Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Identity Crisis Of The Permanently Tired

If you are tired, you are just tired, right? You are still the same person, only tired? Except you are not.  At least I am not and I wonder if there is anyone out there suffering from any form of chronic fatigue who is.

Not only am I not the same person I used to be, my adrenal fatigue has thrown me into a full blown identity crisis. Some days I keep myself over water believing that I will be myself again. Some day. Hopefully soon. Other days, like today, I am struggling with the fact that I am not myself any more. And I appreciate that everyone changes and I actually embrace change. However, this is different. There is a difference between being a changed person or not being yourself. I suppose it has to do with authenticity and my body is not allowing me to be my authentic self.

Let me explain what I mean by that: Today I really felt the urge to go for a run. For the first time in a long time did I have this burning desire to feel the wind in my hair and rain on my face and just be out there, moving, sweating, breathing. I went for a walk instead. A short one. I have been to yoga last night and found myself being very dizzy every time I had to come up, moving from one pose to the next and I still have that feeling of dizziness today every time I get up. Plus my whole body is a little achy. So I knew that going for a run would cost me dearly.

The real Sarah loves to be active, she loves to run and she is not scared of the pain or the exhaustion. She is strong both mentally and physically and loves a challenge. She naturally pushes herself to her very limits and loves every second of it. I know that this mindset has had a role to play in my current condition, albeit a small one in my case.

Why does that cause a full blown identity crisis though? Well, words that resonate with me are things like power, strength, machine, beast, animal, unleashed etc. All very powerful, strong words describing, in my mind, very strong and powerful things or people. I am a big fan of sports such as extreme callisthenics and free running and everything that demonstrates both superior physical strength and discipline. As fit as I used to be, I never used to be able to do the kind of stuff those athletes could do, such as a human flag. Hell, I can’t even do a handstand. And yet, I felt a little bit like a part of the tribe. The crazy people that go out for a run in any weather, the ones that sign up to gruelling assault course races, the ones that can’t get enough of it. The ones that have the same feeling I do, like there is an inner beast that needs to be unleashed, let out for an epic run and roar its mighty roar.

I can still feel the roar inside of me, only when I try to let it out, it is a measly little sound, barely there and a far cry from what it once was and what it wants to be.

As you can see from this post, I am a little down in the dumps about it all today. But the little, cute video below has given me a hopeful thought: This little tiger knows that a big roar lives inside him. It comes out as a measly little sound now and people may even laugh at it. But all he needs is time and the right care and one day his roar will be so mighty that anyone who hears it will shake at the knees!

A Detox Gone Bad For A Sure Way Up

Blimey, where did the time go? It has been ages again since my last post. The reasons are altogether quite positive though, with some less positive side effects.

Progress Update

So I have been on my Adrenal Fatigue programme of good nutrition, rest and positive thinking since late October / early November. I have to be honest: Reading Adrenal Fatigue Forums has somewhat freaked me out in the meantime. People described the recovery time to be anything up to 3 years but surely not under 6 months.  What if if remains difficult for that long? So I had to check myself. Here is the low down:

Just 3 months into the programme and the way I feel now is worlds apart from where I was before. I am up and about pretty much every day. I have been away over the weekends and actually getting work done as well. Some days, even though I am tired, it does not feel like my usual desperately tired, but rather like a normal “I did not sleep too well and now I am tired” kind of tired. If you have not experienced the desperately tired kind of tired, it is difficult to explain what I mean by that. Basically, it is the kind of tired that makes you not care what is going on around you. You just want to sleep or at least lie down, no matter what. Fatigued rather than a little sleepy.

Feeling better for me means that I have started doing a lot more again, I am doing Yoga twice a week now and, quite regularly, I am overdoing it which means that I am tired again the next day. But recovery time has greatly decreased and usually I am back on my feet within a day or two and I am still able to do more basic stuff even on the off days. Hence the blog got neglected, because I have used my energy for other things that require more energy than sitting in front of my laptop.

The Negative Side Effects

Since November, I have put on a stone and had an acne break out. I got through my teenage years with a total of about 2 pimples throughout, so you can imagine my surprise when my face broke out in big, painful spots.  My face has been looking like a pizza for the last 2 months and, well, I have not been happy about it. BUT: This is not all bad. It has made me realise a few things and I learned more about the process of getting better.

Detox Gone Bad

When you make good changes in your diet and lifestyle, you will enable your body to start to detox. During a stress response our bodies release a host of different hormones, which, in high doses, adds to the toxicity in your system. Therefore, bodies of those suffering with AF could usually do with a detox anyway. If you now make too many changes too quickly you will not be able to control the detox and it will not happen slowly but rather all at once. This may well have been responsible for the weight gain and certainly for the skin condition. But once I understood that I also understood that I had to support my body as best as I can and wait it out. I do get down about it sometimes, but things are on the up again and that shows me that I am on the home stretch of getting better!

