Right now I am sitting in a quiet house. It’s quiet because Imogen is taking a nap and Ian and Jason aren’t here. They left yesterday for our church’s annual camping trip. As much as I love my guys and my church family dearly, I decided to stay home and get some rest.
And now with a bit of extra time, I figured I would finally write and give an update on how I’ve been doing since my last post about my adrenal fatigue.
Through the spring and into the summer, I made good progress in gaining back sleep-filled nights and more energy during the day. I have also made some dietary changes and added some supplements to my regimen and I think this has helped. I am trying to avoid stressing about things, too.
This has led to many more days when I feel like me. Some days are even so good that I wonder if I’m just making this fatigue up in my head!
The summer has been a busy one. When July came around and we traveled to Minnesota I wondered how I would manage. But it all went off without a hitch. I kept plugging along, having fun and enjoying myself without having to slow down from fatigue or feeling ragged and anxious from lack of sleep. I even started back up with exercise. With each new day, new activity, new challenge, I wondered if I would hit a wall, but I didn’t.
Then August came along. By the time I hit mid-month I was going way too hard. I kinda saw it coming, but I just kept going until I hit that wall I was looking for. Part of it was circumstance in that we just happened to have a lot of visitors and activities during August. But I also realize I wasn’t taking care of myself – staying too busy and stressing about certain things. I plowed through the warning signs my body was giving me. This ended with me back to sleepless nights and days filled with highs of nervousness and lows of exhaustion.
It has taken me longer than I was expecting to bounce back from this relapse, but I think that’s because I fell harder. In all my sleeplessness and navel-gazing I’ve had some time to think about how I got here, and here’s what I’ve got.
I remember as a 15-year-old driving fast and never worrying that that could kill me (I’m sure my parents saw that terrible gleam in my eye as I sped off). Fifteen years later it’s not hard for me to see that was stupid. I’ve slowed down considerably (plus, the mini-van just doesn’t have the same get-up-and-go that my Volkswagen did 😉 ).
At 30, I think I’m learning something similar; I’ve got to slow down and take care in life. It means I cannot assume on my own strength. I’ve got to rest and trust and be okay with a mess or the future or how I’m perceived or how things are not going my way. It means using what strength I’m given to love my husband and kids, work quietly with my hands, and draw near to God daily. It is not as dramatic and exciting as flying treacherously around a corner, but it’s wiser, more loving to others, and it pleases God.
Obviously this is a work in progress. I wouldn’t have just gotten done explaining how I’ve been doing it wrong if it wasn’t. There is so much more to it than just taking care of my body; I’ve got years of habitual worrying to address. I’ve got that daily agenda that is just so stinkin’ hard for me to put down. And there’s the guilt I feel for all the things I think I should be doing.
In all this, 2 Corinthians 4:16 has been very helpful to me: “So we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
This promise has lifted me up, even if it’s just for a moment, out of how I feel and reminded me that God must be growing something green in my soul. This struggle is for good. I am learning and changing. Even if on the outside I look and feel like a dry root, God assures me there is life going on underneath, inside.
Who knows, maybe some day I’ll be like a big tree planted by a stream. That would be pretty cool. And really, isn’t that the goal, no matter obstacles we face in life?
But for now, today, I will be thankful for my little green sprout, slow down, and take my vitamins.