In my segments, “What’s Wrong With Me” parts 1 – 6, I’ve been describing my medical/holistic journey once I started feeling “bad”. But was did “feeling bad” mean for me?
My favorite way to describe my health is to say that I feel like I became really exhausted when I entered the last trimester of my pregnancy with Baby #4 (that’s okay, Baby Girl– I still love you SO MUCH!!!). My last trimester left me feeling like I just couldn’t get out of bed. I expected that I would heal and regain my energy after her birth and my hormones settled down. In retrospect, I never truly recovered. So now Baby #4 is a freshly-minted nine year old, and I still feel exhausted and fatigued.
I realized that I couldn’t get out of bed so easily in the morning. The Babies, as the younger two are called, got me out of bed because I knew there were diapers to change, breakfasts to make…but every week I could feel myself wilting more and more. Conversely, I seemed to get my second wind at everyone’s bedtime. This felt like Party Time to me! Over the years, Party Time went from lasting until 11:00pm, to midnight, to 1:00am, to 2:00am…you get the picture. I can’t count how many times I had to make myself go to bed at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. And so that particular vicious cycle began to wear down even further what few energy stores I had left. And in case you’re curious, Party Time for me was watching crime shows while knitting and drinking some red. Mmmmmmm….good times….
In the meantime, like every other woman on the planet, I pressured myself to look like I’ve never had kids. Just so you all know–men AND women–this is not possible except for the .0000005% of the women with exceptional genes that we love to hate. I began the habit of working out while exhausted (I’m not sleeping at this time, remember). The more punishing the workout, the more I felt I was earning my weightloss. However, I began to notice two problems with my crushing workouts: 1) Instead of losing weight, I seemed to be only maintaining what I felt was a higher weight and 2) if I was already exhausted going into the workouts, you can imagine what I felt like afterwards.
The closer I got to 2012 (my noticeable symptoms began in 2007), the more I felt that I was literally dying. My quality of life was going down the drain…I was hesitant to make plans with friends because I could never guess how I’d feel when our get-together day came. I wasn’t bonding with my kids or husband the way I wanted because I was just too tired. My hair was falling out…I did not discover this until 2015– and boy, was it was devastating. The hairloss was so insidious that until my hairdresser pointed it out to me, I had no idea how much I had thinned out.
So now I’m gaining weight and losing hair. I sleep for 8 hours (at least!!) and wake up feeling tired anyway. Really, Universe? Why do you hate me? Here’s a list of what I felt/feel:
**weight gain, despite healthy eating, calorie-counting, and working out
**constant fatigue, regardless of the amount of sleep I was getting, including napping
**brain fog: not remembering things easily, feeling confused, difficulty concentrating
**loss of ambition…not having energy to do things that needed to be done, let alone what I wanted to get done
**loss of friendships due to being unable to make plans
**depression, frustration, and all the other negative things that end with -sion or -tion
**HEAVY periods (due to fibroids)
**incessant sugar cravings
**Did I mention fatigue? Fatigue, fatigue, and more fatigue…
And so began my journey to healing. The more aware I became of my symptoms, the more I knew I needed help. At the time, I felt it was so unfortunate that I could not get my help through conventional doctors, but it has been a blessing learning from the holistic community. In future segments, I’ll share what I’ve learned 🙂
CJ hopes that if you’ve been gaining weight for no apparent reason, you’re losing your hair and your mind, and just never feel rested, that you’ll take heart and know that you’re not alone. Countless groups on Facebook will show you that there tens of thousands of people feeling the same way. With the right group of holistic mentors, you can find the help you need. Don’t give up! And stay tuned for CJ has learned in the holistic community…it is her hope it will help you, too!