You are not alone

  • Sunday, January 19, 2014

Did your team win? Lose? Are your decorations put away or are you dreading it? Did you gain weight? Any arguments over money spent for gifts or entertaining? Any arguments about someone’s drinking? How about Holiday blues? Did you miss a loved one who has passed? Was there a serious illness or accident? Did you or a family member get sick over Christmas or New Year?

How about a dent in the car? Are you struggling with health insurance? Are you optimistic about the New Year? Pessimistic? Neutral?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not only “normal” and not alone, but in tune with most of your fellow readers.

Dear Liz,

I don’t think I’m alone In this--but I dread when the Christmas lights on homes and especially around town are taken down. Not only is it a spiritual symbol to me, but eases the blues I tend to have with the shorter days. My husband teases me because I wait until February to take down some white outdoor lights. Am I crazy?

Following the Light

Dear “Following,”

Always follow the light. But, about this you certainly are not crazy. Between Facebook and notes from readers and my clients and colleagues, many of us feel this way. I keep my outdoor lights out as long as possible.

I love driving in to the lights reflecting in our pond. I love the lights on my tree. I think it touches the child in me, as well as the adult who does not like Standard time! The shorter days can create a depressive disorder --seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Sunlight, daylight, helps us produce serotonin (the well being neuro-transmitter). The treatment is often time outside, time inside with special lights with the daylight spectrum and sometimes medication.

It is real, hubby. Check into that with your MD. We are so blessed to live by the beach, and walks by water in daylight are very therapeutic. If you work, a lunchtime walk may help. There are decorative ways to light trees, walkways and even light foliage inside your house that give the same effect. Let me know how it goes.

Dear Liz,

My husband is over the moon over the Gamecocks victory. My mother went to the University of Wisconsin. His gloating is starting to both get on her nerves and hurt her feelings. And there I am in the middle. She lives nearby. Help.



We are proud of our teams and usually loyal to our alma maters. Going overboard is just plain rude. And certainly not good sportsmanship. Ask him to read this and call me if he has an issue with it. Go Tigers. (Couldn’t resist). Help your mom to ignore him, and in a simple phrase say, “I’m happy your team won. But kindly be considerate of my feelings. Thank you”

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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