Every year, I toy with the idea of joining the A-Z blogging challenge, and I always talk myself out of it. It has the potential to be a huge time suck. But it's also a great way to make new connections, and I could use some of those. As part of my new year's housecleaning, I unfollowed seventy-some blogs I used to read that have gone inactive. That's a lot of lost connection.
So what's the problem?
I don't seem to be able to maintain enthusiasm for anything for very long. Inevitably, I hit a low every single month and it's a struggle to do much other than soldier through those eight or nine days doing the absolute minimum. It's "just" a hormonal thing, and a pretty rare one that only about 8% of women deal with. But because there have been so many studies linking depression to creativity, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of my writer friends also suffer from the same thing. Unlike clinical depression, PMDD clears up quickly, and that can make you feel extra crazy. And then guilty. Really, really guilty for these short spurts of do-nothing.
Apparently dietary changes and supplements are the first line of attack with the fewest side effects. So if you also find yourself going through monthly 7-14 day stints of feeling really blue, lethargic, unable to enjoy or engage with anything, irritable, having sleep problems, or any of these symptoms, studies show that upping your intake of magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6 and l-tryptophan will improve how you feel. There are other medication options your doctor might also want to try.
I've been encouraged by others' willingness to share their struggles with depression and bipolar disorder. I hope this encourages those out there who feel absolutely terrible a week every month of the year. It's a chemical thing for us, too, friends. Try the dietary changes. Talk to your doctor. Don't just keep sucking it up and toughing it out alone.
Have you participated in the A-Z challenge? If so, what did you enjoy most about it? Do you struggle to be a joiner? Why?