So for the past few weeks we have been in the middle of what is known as Plum Rain season here in Taiwan. I have no clue why it’s called that but it happens every year at the end of spring/beginning of summer.
During this time rain can ambush you at any moment – do not be fooled by fleeting blue skies – and when it comes it doesn’t fall lightly. I’m talking torrential downpours that will have you soaked in seconds if you are caught outside without an umbrella (even with one you’ll still get wet).
I’ve always liked the rain. The sound and smell of it calms me and it has a cleansing effect on the world around me (rain here = no smoggy pollution to choke on). However, my brain doesn’t seem to agree with me – how surprising.
Over a month ago my psychiatrist warned me about the rainy season and told me that it might have a negative effect on my mood. He wasn’t wrong. After about a week of erratic weather I began feeling sluggish, sad and demotivated. Little tasks – such as grocery shopping and cooking – became mountains to climb, and the slightest setback had me in tears. Normal feelings of tiredness clicked over into pure exhaustion and there is nothing more soul destroying, in my opinion, than waking up day after day feeling unrested. My anxiety and irritation levels spiked severely. Headaches lingered constantly and my low mood dipped even further.
When I saw my Dr again a week ago I could just listen and cry as he explained about a lack of sunlight and how it affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain. He suggested a slight med change and I gratefully accepted – nothing major, just tweaks here and there. I’ve started to feel a little better anxiety-wise since then. My mood and energy are still low though and he told me it would take up to two weeks for the new meds to kick in.
Overall I’m just hanging on to the fact that in less than three weeks I will be lying on a beach in Mauritius, far from work and the infernal heat of the Asian summer.