Friday, December 20, 2013

let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

A few weeks ago, I posted about a generous gift that I received from a friend - a very handy light to help ward off winter blues and raise energy levels. I figured some of you  may be wondering how it's been working.

Les was in a hurry to get me started on this light, so one evening shortly after I got it, he plugged it in, set it on the couch beside me and shone the bright blue light on me. I used it for half an hour...and felt horribly sick! I had a terrible headache and I felt nauseous and I immediately went to bed.

I was disappointed at the effects it had on me and wondered how it would benefit me if it would make me sick enough that I would be hesitant to use it again.

 Several days passed with me sort of ignoring the light sitting on the little table beside my spot on the couch. I secretly was happy that the light was given to me for free rather than me having to spend the money on it like originally planned. But then something started nagging at me. It was a direction from God for her to give me this light. It had to be for a reason. I needed to take the time to look into the instructions for the light and give it another chance.

Well - sure enough - after a quick search online, a common side effect from the light was headaches and nausea. BUT this was as a result of sitting too close to the light. Huh. Go figure - always read instructions first! The light is supposed to be 20-30cm away from me, not directly beside my face!

So I was excited to try it again the next morning. Well, intrigued maybe. But cautious, as I was not interested in feeling those nasty side effects again. I did use it the next day - making sure it was a good distance away - and although I felt a slight headache from using it, I wasn't sure if it was just from association from the last time, or if I just had to get used to it a bit more. Either way, it was definitely do-able.

The next morning I used it again and I felt no headache whatsoever. The following day I even moved it a wee bit closer and felt totally fine. I was in the clear and I felt huge relief that I could use the light and not get sick from it.

This light has become my new best friend. I use it every day. And it's so great that it's portable (and runs on battery) so when I have a day when I am busy all day in the city, I can bring it along and set it up on the passenger seat and have it shining on me while driving in for those 30 minutes.

And the results of using this light? Before using the light, I had gotten into a really dark place again. As soon as the daylight would start to fade, the wall hit me like a hammer. I would zone out and literally just go through the motions of the rest of the day. I would hardly talk unless spoken to (and even then, minimally). I would sit at the supper table and look at the clock as it read 6:30 and I would wonder how I would make it through the evening until I could escape with the sweet relief of sleep, even though sleep wouldn't come easily. I would long for the night to come, yet dread it at the same time since I would be kept awake each night for long periods of time. Really I longed for the mornings when I would be greeted with daylight again and feel a renewed sense of  hope, however temporary.

And leaving the house after it got dark? That was a battle in and of itself. I would literally have to force myself to take each step in preparation to leave the house. Walking out the door, away from my warm and brightly lit rooms and into the bitterly cold darkness almost sucked the life out of me.

But now things have changed. At least to some degree. The light has definitely given me more energy throughout the day and into the evening. I still "crash" earlier than most people do, but I don't go into that zombie-like state anymore. Or not as often anyway. And when I go to bed, I can actually sleep. Not as quickly as Les of course - that will never happen! - but even as I lie there waiting for sleep to claim me, I am in a much more relaxed, calm state.

And only after about a week of using the light, I was heading to the city for the evening and I had been driving for a couple of minutes when it hit me. I hadn't even thought twice about walking out the door into the darkness. I just did it. Like a normal person.


Last Sunday was the first (and only) day since starting that I have not used the light. We left the house at 8:30am and came home at 9:30pm (and morning usage is the best, as using it in the evening may make sleeping difficult - and goodness knows, I don't need anymore hindrance in that area!). I couldn't use it properly in the van that morning without an empty seat beside me, and with the busyness of my responsibilities in church that morning...well, it just didn't provide me with a good time to use it. Well, the next day I felt almost back to how I was before the light came into my life. It could've been a coincidence, but I don't feel prepared to take that risk again anytime soon. Next time I will find a way to use it no matter what!

I have not overcome all of my obstacles, nor has the light completely "cured" me. I still have anxiety issues and other junk - but at least with improved energy, I am more capable to deal with life.

And for that I am extremely grateful.

1 comment:

Jackie Klassen said...

That is such a blessing, Andrea! Now...are you also taking the vitamins we talked about? And getting together with your BFF lots??? He he. Love ya!