When Others Judge If I Have the Right to Be Tired
I find myself often apologizing for being tired or in pain because I find that people judge me on whether I should, or do, actually feel that way. Having lived a fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue diagnosis for the last 10 years, I’ve come to accept that I don’t have control over how my body reacts to the weather or the stress of travel or the woes of work.
I mean, when you look at me, I look “normal.” I’m bubbly and tend to be a pretty positive and driven person. But that’s because I’ve trained myself to put on my best version of myself when I’m around other people. The minute that I’m alone – hello sweat pants, fuzzy socks, and good book! I am specific about when I fall apart and relax. But I find that there are days when I can’t hide it. If I’ve traveled or had a particularly stressful work week, I don’t have the energy to pretend that everything is alright. I’m just dog tired.
And that’s when people look at me funny when I tell them I’m tired. Because I can see on their face that they’re calculating how much I’ve worked, what I’ve done that week, and they’re comparing it to their week. It’s like they are judging if I have a right to be tired, like if I’ve done enough or been through enough to be able to stick my flag down into tired mountain. I’ve actually had people snort and respond with, “Oh, you think you’re tired?!” and then they launch into their week.
It’s in those moments that you realize it’s probably not about you. It’s actually about them and how they feel. They maybe aren’t that interested in hearing how you feel or how you want to spend my days off. And when you realize that you understand that this person isn’t someone you can be real with, you get to tell yourself that anything they say right now shouldn’t be taken personally and, “It’s not about me.” And, “It’s not about me,” is one of the most liberating and peaceful thoughts you can give yourself.
The next time you are apologizing for something out of your control and someone barks back at you or judges you, tell yourself, “It’s not about me,” because to be honest it’s not. People have trouble responding gracefully to something they don’t understand.
Don’t apologize for how you feel, especially when it’s out of your control. Building a community of people who have empathy and compassion for what you’re going through is how you’ll make it through!
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