Ever climbed a mountain and found yourself face to face with a thick haze of grey heavy fog with nothing to see but the end of your nose – sometimes not even that – so all you can do is sit on a rock, and drink tea, waiting for it to pass, because trying to navigate through it would just be treacherous? Or, ever found yourself driving on a winters day/night and you hit a patch of thick-ass fog and all you can do is pull over in a layby or stop right where you are because going any further is too dangerous as you cannot see further than the windscreen in front of you?
Well, Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia bring with them a dizzy confusing fog just like these two scenarios, and any other thick fog related metaphor you can think of. It’s supposedly a brain fog, but I say it’s a full-bodied fog too. It hits immediately upon waking, as though the foggy clouds have been sitting on the pillow next to me, eagerly awaiting my eyelids opening so they can take up their cloudy role. It sucks. It’s painful, it’s horrible, it’s demoralising, but it is also hilarious too – the way that your brain can literally just shut down and an entire 6 hours can go by leaving you with hardly any recollection of what went down. And because it sits so heavy, the possibility of feeling these emotions is zero because I can only just about find the energy or focus to eat and work out where my clothes are so I don’t walk around the house freakin’ naked. My housemates thank me on this one.
The mornings are particularly bad. I’m naturally a morning person so this goes completely against the grain of my being. If I had spent my years until now used to staying up late and waking up late then perhaps it wouldn’t hit so hard. But for me, the mornings are my thing. They’re when it all happens. So when I have these mega fucking bouts of Chronic Fatigue and Fibro (it is increasingly seeming as though this – fibro – is what is going on at the moment) symptoms, I cannot help but have a constant fight on against the morning thing. I just read a post about this, titled Mornings are for Mourning and this is so fitting. Most of the time my brain, and body, is just so fogged up I can’t freak in’ feel any emotions anyway, but if I could, that’s what I would be doing – mourning the mornings. Instead I mourn them in the afternoons when my mind and body has cleared a bit and I can feel again.
Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if I just laid down to sleep when I feel like this. But I can’t. I lie down because I can’t do much else, but I force my eyes to be open, force my fingers to be typing, force my brain to STAY AWAKE and when up and about, force my whole body to Just. Keep. Moving.
For me there is such a thing as being too tired to sleep, or in too much uncomfortable pain or aching to properly rest. This morning I woke completely and utterly shattered but everything hurt too much from this deep fatigue, and the exhaustion was just too much, that I had to get up and thud around the house like a ten-ton elephant. Maybe this is weird – being too exhausted to sleep – but to me it has been a common feature over all these years, particularly during the heavy hits of these symptoms, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. It’s kinda like my way of clinging onto reality – what’s left of it in this foggy state – because the fear of drifting into a continual fog if I lay down and surrender to it, is just too great. I fear that by shutting my eyelids, the fog will be all I know. When in actual fact, I have a slight inkling that it is in these moments that I need to get to know that fog. Even if just for a split second, perhaps this fog is a friendly fucker after all.
There’s something to be said about Good Quality Sleep, and perhaps this is what my body is doing when I am resisting the need to rest despite the fact I can hardly move. Because, the rest in these moments would just be dark shitty gross feeling slumpy rest, rather than cosy nesting healing and recuperating rest. I’ll take the latter please. But, sometimes, the first has to be what is had too. We can just do our best to cosy up this messy slump as much as possible.
This fog has been here all week but is here today in such a heavy way because I went kickboxing last night. Suppressed anger is one of the route causes of Chronic Fatigue and so I am learning to dip into this suppressed but bubbling-over supply of anger that is SO there at the moment, and let it out in that hour long session. I can’t explain how good that feels. It just means I am left with the following day as a bloody write off. But, to be told I am the instructors favourite, to feel ALIVE and so pumping with strength, to have to fight with the boys because I am too strong for the girls, is worth every ounce of fogged up and aching brain and body the next day…I think.
I’m going to head off to determine whether this fog is a friendly fucker or whether it is just here to cause sleepy havoc, by attempting a gentle snooze here in the sun. Maybe after this, I’ll take my fog for a drink down the pub. Or I’ll just kick it in the nuts and go for a