And I’m not talking about working ourselves to exhaustion up to the age of retirement and then being too tired to enjoy the rest of our lives. What I’m speaking about is much worse.
When people ask you how you’re feeling, do you respond, “I’m okay, just tired?”
Well, did you know you are doing yourself a disservice? Tired is an overused word that doesn’t quite cut it anymore. We short change our feelings, deny our physical state of being, and fall into an age-old trap simply by saying we’re tired.
People with severe depression say they’re tired, when in reality it’s so much more than that.
Cancer patients say they’re tired, when actually their body is exhausted from being in a fight for their lives.
And when a lupus patient says they’re tired, they aren’t looking for more sleep, someone to clean their house, or even cook a meal for them.
Do we use this word because we lack the presence of mind to fully explain how our disease exhausts us?
Are we verbally challenged?
Do we not know how to explain how we physically feel?
Or perhaps we’re too lazy to take the time to explain to the uninformed what having lupus feels like.
Or perhaps it’s all of the above.
Whatever it is we need to build a new vocabulary with words that go beyond the same old tired. We need words that say we have used all of our energy getting out of bed, showering, and getting ready for the day. We need to be able to tell people that the simple act of walking is like trying to move our bodies through a vat of glue. We should be able to verbalize the pain and agony movement causes, which in turn makes us not want to move, leading to a lack of energy from doing as little as possible on a daily basis. Our words should help others understand while bringing light to the life we live.
If we are sleepy, shouldn’t we be able to say we are sleepy?
If we don’t want to do something, can’t we simply say we’d rather not do that?
If we just want to veg on the couch and binge watch television, why do we fear people thinking we’re just lazy when in reality we don’t have the energy, desire, or ability to do anything else. Why can’t we say, “I just want to veg,” without further explanation?
Shouldn’t we understand enough about ourselves and our disease to know that we are not simply tired? Tired implies exhaustive work, or lack of sleep. While the second part may be true, the first part rarely is. We default to using the word tired for a variety of reasons, but the reasons aren’t valid when it comes to lupus and many other chronic illnesses including depression. Tired itself has become a tired and useless word. We can do better.
© 2017 Wanda M. Argersinger
All Rights Reserved