My fatigue is not your fatigue

Over the years I’ve had a few misunderstandings about what I mean when I say I’m tired.


For most people being sick or tired means staying at home and watching tv, probably playing a game on their phone or console.

I often read about these activities as part of the resting and recovery process. And I used to experience that too. It’s a good thing.

Those are things I can do when I wake up, usually, but am too tired to do by the late afternoon.

On a reasonable day.


A lot of days I start the day that tired already and simply cannot shake it. It physically like wearing a full body weight belt that I can’t take off, so over time it’s draining and very hard to re-energise.

Today is proving to be one of those days. So I am sneaking in a post before I have to go to bed. Maybe. Sometimes I recover but it’s very hard to predict.


Once I am in bed, there is no browsing on the computer. I am so tired moving my blankets away to reach a keyboard is so draining and so painful that I avoid it as much as possible. I will play an entire series on a streaming service. I don’t have to watch I can just listen.


But it is not restful. My body fights this tiredness, it is not welcome, it is not a relief to lie in bed. It is stressful as it means a day that feels wasted. My brain and my body don’t care that it is needed, they still operate at odds to what I am experiencing. There is no energy to spare but they remember the time when it was possible to dip into reserves or they are expecting the adrenaline to kick in.

It doesn’t.


If I try to ignore what I need and do what  want I wind up confused, unable to complete tasks and so make messes or if working on a project I wind up having to undo all that work later. And I have repeated that cycle numerous times in the past.


No matter how much sleep I had the night before it feels like I have been awake for 20 hours.


Much as my body fights sleep it is needed. Which is very hard for friends to understand. When I need to be in bed by 9pm it means in bed. Not leaving a venue. And I understand it is hard to remember. And communication can be difficult when you have people trying to be kind on the one hand and on the other trying to be polite and not a burden. And everyone having their own lives that operate at different paces to each other.

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