How to Manage Chronic Fatigue: Just Give Up the Fight

How to Manage Chronic Fatigue: Just Give Up the Fight
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Do you ever go through periods in your life when nothing seems to work out? You leave the freezer door open overnight, bang your shin twice in a week, or ugly cry at the supermarket because they’ve run out of your favorite brand of oat milk. No? Just me then?

Lately, just doing the basics of what is considered “adulting” feels like an uphill climb. It may be a short trip to the shops, walking my dog, or a slow jog to stay sane, but when attempting them all, or even one at a time, I feel like a vehicle with no fuel. It’s like my legs are made of lead, or someone is grabbing me by my shoulders and pushing me down into the ground. The brain fog that comes with all of this means I keep making silly mistakes, missing appointments, and misplacing important paperwork.

Emotionally, trying to keep up with the world is exhausting.

In the past month, I’ve had up to three medical appointments per week. And yet I feel that my symptoms aren’t being looked at to the degree they require.

Most essentially, not a single doctor has said anything about my chronic fatigue. They just accept it as another of my complaints and move on to the next.

Chronic fatigue is real. It’s not in my head, it’s not a lack of motivation. I don’t know whether it’s solely related to my endometriosis, or whether other factors make it the way it is.

What chronic fatigue can feel like:

  • A severe lack of energy
  • Brain fog, dizziness, headaches
  • An inability to focus
  • Heavy limbs
  • Painful joints and muscles
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat

Currently, I am experiencing all of the above. Even writing this column is proving to be a mammoth challenge. My eyelids feel heavy, my arms can barely type, and I am struggling to find the right words.

Life with a chronic disease like endometriosis is akin to running a marathon on a slippery road. I keep falling down and getting up, managing to place one foot in front of the other very carefully, yet I hit the ground again.

So, basically, I’m giving up the fight.

Giving up does not mean shunning medical treatment to manage my symptoms, but it does involve accepting that my current state could benefit from self-kindness and little resistance.

Need help figuring out self-care? Find a dog and start taking notes. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

I won’t be sending any Christmas cards this year because it’s one more thing to do when moving into my new flat, plus feeding myself and my dog, Jarvis, are taking up all of my energy. Forcing myself to run if my limbs won’t cooperate is out of the question. I will earn less money due to my minimal productivity, and that, while not ideal, is just how things are right now.

Fighting chronic fatigue can feel like a losing battle.

Living with a super limited amount of energy can be extremely frustrating. It’s no surprise I am not smiling much lately. My physical health is kicking my butt, and making jokes about it, or seeing the lighter side, is something I often do for others. Truthfully, it’s not the best approach for my own health.

Giving myself permission not to smile feels liberating. Telling myself that it’s OK to stay quiet if speaking is too taxing feels like a treat.

If you also suffer from chronic fatigue, this festive season, give yourself the gift of doing less, or very little. Life with endometriosis, or any chronic condition, requires heaps of self-care, and it starts with slowing down — a lot.

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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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.

Jessie is a writer living in the South of England. She was diagnosed with complex endometriosis in 2016 after two decades of chronic pain, PMDD, and suffering from other health issues since the age of 12. She is a lifestyle and science writer, but has also produced several screenplays and short stories. She is also a lip-synch assassin, a coffee snob, and Madonna’s biggest fan. In 2019 she ran The London Marathon, although her favorite pastime is curling up under a duvet with her two sausage dogs nearby. She writes about periods and endometriosis because she wants to help improve the lives of anyone diagnosed with this disease
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Jessie is a writer living in the South of England. She was diagnosed with complex endometriosis in 2016 after two decades of chronic pain, PMDD, and suffering from other health issues since the age of 12. She is a lifestyle and science writer, but has also produced several screenplays and short stories. She is also a lip-synch assassin, a coffee snob, and Madonna’s biggest fan. In 2019 she ran The London Marathon, although her favorite pastime is curling up under a duvet with her two sausage dogs nearby. She writes about periods and endometriosis because she wants to help improve the lives of anyone diagnosed with this disease

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One comment

  1. Sue Wentz says:

    Hi Jessie,
    I’m weiting from Pa, USA. I was wondering if you have had any ultrasounds with endometriosis. I had sa laparoscopy several years ago to for that reason.
    Sue Wentz

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