This low energy I am experiencing… it seems new, this need to lie on the couch day after day, but the truth is, I have always struggled with energy.
I remember as a young child, walking home in the snow. While other children were running, and playing, I was struggling with every step. I thought it had to do with my feet, as my legs were always sore due to being born with severe club feet. But when others ran, I wanted to sit, or struggled to keep up. The energy just was not there.
It wasn’t just about play time, either. Eating was an activity that seemed to require a whole lot of energy. I remember the days when it seemed to take hours to finish an apple, and how draining the activity was. I still prefer cooked apples over fresh for the energy it takes to eat them.
Before my son was born, when I was living with his father, I spent day after day sitting on the bed. Though I hated the mess, it weighed on me until I could not move, and he considered me lazy. But to be lazy, one would have to have the energy, and refuse to use it. I wanted to move, but it was like trying to run through water – the world seems to push back against me.
When my son was about a year old, I began babysitting my young cousin. Always I had wanted many children, yet with just the two of them, I was too worn out to even be able to think. I would sleep when they did, and struggle to stay awake when they were awake. Not a good situation for someone taking care of two babies, and I am still surprised the three of us survived it.
Through my life, I have had moments of energy, but they never lasted long. I had days as a child where I would walk with my brother for miles… but I think it was his energy that kept me going, as I didn’t want to be left behind.
For my son’s first year, I walked six hours a day – but his father didn’t want us around, and I just had to get out of the house. Again, not my energy, but born out of necessity. For the next two years, I battled exhaustion (along with depression,) until I was accepted into college.
At that time, the buses were on strike, and I had to walk up the escarpment to get to school, which I did every day for a month in the cold and in the snow. I went to school, and studied hard. I got good grades, and made it through… but I almost didn’t. The only thing that kept me going through the burnout was the thought that at the end of the course, I would be able to stay home with my son.
And then I ran my daycare – but I didn’t have energy then. I was constantly tired, and seeking ways to keep going. That was why the two hour nap time was essential, and on some days… lots of days, really, I fell asleep along with the children. Not good, I know. Low energy.
When I had my children, I did my very best – but the energy issue meant that I would have days where I could hardly cope. Not in response to the children, but in being able to move at all.
It is like those dreams… the ones I have so often, where even though I know I am asleep and dreaming, my exhaustion is so encompassing that I can’t even keep my eyes open in my dreams. So tired.
So it really makes sense that any struggle – be it illness, depression, a side-effect of medication… – all will lead to such exhaustion that I can’t get up, and can’t even think. That is where I have been for the past month, but to be honest, it isn’t a whole lot different than how I have felt my entire life.
Is it therefore any wonder that I burn out so quickly when I am working, or that I fail so often in all I try to do?
So tired. I hope I find energy soon.