Reading online about flare-ups, the spoon theory, and reading comments from you lovely readers, it does nothing but reassure and comfort these big fat stints of chronic fatigue, like the one that is happenin’ over ‘ere.
Truth is I think I have kinda forgotten that I’ve got chronic fatigue because there’s so much other shiz going on in my life at the moment. There’s the EMDR, which leaves you completely whacked afterwards. There’s the Somatic Experiencing which kicks up your nervous system and re-regulates it. There’s the trauma memories that have been surfacing on their own accord, and the emotions that have come with them: the anniversary of my overdose, the ten tonne weight of grief for my mom (or lack of), and the smack of shame that I’ve been experiencing. There’s my Liver. And then there’s the anger that’s been hitting hard these past few months, rising up, roaring around and then settling back down again, leaving me exhausted in its wake. All these things have big physical effect…all different to chronic fatigue. Every day chronic fatigue is a big feature, but more like an underlying current beneath the river of whatever-other-shit-is-going-on, instead of it being the river running through my day like it has been for the years before…in the bad spells I mean.
Each day is something COMPLETELY different, emotionally and physically. Just as intense, but varying in the what and the why and the how. In a sense, this has given me faith. It is heartbreaking, but it weirdly gives me faith that this is trauma release happening. And my health healing. Take the liver for example – it’s not going to be effecting me this way forever. I am doing all that I can to support, repair and nurture (MILK THISTLE)…so sometimes I find myself worrying about the state of my health but in this specific case when it feels so so liver specific, I can take reassurance in the fact that everything I am doing is right. If I was eating milk thistle but going on mega long weekend benders, mainly involving litres of Cider, then perhaps I wouldn’t find so much comfort in this…although it might be a bit more fun. Both my herbalists (yes, I have two) say that they believe that the majority of my symptoms will ease – both emotional and physical – as my liver begins to repair. And I really really believe them.
I haven’t had a flare up like this in a little while that hasn’t been directly from either a therapy, that flippin’ experiment with those drugs, or something else. I don’t do very well in these times. It’s the pain that gets me the most. The shooting pains that come and go, the consistent painful ache that shudders through me, the painful sensitivity to light and sound, and the need to just have my eyes closed. In these moments I just want someone here that knows. That understands. That can make me a cup of tea and laugh with me at the ridiculousness of it all…and cry a bit too. It’s just mental how you can go from a day feeling just a little bit crap, to a day of feeling like you are being eaten from the inside. This is the hardest bit to explain about this experience – I mean, how the hell are people around supposed to understand this sporadic and unpredictability it holds? It just kinda makes sense that people might think we’re making it up…”how can your body just suddenly collapse for no apparent reason? You seemed fine yesterday… Maybe you just need to stop thinking about it. Maybe you just need to go for a run, or have a good sleep.”
In my heart I know why it is here but it just breaks my heart to actually admit why I feel like I do today, because I feel like as a 25 year old I SHOULD be able to do the things that I know have brought this spell on…but ‘should’ is a fucked up word.
- I ran three freakin’ minutes for a few trains, two days in a row.
- I woke up at the crack of dawn and went to a car boot sale with friends for a morning.
- I have had shitty nights sleeps, falling asleep real late and waking early each time, with the sleep being bonkers and not restful at all.
- I have been doing a lot of work on the computer. Not even that much, but for me, more than normal…I’ve been getting excited and totally absorbed by it too, ignoring needs for a naps.
- I had a mega intense emotional week last week with the anniversary…and the body remembers, yo.
So all in all, these few things that someone my age ‘should’ just be able to do, I know is what took the wind out of my sails…particularly the running for the trains. But jeeeeez man. And y’know the screwed up and confusing thing? Some days I would do this and it would not have the same effect…yes, I would feel shitty afterwards or the following day, but I wouldn’t be attached to my bed crippled with pain, sensitivities, nausea, aches, and tiredness, like I am today. Truth is though, I am getting so much better at rolling with what comes my way rather than sitting and working it out…like I have above.
All I can do is have faith that with this trauma release and nervous system re-regulating, this chronic fatigue will regulate and fuck-the-hell-off too. And I think it will. To the extent that it is here anyway. Sure, it may well be a sensitive point for me for a long time, and I reckon it probably will. But if it just means that I need to take it a bit more easy, then that’s cool. But if it I worry about what on earth I am going to do as work, and I wonder whether applying for the job I mention in the post before, is not such a good idea…who knows. But one thing I do know is that I literally cannot go on how I am feeling now, to determine the rest of my life. No-one can, but I know for me I particularly can’t because I am in the midst of a big fat trauma healing/release time…and so things are ever-moving. And, maybe as the rest of my physical and emotional symptoms are a bit more consistent, as the acute trauma release stage passes, then at least perhaps I’ll be able to manage this chronic fatigue better…I’ll know that by getting up at the crack of dawn to go off on an adventure with friends, after a week of not-good nights sleep, will be too much…whereas at the moment I just am living for the moment because that is all I feel like I can do. With time, perhaps this will ease and I will be able to know my baseline a bit better. I have faith I will.
It is hard to not just push myself when I feel like this, because I feel like crap every day in some way…but this kind of crap is different. Really honouring it, resting, NOT pushing myself, is the only way that it doesn’t stick around and doesn’t hurt even more. One thing about my days being so different, is that I really have embraced the self-nurturing title…this is huge. Before I would have desperately tried to make the most of every moment of every day, with whatever energy I could find within myself…but now there feels a desperate need to TAKE IT SLOW. To not panic and fret that I haven’t done the million things I need to do in the day…that I haven’t walked to the bank to do the thing I have been needing to do for a week now.
Nope. Instead, on days like this it is simply a matter of eating, and looking after myself, that I have all the spoons for. Because maybe tomorrow I’ll have a few more in my back pocket, and I’ll be able to do the things I ‘need’ to do. And if not tomorrow, then next week… One thing I have learnt to trust when your energy and health feels a dwindling and chaotic mess, is that things really do always work out. When you can’t do something, you then do it at the time you CAN…and it always always ends up okay. It really does.
Chronic fatigue, you’re a (confusing, painful, and unpredictable) bitch.