On the Rhythms of Melancholy


For the last few days, I have been a SAD sufferer.

The capitals, and the adjective they spell out, are not a moronically rendered attempt at melodrama. SAD, in this case, stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder:  a form of depression triggered by a deficiency of natural sunlight and also characterized by spectacularly helpful symptoms such as intense carbohydrate cravings. What this means, admittedly, is that my initial statement may be construed as an intelligent attempt at melodrama given that we live in a patently tropical country blessed with patently abundant amounts of sunlight.

Be that as it may, we do also live in an era characterized by aberrant weather patterns, and the monsoon rains that typically batter the Philippines in June have just been a tad more persistent than usual—with the result that I haven’t seen the sun for days—which has resulted, in turn, in an uncharacteristically somnolent depression.

(I say uncharacteristic, because I’m normally quite intense about things, including depression. This means that when I’m sad, I’m ferociously sad—with thunderbolts, rainclouds, lightning strikes, cello music, the works. Everything runs on steroids with me. It’s frankly rather exhausting.)

In any case, the past few days have felt like living in watercolor (soft, pale, runny and subdued) sans the dreamy and romantic undertones. I’ve just felt . . . massively dull and relentlessly melancholic. The only reason I’ve gotten up in the mornings is, as a friend once told me drily, I “hadn’t died the night before.”

All of which simply proves that, attempts at showcasing my intelligence notwithstanding, I’m an atavistic creature (at bottom) whose rhythms and ruminations are governed by sunrises and sunsets. Ultimately, the gift of intelligence lies not in transcending our animality, but in having a very good laugh about it—except maybe on those rare instances when our very animality makes us very SAD indeed.

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