How to do anything as a person with chronic fatigue
iving with chronic fatigue should be a sport it’s such a monumental challenge, except it can’t be a sport because every single competitor would be too tired to turn up for the qualifying rounds, never mind the main event.
“I know just how you feel, I’m really tired too”
No you don’t and no you’re not. I mean, maybe you are tired but being tired is not the same as chronic fatigue not by a long shot. Being tired means you can have a nap or a rest and feel better. Being tired means you have a rough few days then it’s back to life as normal. Being chronically fatigued means feeling exhaustion down to your bones and then into the marrow. It’s harrowing, draining, and worst of all it’s completely misunderstood.
I know that sounds bleak, and sometimes it does feel a bit bleak if I’m honest, but that doesn’t mean my chronic fatigue has beaten me. I know I have to learn to live with my chronic fatigue and all that it brings with it, and sometimes I even manage to find the humour in the ridiculousness of a day where I’m too tired to sit up let alone leave my bed all day (yes, it is possible to be too tired to even sit up).
Living with fatigue
Much like an overly friendly neighbour who chats too much, or a housemate who never changes the toilet roll, learning to live with chronic fatigue often means learning to laugh at the annoyingness of a situation, or you’d become overwhelmed.
Developing personal coping mechanisms (and a good sense of humour) is a big help, particularly your own self-imposed rules for easier living. For example, here are a few of my own top tips for coping with chronic fatigue:
⭐ Psych yourself up for 3 hours before going to the toilet
⭐ 5 minutes of activity = 7 hours rest plus heavy sweating
⭐ Become one with your sofa
⭐ Death stare anyone who starts a sentence with “Can you just…”
⭐ Take 63 billion days to recover from any activity
Ok, I jest, but sometimes this is what it really feels like and if you can’t take it with a side of dark humour how do you survive? I know it worries the non-disableds in our lives, I get it, from the outside it seems a little twisted. But trust me when I say, humour has gotten me through the worst of it and it’s my illness so I will cope how I want to!
Chronic fatigue is no laughing matter
I’m not trying to be glib, I promise. I’m deadly serious about making fun of myself and my chronic fatigue because frankly, it’s just another personal coping mechanism I’ve developed. Disability is a serious issue, but that doesn’t mean the disabled community is miserable fun-drained gang – we’re pretty much the opposite in my experience! So many in the community face the challenges of disabilities with good humour, and it helps, it really does help.
Although I would never dream of poking fun at someone else – and neither should you – I think I’ve earned the right to poke fun at myself and my annoying constant companion of chronic fatigue.
So strap in, suck it up and learn to laugh with me not at me.