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The 'Activity Hangover' I Experience Because of Chronic Illness

As someone who has recently moved to a new town and is trying to figure things out and find my groove, I have been out a lot more than I usually am, and I am paying for it. Having fibromyalgia means things are different for me now. Planning on going out also means planning some time in. I know if I do something, I’m inevitably going to have what I call an “activity hangover,” which will require some good old-fashioned rest time.

I have to make plans in three stages: preparing for the outing, the outing itself, and the recovery from the outing. Having dinner, meeting up for drinks, or going to a museum or a farmer’s market takes its toll. Heck, just going to the grocery store takes its toll! Earlier this week I rested up to allow myself the energy to get ready, rested for about an hour before going out to meet a friend, and then spent most of the next day recovering.

People who are not familiar with chronic illness often don’t understand that energy levels in people with chronic illness are different from able-bodied people — and our usable hours in a day are different as well. Navigating these things can be difficult, but I’m lucky enough to have enough understanding people in my life and enough of a “screw what other people people think” mentality that I’ve not lost too much time lamenting my losses. But it’s enough to keep a kernel in the back of mind about what people may say.

I know I’m luckier than most in this department, so I wanted to share that more often than not when people see me out, it’s not often, and I have to rest up to recover afterwards. If you also have to plan your outings in two or three stages instead of just “going out,” you’re not alone. A lot of us struggle with getting ready, going out, and the “activity hangover” that comes along with it. Don’t be ashamed. You know what you need to do for you, and you’re not alone.

This story originally appeared on The Fibro Strong Collective.

Getty image by Biserka Stojanovic.

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