Let a little light shine on me

I have written in the past about having depression and this time of year is always hard for me.  This week my doctor told me to get a light box to help fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Starting tomorrow, I must spend 30 minutes sitting, reading, getting ready for work, etc. in front of my light box, bathed in 10,000 lux of light (whatever the hell “lux” are).

I am hopeful that the normal winter blahs will not be as bad this year with the light box.  But as with most things like this, I always think about what they used to do “back in the day”.  You know, the day before there was a pill, a machine, an app, a super-dooper widget to help you with whatever the problem is.

I read somewhere once that if you could take a time machine back 200 or more years, one of the things that would be the most surprising and disorienting is just how dark the night is.  No light pollution–no street lights, no utility lights, car headlights, house lights, etc.  I have experienced a little of this when I have traveled out West, in some of the less populated areas.  Dark is dark.

What did people do when the sun went down and the nights lasted 12 hours or more?  Sleep from the exhaustion of the hard labor of the day?  Read by the dim light of the candle?  Pray for summer and longer days?

There are a lot of times that I wish that I had been born in a “less complicated time”, but then I really think about it and realize that God put me exactly in the time that I needed to be.


On another note, Matt took this picture of a sign in Ireland.  I think it is excellent advice at all times, on a farm or at work.

Always be on the lookout for the bull

4 thoughts on “Let a little light shine on me

  1. I also wonder how people from centuries back dealt with the flood of psychological maladies we deal with today. Maybe the drive to survive superceded all these nuanced disorders. They didn’t have as much time to “mull things over” or even to live. Or perhaps, in all their labors, they had plenty of time to think, experience solitude and work a lot out for themselves. I would also say all that physical activity probably countered a lot of issues.

    Love the sign! Nice thought-provoking post.

    • The hard manual labor could only have helped, as well as the time spent outside. I’m sure our sedentary, inside lives are not conducive to mental health.
      But then there is always Lizzy Borden and her 40 whacks — mental illness and aggression played itself out back then, as well.
      It’s a great question because you know that mental health problems had to exist, and the treatment and acceptance of them were little to none.
      I’ll say again–I’m glad God put me here now.

  2. One of the things I remember growing up in the country where dark was dark is how beautiful the sky was. Soooooo many stars. I could name the sky sights and the moon seemed enormous. We had one last visit to the outhouse before bedtime so we really appreciated the light of the moon. Where I live now I can see no stars because of light pollution. When Eric Thomas tells us to look for a meteor shower or that a planet will be visible I still look, but to no avail.

    I hope the light box helps.

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