Sunday, September 4, 2011

Your Body is Talking. Shut Up and Listen!

Well, it's 2 a.m. and while I'd love to be drifting off to dream, something I ate for dinner is fighting back. Have you seen those Tums commercials where the person is trying to eat and their food keeps smacking them in the face? Yeah, that's been my night. I've taken my Nexium, my emergency heartburn meds AND 4 Tums. All to no avail. I don't want to lay down and run the risk of choking on any reflux, so until I feel assured it's safe, I'll be up for awhile.

Which provides a perfect time to re-write last night's post. It went a little like this ...


I've been exhausted and fatigued a lot over the past couple of months. It's not fun.

I have been hearing a lot of other sufferers having difficulty coping with fatigue and exhaustion, as well. it makes them question themselves. It causes depression. Which,in turn, stresses your body out. Stress makes the condition worse. The condition gets worse, so does the fatigue. See the vicious cycle here?

I understand the depression. I understand needing a nap every afternoon, because you honestly, physically are unable to go on without one. I know how pissy that can make a person. I've had those "everyone else my age doesn't need an afternoon nap, I shouldn't either....I must be lazy" thoughts. I've been struggling with them and this cycle since my late teens when my thyroid was running rampant had shit the bed and almost landed me in a coma.

I have come to some realizations about this all, that I'm going to share with you. I want you to really consider what I'm saying. Autoimmune sufferer, or not. Think about it. If it makes sense ... DO IT!

We, Americans as a whole, have become huge over achievers. Big, "I have to be at the head of the pack-ers". We think we have to be the head of our department at work. We have to be able to fit some kick ass workout into our schedule so we have abs of steel. We have to do all of this, while trying to figure out how to retire early, so we can enjoy life.

If something gets in the way of any of that, society tells us we're being lazy. We tell ourselves, we're being lazy. If someone doesn't have the drive, or desire to be a doctor, or head the next great world saving company ... they are lazy. If they don't work 8-10 hour days, play super parent, and keep a spotless house, they are lazy.

We have this so ingrained in who we are these days, that, when our bodies actually speak to us and say "hey, I'm exhausted. I need some downtime" we get mad. We question our bodies. We call ourselves lazy.

Laziness is defined as a lack of desire to expend effort. In my mind, lazy is a conscious effort. Something you intentionally think about. For example, making the conscious decision to stay in my pjs all day and watch a Criminal Minds marathon, might be more along the lines of lazy. And, not necessarily a bad thing once in awhile, mind you.

Taking a nap because your body hurts and is physically tired is not lazy. It's listening.

Our bodies aren't designed to be lazy. They are designed to survive until survival is impossible. They are designed to do whatever they can to achieve that survival. When we get cold, our body starts shutting down blood supply to our extremities to protect the organs in the core and insure survival. If we can, we listen to our bodies in this scenario and put onward clothes, or go warm up.

So, why is it, that when our bodies say they're tired, we either ignore and try to push through, or we throw a fit and get all pissy about it?

Next time your body asks you for a break, be kind and give it. Take that nap. Don't grumble about it. Enjoy that your body is communicating with you and trying to help you survive. Enjoy your naps. Let them be welcome reminders to slow down. Did I mention to enjoy a nap?

Then, the rest of the time, do what you can, when you can. If fatigue pops back up. Oh well. So be it.

I suggest stepping away from the over achieving way of life. Start enjoying the stuff you were saving until later. What if there is no later? What's that rushing around, over-achieving, body ignoring, conquer the world mentality going to get you if its all gone tomorrow?

Enjoy your life. Be a good person. Be present in your life. Live like you would if today were your last day. Live like you were dying.

I can almost guarantee your body will thank you for it.

And YOU will be OK with that.


Ms.Saucy said...

when i was "little" (probably high school) i fell asleep on my gramma's couch at one holiday---or maybe i was just over there visiting, i really can't remember....but when i woke up i thought Virginia would be so pissed but she just shrugged and said "you wouldn't have slept if your body didn't need it".....that has stuck with me ever since---so whenever i take a 3hr midday nap, i figure i must need it. :) i think it's one of the smartest things my gramma ever told me.

LoJo said...

That's what I believe, too. Sometimes, it's hard to embrace when it seems "the rest of the world" is off " living" while you're napping ... But in the end, if my body is tired, its needs sleep and it gets it,