I need a little place in the sun sometimes or I think I will die

The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV was a dangerous purchase, but it was a required text for my school counseling graduate work. As I cycled between classes, learning about counseling styles, schools of psychological thought and social and emotional disorders common in adolescents, I turned to the DSM-IV time and again. Yes, it was a valuable resource for understanding the disorders I studied during my single semester of counseling classes. But I was even more interested in using it to self diagnose, and to identify issues my roommates struggled with. I knew just enough to be dangerous, and I still regret selling the DSM-IV back when I decided to pursue additional education elsewhere. (It remains on my amazon.com wish list, though it’s probably for the best that no one has purchased it for me.)

I long to turn to that handy manual again as winter breaks, showing the South hints of spring. I face seasonal affective disorder every winter, and perhaps it’s made worse by the short short short winters I grew up with in Florida. Around February in each of the past few years, I’ve found myself listening to the Beatles nearly non-stop. Even their saddest songs avoid sounding depressing (“For No One” has never made me cry). Though I love depressing indie folk, sometimes I need sunshine and the only place I can find it is in music. (This also explains the year I decided to wear skirts every day till Easter, my own unintentionally Lenten ritual of sorts. I wanted spring so badly, I dressed for it long before it arrived.)

That feeling started far too early this winter; I began battling the doldrums in November, and found solace in a playlist I labeled “Sunshine for the Soul.” But spring has also come early, with several perfect, sunny and mild days in mid-February.

It feels silly to be so affected by weather and season, but I’ve come to accept their impact. As the South livens up with its early spring, I’ll concentrate on accepting the sun and warmth as the gifts they are.

Sunshine for the Soul

  1. A Love that’s Stronger than Our Fear – Derek Webb
  2. No Bad News – Patty Griffin
  3. Lantern – Josh Ritter
  4. Shelter – Ray LaMontagne
  5. Try – John Mayer Trio
  6. Walken – Wilco
  7. Chin Up, Cheer Up – Ryan Adams
  8. Bottom of the River – Adam Arcuragi
  9. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  10. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
  11. The General Specific – Band of Horses
  12. Raining at Sunset – Chris Thile
  13. Babylon – David Gray
  14. Sons and Daughters – The Decemberists
  15. Long Shadows – Josh Ritter

Today’s subject line comes from Patty Griffin’s “Moses.”

3 Comments

Filed under Autobiography, music

3 Responses to I need a little place in the sun sometimes or I think I will die

  1. Never feel silly that the seasons affect you so much. (This from the girl who tore down a wall one winter.)

    I love that you make play lists to get you through it. I might have to borrow some of your picks.

  2. Carla Jean

    Please do–and let me know if you have any songs I should add! I’m listening to this playlist again this morning. I’m not in a glum mood, but the weather sure is dreary.

  3. I’m with Laurel on the seasonal stuff. I don’t really want to sit down with the DSM-IV anytime soon. I have my diagnoses, and I don’t want to read the entire symptomology set. I can see where I needed professional help as early as 20, but I don’t think that now is the time to spend a bunch of time going back down those roads.

    If I made a playlist right now, it would be about being crazy…

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