My world right now feels like one giant, endless white desert, and every horizon – as far as the eye can see – comprises nothing but the word TIRED in large, 3D letters. For some reason, I can move freely through these letters – and I do. Despite seeing the desert clearly through the letters, they seem solid enough. But walking to – and through – a word, shimmers it like a mirage, moving it so that it always fills utterly the sum of my view.
So tired, the very word brings me to tears.
Shaking with stupid, soundless sobs.
And my back hurts.
It seems even more contemptible in words than it does swirling round in the vortex of energy draining my brain, as if someone pulled the plug at the base of my hypothalamus and let it all out.
Adrenal Fatigue is the official diagnosis. The cause? Years and years of intense (and mostly self-inflicted) stress, far too much coffee, and way too little sleep. I don’t know when it all started, but I do know that I was well and truly entrenched in this lifestyle by the time I was 14 years old.
That’s a lot of life.
The treatment is a simple, three step programme:
Apparently I need to plan on getting at least 9-10 hours of sleep every night for the next two to three years. (Looking wistfully to her right, she sighed slightly as she suppressed a mirthless snort of laughter. Sleep. Oh how she laughed).
- Drink less coffee
Again, ha ha ha. Coffee is fuel. I need it more than oxygen. It’s not a beverage, it’s a personality trait. I have been instructed to cut back to no more than 2-3 cups a day. Please, hold the applause while I announce that I have actually succeeded at this so far (today is day four). I feel awful, and it turns out I really do have absolutely no personality without coffee. Duller than ditchwater, me. And you thought I was dull when I ditched the vino. *Snigger*. All I am now is a bag of well-padded bones with a sleep-deficit and a self-deprecating bent that went out of style in the ’80s.
- Exercise – moderately!
I started exercising on Saturday. Have I mentioned how much I love to run? I do. I love it. And I haven’t run in at least eight months. Why not? Well, we’ve recently had a spate of crime that kept many of us runners off the roads in the wee hours of the morning. And I have been VERY busy.So I ran. Not far or long – at all. I really am VERY unfit, as it turns out. And now my back hurts, and it’s hard to walk.
Wow. That is some pity party.
Okay, I’m done with that bit. I’m going to start a series on uncovering the basics of adrenal fatigue. But for today, I’m just going to start with the first thing: the implications.
For a long time, my goal has been to have it all. I want to have a career – and business – that changes the world for the better. I want to have an amazing relationship with my well-rounded, brilliant children who have all the input they need from me, loads of crafts and adventures, and a balanced education. I want a welcoming, perfectly decorated home, always brimming with fresh, allergen-free edibles, ready to welcome weary travellers. I want to be useful and supportive in my church, helping ladies draw nearer to God even as I do the same. And of course, I want to be the world’s best wife. Ever.
In short: I want to be Superwoman.
To my enormous disappointment, my body and mind are not on the same page as my will. And, to my horror, my will has lost. I need to face the facts, be realistic, and lay the cloak aside.
Interestingly, this message has come from a number of different places in the last few weeks, and really brought home the fact that it’s time to be realistic, and get some rest.
- Reflections from the eye of the storm
- Desperate: Hope for the mom who needs to breathe
- You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?
- The funny little thing about women’s choice?
- I’m a recovering Superwoman wannabe