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Date: 20/03/04

Still Here!

Yes, I know it's been quiet here of late. There's a reason for this.

I'm an idle bastard.

Well, OK, there are other reasons. One is technical, in that I was trying to sort out a problem I was having with pages uploaded to the server, whereby they were emerging incomplete at that end. Sorted that now, though, thanks to some guidance from my fellow voyagers on the PlusNet Forums.

The other reason is that I am now back at work after an absence of four months. For the second winter in a row, I was struck down by a crippling lack of energy and an inability to sleep at night (although I slept like a sloth during the day-time).

Last year, I put it down to stress, and put my improvement after four months or so down to simply having been away from the office for long enough for that poison of modern employment to have been fully eliminated from my system.

But then it happened again at the end of last October, a year to the day after its first manifestation. I resigned myself to a brief period of recuperation, but found that things did not get any better. Indeed, after mid-December, they got substantially worse.

From just before Christmas on, I found that I could get to sleep at night, sleep for anything up to one hour, and then wake up. Trying to get back to sleep was a failure, and led to my lying awake all night. I would then get up for breakfast at about 7.30 - 8.00 a.m., and then go back to bed. I would then have no difficulty in sleeping for about five hours, waking up sometime around 1.30 p.m. This, of course, ensured that the same pattern would repeat itself the following night, leaving me increasingly zombified.

I mentioned this on alt.fan.pratchett, where I'm often to be found, as a way of apologising for inflicting on the group a series of puns so appalling that not even an ITV comedy would consider using them.

One of the responses I got was from a friendly entity known as Nebula, who said, "Have you thought about Seasonal Affective Disorder?" Seemed to me like a weird idea for a career move, but I was directed to a website (www.sada.org.uk). I thought, "Hmm, those symptoms look familiar". So I did a bit more research, consulted my doctor and went for a solution.

This meant buying a lightbox. Well, the alternative was to spend three hours a day standing in front of the chill cabinets in our local Sainsbury's. If you ever find that you need one (and you're in the UK), I can heartily recommend SAD Shop (formerly National Light Hire Company). They are easy to talk to, they listen to what you need and will sell or hire the equipment at very reasonable prices.

Although I'd already started treating myself, simply by not going back to bed after breakfast and thus getting as much daylight as possible, and that this had already had a huge benefit, I found that using the lightbox for about 30 minutes each morning at breakfast helped me tremendously. So much so that I went back to work on March 1.

Of course, now I haven't got so much time to update this site...