Tired of being tired

Again, another two weeks have passed since I last wrote.  Flare-ups have been few and far between – mild or short-lived.  However, my energy levels have varied from having bags of energy to feeling as if I have none at all.

Most days, I’ve found that I have the energy for SOMETHING, which is good, because I’ve had a lot of work on. However, by about 4 or 5, I’m often absolutely spent and, on some days, even having a conversation feels like a complicated thing to do! My eyes, meanwhile, feel so tired that keeping them open feels like a supreme effort.

One of my current projects is to lead a course for women on building their self-esteem and improve their job application (and interview) skills. It’s quite a cycle there (40 minutes each way), plus then I have to lead a two-hour workshop. It’s great work – very rewarding – but I am usually pretty stressed about it beforehand, put a lot into it during the course and then crash as soon as I get home. So, just two hours of paid work, takes an entire day worth of energy. Having expected that, I don’t tend to make plans for those afternoons. Still, it’s a drag.

I’m also getting really BORED of feeling this way. I accept it as part-and-parcel of how I choose to live my life. But I’m bored of it. I’m tired of being tired. I don’t want to end up giving up everything in order to conserve energy. What would be the point of that? At least this way I still have a life and still do things that I enjoy or that are rewarding (even if they are stressful too). Yet, I’m tired of answering “tired” whenever anyone asks how I am. And tired of my internal dialogue going “I’m so tired”.

This particular run of tiredness (it’s not quite as bad as fatigue and a total lack of spoons – at least I have SOME), coincided with me stopping taking my St John’s Wort supplements (which I was taking for depression). I’d felt so much happier that I thought perhaps it was time to stop. But, just in case the two are linked, I’ve decided to start taking them again to see if the energy picks up a bit. So, along with the hydroxy, the doxy, the calcium & D supplements and the glucosamine, the St John’s Wort is back on the morning menu again as from this week.

I’d be interested in hearing what other people have found improves their energy or fatigue.

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6 responses to “Tired of being tired

  1. Hello Ruth. It sounds as though you pack so much into your life that you would have tired times anyway…I have always had a compulsion to do too much and keep going, trying to ignore tiredness, often resulting in my body making me stop by getting a cold or somesuch. However now with the luxury of retirement, still having packed days and evening, I insist on having a lie in at least twice a week, to stay in bed and read until at least 9 o clock; I’m quite getting used to this now – along with having a proper break at lunchtime which is pretty much compulsory in France anyway. At first I used to use lunchtime to race round doing housework, hanging out the washing, scrubbing floors etc but now, after eating, I sit and read my emails, close my eyes and force myself to have a break. I think when I ‘worked’ I was very ‘macho’ about not really stopping at lunchtime.
    It feels much better to punctuate the day like this though I have lingering guilt feelings about laziness. Physically I’m more energized when I restart in the afternoon, even if it takes a few minutes to get going again.
    Also the type of work you do is draining – giving of yourself all the time – and so often the learners are so excited about learning that they forget that the trainer/facilitator has needs too. I sometimes felt leeched and leached.

    When we went to Raja Ampat we took doxy as an anti malarial. I was OK but Alan had a massive reaction to it – he felt very very tired for 4 or 5 days!as well as more spectacular reactions.
    love x

  2. Oh Ruth the fatigue is so horrible… mine is part the pa, part the crohns and a lot the drugs i am sure of that bit but am known for my ability to be in denial…..

    Before I forget well done on running the course! I have low self esteem and it bleeds into everything so know what a good idea it is.

    I have no cure for the fatigue, I fight it but it just gets worse…. talking of which I best go do some work here as well, lol.

    I do find when its bad a ten min doze helps….. I set the alarm for half an hour but usually only o the ten mins… though Ruth I sometimes just zonk and sleep in the arm chair….

    Its not good flower and I so understand why you say that your sick of it cus its hard sometimes to remember there is a life in t somewhere.

    Hang in there and this little Scottish lamb say maaaa to you though she has too much Scottish spirit at times, lol. Cris xx

  3. I am currently learning about the ‘right kind of rest’. Rest for me has always meant sleep, but sometimes having 10 hours and still feeling exhausted is teaching me that perhaps that’s not what my body needs, so I’m trying to sit more, do things slowly and make a conscious effort to relax my muscles when doing things. It’s a whole new outlook for me so let’s hope I can keep it up.

  4. Hi Donna,
    That’s a really EXCELLENT point about ‘the right kind of rest’. In fact, it’s already a planned topic for a future blog post! I definitely agree that sleeping more doesn’t always mean more rested. And that, what we think is restful, isn’t necessarily. I’ve been doing relaxing meditations in the afternoon and they’re really helping. But I’ll elaborate more in my next post.

  5. Hi,

    first of all I would like to say how happy I was to find your blog. It felt that after the ridiculous amount of specialists I have visited, I finally found a mirror of my new self-image. Being able to do so changed my perspective and made my new situation in life feel less distorted. One of my favorite posts is spoon theory!

    For me tiredness and lack of energy is the worst symptom. Three or four days can go away in a row without doing anything at all and feeling like I am getting over the worst hangover (without partying of course). Besides that my own symptoms differ from what I have been reading around as a typical set of symptoms but that probably I guess should be a reply to a different blog post.

    Talking about energy and tiredness I believe that royal bee jelly helps. When I asked my rheumatologist if it has any effect, he said it should not. My personal experience however leads me to a different conclusion. Whenever I start taking it, after one to two weeks I feel my energy levels elevated. When I stop it, somewhere between two weeks to a month I start feeling sluggish once again. Also I have been taking it for long time intervals with several flare-ups appearing in the between. Of course my energy levels during that time have their ups and downs but the overall feeling is much better. That makes me believe that the observed pattern is not a coincidence. I would be curious to know if other people have observed something similar.

    All the best from sunny California!

    • I found my energy levels increased when I started taking vitamin D, although coming from California I doubt you have the same issues with deficiency as us in rainy England. I will give the bee jelly a try as I also find the fatigue to be the worst part, the pain I can pretty much deal with.

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