The Mighty Logo

10 Lies I Tell Myself About My Chronic Fatigue

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

My chronic illness causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms, and I willingly own up to most of them: headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even strange things like random coughing fits when I get out of the shower. But for some reason, I am absolutely resistant to admitting that fatigue is part of the deal.

I will use every mental trick my brain can come up with to devise a temporary answer for why I am exceptionally tired on any given day.

Here are 10 stories I tell myself to explain away the fatigue:

1. I didn’t sleep well last night.

2. I have been super active lately. Getting my 10,000 steps daily, going to yoga four times a week. It’s all just a little bit too much for my body.

3. I have not been active enough. Too much time reading, writing, and sitting at the computer. It would make anyone tired.

4. The allergy forecast must be really bad. I’m sure there’s tons of pollen in the air.

5. I’m not getting enough protein and/or vegetables in my diet.

6. It must be a sinus infection because sinus infections make you super tired, right?

7. I’m especially stressed about how much or how little work I have right now, or will have next week, or did have last week.

8. That person I interacted with was really draining, and mentally draining experiences can make you physically tired.

9. It’s the weather! It’s so hot, cold, wet, dry, gray, depressing, oppressively cheery outside.

10. It’s a reaction to a medication. I’m always happier to blame medication than my own body, even prescriptions I’ve been on for over a decade without incident.

All the stories I tell myself are things that can be changed. I could be more active or less active. I don’t control the weather, but it does eventually cycle. Unlike these explanations for fatigue, my chronic illness is not going anywhere.

It’s difficult to accept such a pervasive symptom is largely out of my control. But we are best equipped to manage symptoms when we accept them as reality. I’m not saying I’m there yet, but I’m working on it.

Are there symptoms you have trouble acknowledging to yourself? What stories do you tell yourself to push away the harsh reality?

Getty Image by triocean

Originally published: July 24, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home