For the past three years, I have been tired. Really tired. Unnaturally tired.
Before I experienced this, if someone had told me that they were having a hard time because they were "always tired," I would have given them a cynical look and said, "Right. Always tired. Welcome to adulthood."
But it's different, this Tired that I have. The Normal Adult Tired, it's something you can live with. You know you'd sure appreciate a nap, but you've got all these things to do, and a little tiredness isn't going to stop you.
My Tired is different. I know, because I've experienced both. This Tired is like having weights tied to your arms and legs, like having a brick in your chest, like trekking through mud while a giant cosmic hand presses down on you from above. You can power through it for a while, but eventually your spirit starts to tremble and all you can think about is collapsing on the spot. And you do.
Little things, like checking your voice mail or mailing a check to pay a bill, loom large like mountains. Big things, like painting the kitchen table or turning apples into applesauce, seem nearly impossible. You cry every time you see your son's scouting book, the symbol of one more responsibility that you just. can't. handle. I watch in envious silence as women around me hustle and bustle and do all the things I wish I could do.
I have done everything I can think of to shake off this relentless exhaustion. I've seen doctors and had numerous blood tests run. (Everything looks fine.) I've tried eating a freakishly healthy diet. I've kept a gratitude journal. I've tried positive affirmations. I've begged God for healing. I've exercised consistently. I've taken supplements. I've switched from one antidepressant medication to another to another.
So far, nothing has helped.
In fact, it seems to be getting worse. It's becoming almost all-consuming. I hate it. I've wept and cried and screamed at how frustratingly difficult and overwhelming everyday life has become. I used to be a productive and active person. Now I do the bare minimum to get by. I'm too young to be so tired, I insist angrily to the universe. The universe stands quietly by. My kids need a mom who has vigor and vim, I shout. My voice echoes off the vast emptiness. I want to foster children. I want to give them a home, security, consistency--but I need energy to do that, I plead. Silence.
This Exhaustion seems hell-bent on staying in my life. For whatever reason, God has decided to leave it here.
So I've decided to change tactics.
I've decided to open my arms and accept The Tired into my life. As a teacher. As a blessing in disguise. As an opportunity for growth. As a way to build strength and courage. The wind, it can be cold and miserable, but it can also fill the sails of a ship and take you where you want to go.
I've decided to unfurl my sails and use this wind to take me to new and beautiful places.
I would tell you more about my new strategy, but I'm about spent for now. I'm going to take a nap. More later.