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Today's Chronic Illness Specials: Dreams, Hangover and Fatigue

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This is me. The dreamer. The hungover. The fatigued. Daily specials on my menu of life.

Every morning, to varying degrees depending on how busy my day was previously, I wake in a fog. A pea soup kind of fog. Feeling like I’ve been somewhere half the night. In another dream. With people I don’t know, writing the story as I go. And they are the vivid kind of dreams. I can recount them quite well upon waking. I could probably even fill a book or two with them except for the banging hangover that comes with them every morning.


Why the dreams and the hangovers?

Likely adrenaline. They are surely the most irritating aspects of my condition. Getting a truly good night’s sleep is so far from my reality. Waking up rested, bright as a button these days is a dream in itself. Add to that days which can easily become so full of socializing and busyness that you have a recipe for another bodily disaster  – fatigue.

What fatigue feels like.

I don’t think people who experience normal kind of tired (the stuff which sleep normally resolves) really get what fatigue feels like. For me, its an underlying perpetual form of tiredness, like continuous jet lag or a dragging sensation. The stuff huge sighs are made of. The stuff that messes with how you think. Making you feel like you’re walking around and thinking in treacle (or pea soup!). And when the fatigue is really bad, which can happen sometimes, the adrenaline panic waves come out in full force swiping at me at inopportune times. Like Darth Vader.

My daily solution.

I bravely put a smile on my face and force myself to try to ignore it. I basically buy more adrenaline to fill up the fatigue basket later. Not a reliable strategy, I know, but it does put my mind in a place that helps me amplify the experiences of the nicer stuff (even if just for a moment). I can look and act “normal” –  you know, like “her” over there. Just for a bit.

Ooh the lure of normal.

Others, who don’t really know me could look at me and think, “Yep, she’s normal.” I know they do. They don’t get the playacting and they don’t get what’s going on underneath for me (which frankly nor do I completely). They don’t see “the heap” collapse on the bed when she’s home. Trying to squeeze in a non-dream-filled snooze to replenish her tired and weary body. They don’t see the nightly repercussions, the 4 a.m. wake-up calls and hangovers from hell the next day. They don’t see me like I do.

I’m still a bit of a faker really.

I fake normal. But I am learning and so are others around me. Because I’m calling it much more regularly these days. Shining a light on the things that impact me so others can appreciate more about what is going on for me. Others are starting to call me on it too. And they are understanding my no’s a lot more these days. Progress is being made in some corners of my life. My little conundrum can’t be solved but with the right conditions it can be better.

Join my Facebook group via Messenger where I provide support to those with chronic illness who seek change in their life.

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Originally published: September 28, 2017
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