What is Exhaustion? A story that needs to be heard!
What is exhaustion?
A need to sit or lie down? A need to escape from your “busyness”? The end of a long, exhausting and impossible week?
Or, to those experiencing CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as ME, or as it is commonly known, Yuppie Flu) exhaustion has so many facets and hues of tiredness one could not imagine even existed.
For me, exhaustion and my ‘new norm’ looked and felt a little something like this…
An overwhelming Inertia that invades your body and mind.
An inability to move physically, even with the strongest will.
An inability to think of words, add simple numbers or follow simple instructions – brain fog, cotton wool brain, lack of any cognitive ability, or so it seems.
Being too tired to eat or talk, literally.
Being engulfed by an overriding depression.
Drowning in GUILT about becoming a mere shadow of who you used to be, contributing nothing to your family, friends or relationships.
DREADING the morning because that means you must get up, shower, dress, face another day.
Experiencing insomnia at night, so dreading the long nights too (ironic?).
Suffering from constant nausea from pure exhaustion.
An inability to do any exercise, even walking results in pain that does not get better quickly.
Feeling socially useless, experiencing an inability to chat or to make small talk.
Being incapable of holding down a job.
Suffering from a constant, relentless sore throat.
Feeling so hopeless and desperate
A feeling of being judged by others, who may believe you are malingering or that your symptoms are psychosomatic – there is a large portion of the population who ‘do not believe’ that CFS exists.
Overwhelm from the sheer multitude of medical professionals one goes through, including every pseudo cure, just in the hopes, that just maybe it could work for you.
Coping with (or not!) the loss of relationships and friendships which cannot survive being so one-sided.
Dealing with (or, again, not!) the millions of medical tests you must endure, to rule out all other illnesses.
Having a lack of hope that you will ever be normal again
AND having the lack of energy to even care about your lack of hope.
Life as I knew it!
This became my reality for about 3 years of my life. I had a long hospital stay and surgery incidents that saw me very debilitated and being on multiple medications and antibiotics.
Never fully recovering, I started to experience all the above symptoms.
I am one of the very lucky ones – after a few years I slowly started to feel better. Now I am almost a 100% functioning human!
Those three years weren’t for nothing. There were a lot of invaluable lessons I learnt along the way, and maybe some of it can benefit someone else…
Ask for help, get as much medical advice as possible.
Take the advice seriously, without it you will have no chance of making a recovery.
Listen to the doctors.
Get counselling to help you adapt to your new normal – without this, you will drown.
Only do half the amount of what you feel capable of in any given time span.
You will lose a lot of friends however luckily you won’t have the energy for people who are not true friends, so that is ok!
Be kind to yourself and don’t give up on yourself – this is all teaching you something, one day you will understand better.
Have faith, even if only the size of a mustard seed.
Life Life Life
Life can become very exhausting – just because you feel exhausted now does not mean you have CFS. This too shall pass
You develop a whole lot of empathy for people who suffer worse than you every day, and empathy for those that suffer at all.
Every dawn of every day is a chance for new hope.
Reach out for help, do not suffer alone.
Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B CO injections are invaluable!
Most importantly – Life is still better than the alternative!