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No, It’s Not Just You

Fatigue. Even the word “fatigue” is fatiguing. It makes me tired just thinking about how tired I actually am all of the time. Fatigue is a very common symptom among those with MS, but also most of the chronic illness community. Many of us have more than one chronic illness and I’m sure you’ve seen the common threads too. We’re tired. We’re tired all the time and we’re tired of being tired.

So what do we do? If you’re like me you’ve tried vitamins, and maybe injections or infusions in hopes to boost your energy. You’ve spend money on supplements, you drink protein shakes, you try like hell the exercise but it just makes you more tired. Sound familiar? Yea, me too. I feel like I have tried everything to to get a boost of energy but nothing seems to be working and it often leaves me feeling like “Is this just me? Why does it seem like everyone else isn’t seeking out quiet places to nap while at work?”

Well that’s because they aren’t. I often forget that I’m sick. that my body is doing the disease dance all day and night long on the inside. Even I tell myself “But you don’t look sick”. In addition to MS, I also don’t have a large intestine which means I don’t absorb nutrients from my food. I tend to think this makes me especially fatigued and if we were playing cards, that would be my trump card. But the reality is that I’m no more tired than you are. My drowsy eyes are not unique to me. While I may be yawning more in meetings than my coworkers, I would be yawning just the same amount if I were in a room full of the chronically ill. Our lives are tiring.

When you bring in the physical aspect of what’s happening in our bodies and compound that with the mental push ups that we do on a daily basis, its no wonder that we’re tired. So what do we do? If you have the luxury of napping, nap. If not, you could stock up on every supplement and multivitamin they make in hopes of boosting your energy. You could get B12 injections and iron infusions. You could exercise more. You could take fish oil and just deal with the fishy burps. OR you could do this; you can stop beating yourself up because you can’t keep up with everyone else. You can accept that you may never be able to have the same energy levels as your “healthy” peers and counterparts. This might mean missing out on some things because you need a nap or a rest or something, but its all about finding the happy medium in life.

Its 9.26am and I’m tired already. I woke up about 3 hours ago, and I could use a nap but I will be at work until 5pm. Around 10:30 I will get so drowsy that I could easily put my face on my keyboard for a deep enough sleep to wake up with home row imprinted on my face. I will go home, and think about exercising or going out with a friend and sometimes, I will. Most times I go home and I rest because its what my bodies needs, whether I like it or not.

Life is exhausting. Give yourself some time to rest and remember that you’re not alone. We all need to take a giant nap together.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Cathy Chester moderator
    4 years ago

    You hit the nail on the head, Jackie. Great article. Now that I’m in midlife and have a son in college I wonder how I did all that I did because it’s not even 8AM and I need a nap!

    Keep doing all the great things you are doing. Your life will still be delicious despite MS because that’s who you are!

  • Sandra Boe
    6 years ago

    This is the reality of having a chronic illness. We are compromised. We don’t live like everyone else because we can’t and maintain some semblance of well-being. One of the things I had to learn before I ran myself into the ground is that I had to make choices about what I wanted to do, how I would spend my time, the work I would do, the people I would spend my time with and how I would manage each and every day. Some people didn’t like that. Well, I can’t live my life to please others — and maybe that’s a lesson EVERYONE needs to learn. First and foremost, we each have to take care of ourselves. If we aren’t well, we sure can’t help anyone else. Our society asks too much of us. We can’t be all things to everyone. I think we’d all be much happier, no matter if we had a chronic illness or not, if we stopped trying to do so many things into our lives. I thik we all need to slow down and ask ourselves what is really important and what really matters. If we did, perhaps there would be fewer of us being diagnosed with chronic illnesses.

  • KatrinaS
    6 years ago

    I just love your writing. Thank you.

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