I'm not even sure where to start. Let's start with saying, "I am really sorry for disappearing this long." The shortest way to explain is that I literally ran out of energy to interact with people online instead of in person. I'll explain that confusing statement in a moment. But I am really sorry to run out on everyone. I had to pull back for my own sanity. I'm sane now, and on the process of becoming way more healthy.
Where were we? Let's see. In the last couple of years, I have graduated with a Master's degree. Bought a new car. Bought a house. Secured a job in my field (2 weeks after graduation thankfully). And figured out that I likely suffer from CFS.
What is CFS, you might ask? It's a less stigmatized acronym for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is a far nastier bugger than it seems from the description. It never occurred to me that the bone-numbing exhaustion I feel all the time is not normal. At least, it didn't occur to me until I landed my current job, which is in the non-profit health sector. My clients suffer from this kind of fatigue all the time. It's a medical disability. I was talking to them, and it sort of hit me across the head that maybe my inability to wake up in the morning isn't normal. Or how I feel tired after I sleep 9 hours. Or how some days I have brain fog so bad I can't string together 2 sentences properly. Or how I get random, transient joint pain. Or how my throat is always sore. Or how I've had bad migraine headaches without-the-pain since I can remember. Or how I'm sensitive to scents. Or how I get lightheaded when I stand up and can't endure really profound heat without feeling worse. It's not just "chronic fatigue." It's a "grab bag of symptoms that don't seem to go together but make you feel like @#$%."
I figured I was just feeling weird because I had gotten married, started my MA, etc. You know, major life changes. But when I look back on my entire life, I know the CFS trigger (likely when I was 8 years old) and I can see how it flares up when I go through positive/negative stress. Turns out getting married is a positive stress. Grad school is a negative stress. And CFS is the black hole of physical doom that eats up your ability to be productive.
The weird thing is, knowing that I likely have this, and knowing it has no "cure," is actually empowering. Just knowing that this *isn't* normal, that I'm not failing as a human being in some way, is helping me cope. I'm on vacation this week and between that and my discovery, I am starting to kick this thing in the rear. I will likely always struggle with it and have days where I just can't seem to wake up. But I want to minimize those days.
So, this is where it begins. Being healthier. Not letting feeling crappy stop me.
Hi, how are you? I'm doing much better.