Kaouthar Darmoni a man sitting on chair

It’s cold outside, grey, rainy… the Mediterranean-Tunisian in me feels on the edge of depression with this weather … Through the years I made concessions: I learned to bear the cold, the rain, the cold wet wind, but that grey… that lack of light… still cannot get used to it… work in progress.

I grew up in a beautiful country, Tunisia, with a wonderful sea and magnificent light. The sky in Tunisia is bright, at every single time of the day. Lately I met a lady in a goddess boot camp I gave in Switzerland.

She told me that she grew up as a child until the age of 6 in Tunisia, and that the most vivid memory she still has is the light, the ‘luminosité tunisienne’ as she calls it.

Sadly for me, luminosity becomes dark when you live, as a girl, in an oppressive culture. No matter how bright is the sky; oppression makes it dark and scary. So I left my luminous Tunisia with such pain in my heart. To soothe the grief, I convinced myself that the luminosity of freedom is brighter than the luminosity of a shiny sky.

Seeking and exploring the luminosity of freedom, I started a nomadic quest, crossing few continents and living in different exciting cities. Until I ended up in the most ‘exotic’ of all places: North-Europe. Holland. I wanted a new big challenge in my life: I got the Dutch weather. Beware of your wishes!

If you seek the luminosity of freedom, Holland, Amsterdam, is one of the finest places to be. I feel so grateful I live in this country. But don’t seek here the luminosity of a shiny sky in the long winter months.

After so many years of living here, I still cannot get used to the Dutch weather. Every winter I am like a fanatic soldier thoroughly ‘equipped’ to face the ‘enemy’: high doses vitamin D, regular visits to the hammam (Arab sauna), cold showers, long exposures to light therapy lamp… Despite this ‘winter war arsenal’, I suffer, every year, from winter blues or what we call a ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (SAD), also known as a ‘winter blues’ or depression. It’s a form of low energy and fatigue (and sometimes sorrow) that generally arises, as the days grow shorter and darker in the winter.

Even though no one knows exactly what causes ‘winter blues’ or ‘winter depression’; it is clearly a state of internal imbalance. We need balance for a healthy functioning of our body and our mind. Dancing is a great tool for us as women to restore balance to our mind-body; it stimulates the release of endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals. For me personally the goddess dance saves me every year from severe winter depressions. It is extremely effective to help us, women, be in a natural state of well being. To feel sensual, light, strong. This lightness and sensuality help me carry on with grace my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Thanks gods and goddesses for having created the goddess dance!

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    One thought on “Do you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

    1. E. says:

      Dear Kaouthar,

      Last fall I followed one class of yours in Amsterdam. I still receive your newsletters and got to reading your blog above on depression. I too have had periods of depression over the years and I believe it is important for this topic to get more attention throughout society. I wanted to thank you for addressing it. At least for me I consider it very helpful to read about and relate to. Hope you have received more positive responses. Look forward to hearing more.


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