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Fatigue

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I have a tendency to be a little hard on myself at times.
 
Yesterday I had another one of those days where I slept 14 hours and didn’t get up until 4 p.m. And then I still went to bed at my normal bedtime (1 a.m.) and didn’t get up until 9:30. So as punishment for my excessive sleeping, I decided that I didn’t deserve a cappuccino today. My colleague thought that seemed a little harsh, but it makes perfect sense to me.
 
But in an effort to be kinder to myself, I’m trying to come up with alternative explanations for why I have been so tired, other than that I am weak, crazy, a bad person, etc. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
 
1.  I’m depressed. But other than the fatigue and excessive sleeping, I don’t really feel depressed. And even if it is depression, I’m already doing everything I can to treat it.
 
2.  I have some physical illness like chronic fatigue syndrome. This is possible, given that I didn’t know I had asthma for a long time, and it accounted for what I perceived as a lack of mental toughness on the tennis court. On the one hand, it would be a relief to have a valid excuse. On the other hand, there would probably be some medication that I would have to take for that condition, too, which would be annoying.
 
3.  I’m tired because it’s the end of the semester, and I’m always tired at the end of the semester. This would make the most sense, but it still bothers me because my colleagues don’t collapse from exhaustion at the end of the term, so that still makes me feel weak.
 
4.  I’m tired because I’m captaining and playing on 2 tennis teams and playing 4-5 times a week. This also makes sense. Until recently, I was only captaining 1 team and playing 2-3 times a week. But how lame is that to be exhausted from too much recreation? Boo hoo!
 
5.  My anxiety is leading to mental and physical exhaustion. This is also possible. But then I start beating myself up about not having a reason for feeling anxious. And I’m not really sure what I can do about that other than to take the Ativan sooner when I’m having an anxiety attack rather than suffering for several hours. But the Ativan might make me sleepy.
 
6.  Blogging is mentally exhausting. All this honesty and self-disclosure is pretty draining. And I hardly ever used social media before. Now I have to use it all the time as part of my blogger duties, which kind of feels like homework. Still, I’ve never heard of anyone needing more sleep from intensive blogging.
 
7.  I don’t need to know the reason why. My feelings are always legitimate. It doesn’t matter what other people are or are not able to do; I have to honor my own needs. I may really need more than 8 hours of sleep, and most of the time I don’t even get that.
 
If this were a multiple choice question where I had to pick the best answer, I guess I’d have to go with #7, because this is what I tell my clients, over and over again, until they believe it. And I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Because my inner critic would give me a hard time about that, too.
 

About Christy Barongan

I didn't know it at the time, but I wanted to be a psychologist so that I could figure out how to be normal. I think many people come to counseling for the same reason. What I've come to learn is that feeling good about myself is not about trying to be normal. It's about trying to be me. But it's a constant struggle for me, just like it is for everyone else. So I thought I would approach this task with openness and honesty and use myself as an example for how to practice self-acceptance.

6 responses »

  1. I'm sorry to hear you are so exhausted. It does sound like you are juggling an awful lot though! Cut yourself some slack. Sometimes the body just needs to take time to recharge, there's no reason for it, it's just needed.

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  2. Thanks somberscribbler. I guess it's another manifestation of that whole swashbuckler thing. Giving up my job, tennis, and blogging are not options, so I guess I'll just have to accept that there will be some days where I will need to sleep for most of it.

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  3. And dare I say it my friend – we aren't getting any younger! I only average about 6 hours of sleep per night or less and I have really started feeling the effects. When I was in college, sleep was no issue at all. Now, it's really becoming one. When your body needs to reboot, it tells you – so sleep and don't feel guilty about it!

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  4. Thanks Becky! It's always good to have permission!

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  5. I read this just now so I hope that you're feeling better now, Christy. Whatever happens, I do hope you won't give up blogging. It can be tiring and draining, yes. But you have to admit it's a good creative outlet too, right? And having that, in turn, makes us energized! (Am I reaching? It was worth a shot!) 😉

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  6. Thanks Joy. Blogging is definitely worth the energy expenditure.

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