Saturday, August 13, 2022

Grief Fatigue

 When I was pregnant I would experience periods of extreme fatigue where nearly every day, generally sometime in the afternoon, I would become so tired I could barely function. The only solution was to lie down and take a nap.  Now, I’m not pregnant. But a few times outside of pregnancy I’ve experienced that prolonged sense of fatigue and I haven’t been able to kick it or figure it out.  In January of 2017, I had that. It went on so long without reprieve I asked my prayer group to lift me up and a couple suggested I go see a doctor and maybe have my thyroid checked. My doctor checked me out and things looked normal. As she asked me questions I began to share and started talking about losing my mom 6 months earlier and my grief and then it burst. I just started crying and had this moment of clarity.  It wasn’t my thyroid. It was grief. With that awareness I started doing more to actively grieve (psa: grief isn’t just crying or being sad, there are lots of ways to actively grieve—things you can do—to help move through the emotions of your loss). And lo and behold with awareness and intentionality my state of being improved. 


And then it happened again. I was still a little slow on the uptake, but multiple days of that weighty fatigue I’d ask myself, “what is going on with me?” And then slowly it would come, “Maybe it’s grief.” I’d find it was around birthdays and anniversaries….my body was remembering even when my mind was not.  Again I’d engage some of those grieving practices and again I’d find relief.  


Over the years I’ve found the most effective practice for me is telling stories about the one I miss.  


Last month was a really hard month with lots of things coming to a head and a pretty extended illness (not covid). I thought I’d be able to regroup on vacation (and in many ways I did) and at the same time we said goodbye to my dear uncle, and we entered the anniversary month for my mother’s death.  


I’ve been so so tired.  I sleep at night. I eat well. I exercise. I drink water.  And still so much fatigue, sometimes where I simply can’t do anything other than lie down and try and nap.  I wonder how I might get better and then I remind myself…it’s likely grief. You need to tell some stories.  


So, in an effort to heal my heart and spirit I’ll be telling stories.  I’ll keep them on my blog (even though I hardly ever blog anymore) for myself and anyone else who might want to read some.  

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