How Chronic Fatigue Is Teaching Me to Be Patient With My Body
I was never big into napping. On the contrary, I struggle with insomnia, and I used to not be able to sleep at night if I slept at all during the day, even with my sleeping meds. Lately, one of the more difficult things for me to come to terms with is how incredibly fatigued I get.
Over the last three months I have had to lie down and rest at some point in the day every day. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I just lay there. On a good day I can go all morning without having to rest, but will inevitably need to lie down when I get back to my dorm. On a bad day I need to rest after taking a shower. Due to this I often become upset with myself for having to rest when there is work I really should be getting done.
Going from having PTSD to a chronic illness hasn’t been easy. For a long time I was not a fan of my body. I felt like my body was the enemy, the scene of my attack I couldn’t escape from. I had spent years ignoring the needs of my body. Now I am having to learn to listen to it and care for it.
I am learning that my body, though it doesn’t always comply with what I might want, is not the enemy. I am learning to remind myself that I am not made less for taking the time to rest and give my body what it needs. I am learning that advocating for my physical health is no different than the advocating for my mental health I have grown accustomed to. I am learning it is OK to ask for help. I am learning it is OK to not be able to do everything every day.
I am nowhere near perfect at this yet. I’m not even good at it yet. The days I am angry with myself outnumber the days I am patient. Some days I need to seek out help to remind me of these things when I simply can’t convince myself, but I am trying and I will continue to try because this body’s not going anywhere. So for now I will write this mainly so I can reread it.
I went back and forth debating whether or not I would post this because I have a big problem with feeling like I complain too much, but maybe, just maybe, it can help someone else.
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Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz.