themighty logo

How My Mental and Physical Illnesses Make Me Tired


“I’m tired.”

When was the last time you heard someone say that? Usually that term is reserved for a temporary feeling – one that can be overcome with a good night’s rest or an extra strong shot of espresso. However, when you have any number of chronic illnesses, be it mental or physical, this statement takes on a completely different meaning.

This top 10 list explains how my tired feels may different than yours:

1. Exhaustion after four or 14 hours of sleep: I’ve slept for 16 hours straight before and had to take a nap the following day. Bed becomes your savior, your haven.

2. Dreading waking up every day: The alarm clock becomes your enemy. Hearing it is enough to bring you to tears every morning. The pure dread you feel can elicit the most intense of emotional reactions.

3. Jitters from so much caffeine without being perked up: You know the feeling when you’ve had too much caffeine? Imagine that, minus any good aspects of it. Stomach aches, jitters, increased heart rate…you name it.

4. Not being able to make it through an eight hour work day: Once in public, you force yourself to be optimistic. “I will be productive! Today is the day!” you say. You get to work. Things are going great. You’re on a roll. This lasts for an hour, at most, before the fatigue sets in again. How the hell am I supposed to make it through seven more hours of this?

5. Hearing your favorite jam come on and only being able to muster a meager toe-tap: If you’re like me, you love music. When you’re exhausted, things that were fun become too difficult to enjoy. Once a enthusiastic dancer, the most I can do now is tap my finger or toes to the beat for half the song, before that small action becomes too tiresome. Want to watch your favorite show? Forget it! You’re out like a light before the credits are over.

6. Fluttering eyelids while you try to concentrate: Be it reading, looking at a computer screen, or watching TV. There are weights on your eyelids and you are trying so hard to keep them open. Blinking becomes a battle. Each increment between opening and closing your eyes becomes slower…slower…the temptation to give in and keep them shut is overwhelming.

7. Mind blanks: You can have a really good point to make in a meeting and then completely blanking when it comes to your turn. Or, take five seconds to open up a new tab to Google something and completely forget what you were going to search after that short time frame. Remembering directions, or anything intricate? Good luck!

8. Using any extra time to sleep instead of doing anything fun: “Work-life balance,” they say. Except any time not working is spent sleeping because you’re too tired to do anything else. Hobbies and a social life take a back seat to the groove in your couch you’ve made from napping.

9. Unwarranted irritability and rage: The tiniest of things can make you lose it. Lights too bright? Someone chewing with their mouth open? Basically any minor setback becomes major when you’re chronically fatigued.

10. Problems making decisions: Simple decisions like choosing what to order off of a menu become difficult. Anything more serious feels almost impossible.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Gettyimage By: TenevArt