The Phrase That Gets Me Through Tough Days With Fatigue

How does fatigue feel to you?

There’s a marked difference between being tired, exhausted and actually having fatigue. When you’re tired, you yawn and your body relaxes and wants to sleep. Exhaustion happens when your body is overworked. Sore muscles from moving furniture or extreme mental stress from a huge project will make you feel exhausted. Even with both of these feelings, you’re still able to eat and digest, to move about although you may be sore, to lay down and actually sleep it off.

Fatigue is a different animal altogether. The thought of food might make you a bit nauseous. If you do eat, the food may lay in your stomach like a rock. It’s difficult to think clearly. Like a fog is clouding your brain. Not so much as a headache, just a lack of concentration. Sleep is not happening. Any pressure on your body, even lying in a bed, is uncomfortable. There is no possible position that will help your body relax. Insomnia is now your friend. Wearing a bra…impossible.

Fatigue will make you feel swollen and bloated. You might walk with a limp or your head might tilt because it’s just too heavy to hold up straight. The only upside to fatigue is that it normally doesn’t last so there’s an end to look forward to. That is what I have to concentrate on, the eventual end to all the discomfort. “This too shall pass” is a phrase that originated in a Persian poem about a king who wanted something that would make him happy if he was sad. The king was presented with a ring that had those words inscribed on it. The poem says it did make the king happy when sad but also made him sad if he was happy. This balance of life humbled the king. And the phrase was one that President Lincoln used in a speech:

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction.”

It is a phrase I use often when facing fatigue. I hope it works for you, too.

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