Something clicked for me today. For the past week or so I have been unusually tired–drained. Yes, I still go about doing what needs to be done but I just feel low on energy. I’m still walking with my neighbor most mornings, my diet is still good, and I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. For the past couple of days I have started to ask myself what is going on. As I have been putting this post together–which, incidentally, has taken me over a week for reasons I now see more clearly–the dots now connect. I wrote a certain story about myself that began just a year or so into taking anti-depressants. There were two major side effects for me from the medication: 1) tiredness (a lot of it!) and 2) loosing feeling (a topic for another day). Did the anti-depressants cause some chemical changes in my body that caused the tiredness that could not be controlled for? Likely. The point is that I unknowingly began to write a different story about who I was based on the realities of how I was feeling–tired. My story began with, “I am tired much of the time. The fact is that I have to take a two-hour nap in the afternoon while my children are taking their naps or I can’t make it through the evening.”
Stories. They are the stuff of life. They have been around since the dawn of time. It is how traditions, family ties, cultures, and beliefs are borne and thrive. My question to myself today is how the story I began to create over a decade ago has and is influencing me right now. Is there a connection right now, today, in my tiredness script of years gone by and now? I’m confident there is. I have not been on Prozac for 3 1/2 years (as of Sept 2014) so I cannot use that as my “excuse.” So what will I do? Connect the dots…
Paraphrasing from my journal:
The ups and downs of the ride with the depression monster are fairly stable during the years of 2000-2005. The biggest thing I notice is issues with tiredness. I put most of that into the fact that I am a young mother with young children–five of them within seven years. Who would not be tired! The tiredness is a fairly recurrent theme that I discuss with my doctor. He does some tests and finds that my thyroid is not balanced. So I begin thyroid medication in 2004. I take synthroid for two months and it does not change anything. I am still so tired and have to take a nap in the afternoon. My doctor gives me armor thyroid and it seems to help somewhat.
This morning I had my annual physical with my doctor. Steve came with me. I have really been struggling emotionally and physically over the summer. It feels like I am back to square one with tiredness issues and it’s been a really long time since I’ve felt like I’m on a roller coaster emotionally. So, we talked about all of this. My blood work shows very low progesterone and DHEA levels, as well as a drop in my thyroid levels. The short story is that I will start taking the progesterone and DHEA supplements again and up my thyroid meds to 180 mg. I am going off of prozac and will take another anti-depressant—cymbalta. There are not supposed to be any side effects of tiredness from this one. I am hopeful for a change in how I feel. I know I am having these challenges so that I can empathize with others who have health challenges and not be judgmental.
My daily prayers to my Higher Power always include the phrase, “Please give me the stamina to make it through the day.” My thoughts are that I just need to endure as best as I can because this is my challenge in life and there isn’t much that can be done about it. Other people have much larger challenges anyway so I should be grateful that mine is only what it is.Connecting the dots: Today I will create a new story about who I am without continuous feelings of tiredness. I will take out a piece of paper and fill it with all of the ideas that will flood my mind as I create a new story. Gone is the script that I just need stamina to make it through the day. Gone is the script that there isn’t anything more that I can do to not be tired. The new story will sit by my bed and I will read it every night. I want my brain to chew on this new information! I get to create my stories. I am in charge of how they read and manifest.
What story about yourself do you hold onto that needs to be rewritten? Change your story and you just might be surprised at what happens. It matters!
(first published Sept 30, 2014)