My Paradoxical Obsession with Sunlight

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I am a moody person. That adjective, “moody,” does not always mean I am in a bad mood— an erroneous definition I quite dislike. Rather, my moods change quickly and swing wildly in terms of intensity. As well, my moods are often affected by outside forces.

The environment I am within has a lot to do with my mood—and that is a very normal, human thing that doesn’t need much explaining. I hate the rain, I get cabin fever, all of that normal stuff.

I do have one odd obsessive quirk that I’ve never fully been able to explain, and that is my obsession with where the Sun should and should not be observed. Where sunlight belongs and does not belong.

My life exists in two containers of environment: being inside and being outside. I am almost a different person in each. Inside I am focused and obsessed with work. It is all I want to do. Outside, I am obsessed with my interactions with people and how I come off to others.

Those quirks aside, the environment of each has to be a very specific way or else I become, frankly, depressed. It has to do with the sunlight and the heat from it.

When I am outside I need it to be sunny and hot. If it isn’t I am miserable. Outside my place should be lit by the Sun with all of the intensity it can give the Earth. I bask in ninety degrees (Fahrenheit) sunny weather. The light here is most important, it makes me feel alive and part of the world. Like I belong—even if I am alone (which I often strive to be.)

This all makes sense. We’ve evolved to need and desire the Sun. Indeed there is nuance—I enjoy finding shade when it is too hot, and all of that obvious stuff. But all in all, when outside I need it to be sunny.

Now here’s where my brain flips into a completely different mode of emotional measurement that I cannot explain. When I am inside—even under the same mental conditions as when I was enjoying the Sun outside—I cannot stand any sunlight to be present.

Sunlight itself is so uncanny inside that it depresses me. I need shades closed. I need unnatural light (oh, and to add a paradox on top of a paradox—a lot of unnatural light!) I don’t like the dark, ever. But when inside I cannot stand the sun coming in through the windows at all.

I’ve tried to analyze this phenomenon inside my brain, and I don’t quite know if I have an explanation.

Maybe I don’t need one. That, of course, is very unlike me. But part of learning to cope with OCD is stopping thoughts in their tracks as they start to move from obsession to compulsion, and just let them sit.

I think that is what I am going to do with this obsession.

Just let it be.