets” me and helps me “get” myself better even if I am not really sure that I like what I see.
Light illuminates and it cares not what it happens upon. The lack of light also reveals a great deal. There is much to be found in the shadows as it turns out. And today I am working on some new level of self acceptance about who I am when the light changes. Allowing myself to be whoever it is that I am, me illuminated or casting shadows. Either way, it is still me, weird, quirky me who now has a bedtime of 8 pm. And will hopefully have a new pair of glasses to view my world…1/8th of a diopter at a time.