Aug. 21, 2020

Still Not Feeling That Great

After about a week of feeling pretty good and having more energy, I'm back to just sitting around and spending half the day fighting to stay awake. I hate this. I tried not to hope and dream, but after a week straight of feeling better, I really thought the meds were working. Then yesterday, I could barely stay awake all day. I was too fatigued to safely drive or do much of anything. I had to have a huge cup of coffee around 6pm just to make it to 10pm, and I was still in bed by 11pm because I was absolutely exhausted. I literally did nothing yesterday. I barely even left my chair.

I made sure to take my pill at 9pm last night, went to be early (didn't really have a choice as I couldn't stay awake any longer), and was able to get up at 6:30am like I had been doing earlier in the week. But by the afternoon, I was barely awake again and unable to do much. I did try to clean up the kitchen, but as always, as soon as I went down there, my husband and daughter started arguing so I gave up after only moving stuff off the counters to the sink. I also managed to drive to the bank and Dollar Tree for school stuff. Both are about 3 miles from our house so it's not like I drove far. I felt perfectly alert to do this at around noon, but my anxiety was getting the better of me. By 3pm, there's no way I could have physically drove--I was too mentally fogged and physically fatigued to safely drive. Ugh.

It's so frustrating because those other days I was going to bed at midnight (or later) and waking naturally at 6:45-7am. Then making coffee around 8am and cleaning things up then going outside or into the garage around 11am to work for hours (moving, organizing and/or pulling weeds) then making dinner and doing other random things without feeling the mental fog of chronic fatigue until very late at night (which would be expected after such a long day). Now, I'm once again struggling to stay awake and make sense of my own thoughts.

I took my mood stabilizer at 10pm tonight even though I've been struggling to stay awake since around 5pm. Hopefully, this is all just a fluke or my body still adjusting to the new energy and natural routine (I can't remember ever being able to function on less than 8 hours of sleep, at least not for very long--I often did it when my kids were little but it was never pretty).

I'm trying to stay positive, but it's hard when I feel like this again. And even just getting tired early in the evening (at an acceptable time for getting up at 6am after only 6 hours of sleep) gives me so much anxiety. I mean the tiredness is totally normal and expected, but it feels like the constant fatigue I had for over a year that it makes me sick. It's like I'm having flashbacks to just a few weeks ago when things were bad. Some kind of PTSD or something?

Written by justanotherjen

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Posted On Aug 23, 2020

I hope you're able to stay positive- I'm rooting for you! I also struggle with chronic fatigue, really bad anxiety, and C-PTSD, so I know how rough what you're going through must be. Flashbacks are definitely something that happens with PTSD, but they can happen with trauma in general like remembering a time that was bad as you said (or even if the trauma is just related to chronic illness)- it's certainly not something to ignore. If something is affecting you to such an extent that it's causing you mental anguish, you shouldn't have to live like that! I'd talk to my doctor about it for sure. I hope something can be done for you soon!

Posted On Aug 24, 2020

@iyazo The "T' in PTSD was definitely the trauma of dealing with a chronic illness that has kept me from living a normal life for years. The thought of going back to that life causes so much anxiety I get sick. I've even felt very close to panic-level anxiety when I get super sleepy because it's hard to remember what it feels like when I'm not like that (even if it was just hours ago). My brain just can't process it because of the fog the fatigue causes. It's dumb but not something I can really help since the brain fog seems to be a physical thing (not mental).

I just try to keep reminding myself that yesterday or even hours earlier, I felt fine and this feeling will go away. Except I don't know for sure it will go away, and that's what terrifies me. Ugh.

Posted On Aug 24, 2020

@justanotherjen It's not dumb if it's something you can't help... I can understand how difficult that must be for you though. I often end up overworking myself when I'm feeling well and end up paying for it later, and it feels like when I get stuck like that I'll never get unstuck again... It is scary, but I wish you the best with your struggles

Posted On Aug 25, 2020

@iyazo Yeah, it's hard to focus on positives when things have been so negative for so long. Like I know from my experience the last couple weeks that I'll feel better in the morning, but I also have over a year's worth of experiences where nothing stemmed the fatigue (not even sleep). It's kind of like drowning. I just spend nearly two years struggling to tread water and keep my head above while constantly dunking under. Now I have an innertube that keeps me up, but in the past, my inner tube has popped so... It's hard to have faith in it when the overwhelming experience is drowning. You know?

Each day I have a positive outcome helps build the faith back up, though.

Posted On Aug 26, 2020

@justanotherjen Then you have a very good way of going about it. I need to be more positive. I've posted a lot of negative things that have happened to me, but a lot of positive might be coming from it for me. It is difficult to have that faith until things pull through when everything seems uncertain.

How do you manage to stay positive when it feels like you're in over your head?

Posted On Aug 27, 2020

@iyazo I think my meds have been the deciding factor in my positivity lately. Usually I'm too depressed to be positive about anything. My meds seem to be working so I'm able to push through the depression and selft doubt and remind myself that it won't always be this bad. Like mornings, I have more energy and feel better, but as the day goes on, the fatigue starts to set in. I start to forget that I even felt good in the morning because the fatigue is so overwhelming. But I remember I that I felt good. I do. I just don't remember how that felt. If that makes sense. Like remembering you needed something at the store but not what you wanted to buy. I know I felt better even if I can't comprehend what "better" feels like in my fatigued state.

It's a constant struggle after being nothing but fatigued 24/7 so it's hard, but I'm getting there little by little.

Apparently, I've picked up some therapy/self-help techniques on my own over the years. I told my new pysch doctor that I had been watching the Portland protests on Twitter but they were giving me tons of anxiety. But I was also having tons of anxiety if I didn't watch them. So I was in a constant state of anxiety until I figured out the reason I was having anxiety when not watching them was because I felt it was the only way I could help--I can't go to the protests for various reason and have no money to donate, so the only thing I could do was be a witness to what was going on so later I could tell people what I saw happening. Once I figured that out, the anxiety eased and I was able to walk away from Twitter to save my mental health. She said that's exactly what a therapist would have had me do--analyze the anxiety and figure out what was causing it to help alleviate it. I just figured that out on my own.

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