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What 'Tired' Can Feel Like When You're Undiagnosed

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What does it feel like to be undiagnosed? In short, it’s tiring. Not in the sense of how healthy people feel tired after too much running around or after they went to bed too late — I’m tired in my soul. I’m mentally exhausted from fighting a battle with my body and mind day in and day out, month after month, year after year. I’m walking up a hill that never ends, never plateaus.

I’m tired of pretending I’m fine. Trying to go about the normal daily activities of a mother of two young kids. I keep up this facade of “I’m OK, I can do this.” but I’m not, and I can’t. Some days, looking at the dirty dishes I left since yesterday, is enough to make me want to fall on the floor and throw a tantrum like my preschooler at bedtime. Some days, keeping up with housework feels like heading into the fires of Mordor on the top of Mount Doom, and I cannot possibly go on, but yet I do.

I’m tired of pretending I feel like everyone else, like I can do what they do, handle what they can handle, when most of the time I can’t. I push myself to keep up at work, to keep working at 150% of my ability — but it’s draining me. I’m not lazy, or apathetic. I’m not slow, or unintelligent. I’m not trying to get out of work when I call off with a doctor’s note. I am sick, I’m not OK, and I’m trying not to let it show. I need this job, I need this normalcy, but my body doesn’t want to hear it.

I’m tired of waking up in the morning, and knowing that today might be a bad day. Getting to bedtime will most likely feel like traveling through the Sahara with no water and no food. I’m so incredibly tired of living my days in a fog as thick as molasses, or in pain of some kind, and avoiding people because of it. Closing myself off to everyone so that they don’t know how unwell I truly feel. I am clever, I am witty, smart, and articulate — but on a day like today, you wouldn’t know it. I can’t think straight, walk straight, or even stand up without feeling a constant pull down, down, down.

I’m tired of the pain. I’m tired of feeling like a soul trapped in a broken body. I’m tired of the anxiety, the depression, the exhaustion, the illness. I want to be well so badly it’s like an ache in the very core of me. I want to remember what it’s like to get up and feel motivated. To go outside and go to the park with my kids and to kick a soccer ball. I want to make dinner because I enjoy cooking, and not heat something up because I need to feed my family.

I’m tired of things not making sense, of losing my words or saying what I don’t mean because my mouth and my brain aren’t on the same page. They’re all lost in the fog, the pain, the exhaustion. I’m so tired of being tired, so tired of being ill.

No one knows what’s wrong with my body.

I just don’t want to be tired anymore.

Originally published: April 17, 2018
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