Living with chronic fatigue is not something you can fix overnight. It’s an everyday battle, like fixing your frizzy hair or treating your problematic skin, only it leaves you perpetually defeated. One day, you wake up thinking it’s gone, but the next morning it’s still there. Maybe you start off your week full of energy, when suddenly it hits you: legs of lead, arms covered in tar, a fuzzy brain.
Since my diagnosis took so long, I spent years self-identifying as a lazy person. I thought I had no drive, my painful limbs were just imaginary, and that it was all in my head. Then, after being told I had endometriosis, I had to accept that my lack of energy was a real and long-term thing. Once I learned the nature of the beast, I found coping mechanisms.
I exercise when my body says so
My brain may tell me it has been awhile since I last ran, but if my body is shutting down, there is no reason to grab my trainers. I’ve tried running when I was close to tears, in pain, and over-exhausted. It puts me in a foul mood, and no one wants a cranky running buddy.
I become useless for days, so forcing myself is clearly not worth the effort. I now save my energy and my body thanks me.
Running slowly is perfectly OK
Even when my energy levels are low, if the sun is shining and there is a lovely breeze, it will do me more good to go outside than stay indoors. I may advance at a snail’s pace and even sloths can overtake me, but my own legs will get me back home. That’s a huge morale boost.
Rest days are for recharging
I’m not moving because I can’t, but because it’s a process I need to complete to function. This is my life, my truth and it’s 100 percent valid. I know that sleeping well, taking power naps and learning to say no are ways to preserve “my batteries” and create more energy-filled moments.
Breakfast is for heroes
I hate eating in the morning. The only thing I want is coffee, which is not even that great for me. A few months ago, I started experimenting with energizing smoothies: frozen bananas, berries, almond butter, spinach, you name it. It has made a huge difference in fatigue, to my gut, and my energy levels.
Wearing makeup is a lifesaver
It sounds silly, but this has been a massive morale booster. Looking at myself in the mirror and seeing see my exhausted zombie-eyed face is a big downer. Covering the bags under my eyes with the right type of concealer or wearing a bright lipstick means that I may feel like rubbish, but I don’t look like it. It fills me with hope. I’m a normal person, y’all!
Chronic fatigue is real
It’s not in your head; you are not making it up. It’s actually there and likely to stay long-term. Knowing what it is means you can learn how to fight it every day. Some days, you will barely have the energy to even think about it, but as long as you remember you don’t choose to feel this way, that’s half the battle won.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.