How To Help The Detox

I realised that what I will need to do now as a next step is to improve my digestion. I have been very strict with my diet, adhering to a whole food diet or what may be called eating clean. I love eating clean and the better I feel and the more energy I have, the easier it seems to get as I am trying new recipes and started to really enjoy cooking. So with a good diet, how can my skin become problematic all of a sudden?

I have also had a very weird sensation of hot and cold flashes, with the hot flashes increasing lately. Looking into that, and deciding that I am too young for menopause, another possible reason could be that the body is detoxing. And that reminded me of what I already knew: The skin is a mirror of the digestion. So to improve skin, what I need to do is to improve digestion. To do that, I have started to eat raw fermented foods (which I love anyways) and am very excited that the fermentation jars I have ordered finally arrived, as I will be making me own Sauerkraut. Oh hells yes!!!

In the meantime, I have helped my skin by applying a mask I made myself with raw honey, coconut oil and castor oil to aid the healing of current spots and wounds as well as making my own toner from apple cider vinegar, rose water and witch hazel water. All of this has really improved my skin again. It is not back to its old ways, but much better than it was.

Conclusion

Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. A detox can add new symptoms to your existing ones. Have patience and remember: There is only one way, and that is UP!

Happy New Year – Give It A Fighting Chance

Ah yes, don’t we like a good fight? We fight with each other, we watch others fight, we fight animals, train them to fight each other and we fight for the causes we believe in. Everything is a fight and the more of a struggle it is, the better.

I come to write about this today because as I took a shower this morning I noticed this on a deodorant spray bottle: “Fights white marks!” Huh??? Hang on a moment. I don’t have white marks, naturally. Maybe yellow in a white shirt if I don’t wash it regularly. But I do not produce white marks. Deodorants are known to do that though. Especially the anti-perspirant type. So why would a deodorant need to fight white marks? Don’t give me any to begin with and job done, right? Or does this deodorant give you white marks and then enters a violent fight in your armpit to eliminate the stain again?

You can see why one might get confused over this. But this deodorant’s marketing goes with what we, as a society, want to see. We love a good fight. LOVE IT! If it is not worth a fight, you won’t even get my attention. But I don’t think we are doing ourselves much of a favour with that way of thinking.

You may have heard of the law of attraction. While I, myself, do not believe in a conscious, caring universe that provides everything we wish for, I do believe that we control what goes on in our life. If we continuously focus on the negative things in our live, we will be more aware of all the things that are wrong in our lives. Our brains re-wire themselves all the time and the connections in our brain that transport those negative thoughts are transformed into thought-super-highways. The positive thought connections, in the meantime, shrivel away to little dirt roads and gravel paths until eventually they seize to exist all together. If we chose to count our blessings and see the positives in our lives, we will be happier. I am not saying that being aware of the positive magically attracts more positive things into our life. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. I would argue it does not even have to. By focussing on the positives all the time you raise your awareness to all the good stuff while you become less aware of the shitty bits. So whether there is more of the good actually happening, your perspective has changed and you recognise what there is already.

Let’s take America’s “War on Drugs”. Ever since it started over 40 years ago, the US have spent over $1 trillion. That is a hell of a lot of zeros. But apparently the drug problems have increased over that time. I think this is due to modern facilities maybe making it easier to transport and distribute, but maybe also because since we are focussing on it, we are seeing more of it going on which was previously hidden. One of the reasons why the war on drugs may be failing is because the focus is on the drugs, not on the addiction. So dealers are locked away, but people are left wanting more and they will find it. Lock a dealer up, there is always another one happy to get his job. What if instead we focussed on doing more work to get those who are addicted off the drugs and, better still, give kids more chances to do positive stuff which will keep them too busy to even get into that sort of thing. Once in a blue moon, we hear about a dance or art project that gets kids off the street, out of gangs and away from drugs. But those are little side notes and barely news worthy. A crying shame that is. Imagine if we focussed our attention more on those things and put our efforts and money into creating more of it? We’d live in a better world, I’d say.

So while you are still busy pondering on your new year’s resolutions, why not make it one of them to stop the fight and focus on the good stuff? Open the gates to those shrivelling little paths of positive thinking and build them out to 8 lane super-highways.

There are a few ways you can do that:

  • Keep a gratitude diary – write down a minimum of 5 things every day that you are grateful for, preferably just before going to sleep. This can be a pretty lady smiling at you on the tube, the extra strong latte that was charged as a normal one, live’s every day little sun-rays.
  • Forgive – don’t hold a grudge. Forgive easily and fully. One way to help do that is take yourself out of the equation and try to think from the other person’s perspective. Why did they do what they did? What might have gone on for them? Is there anything that could have made you act in a similar way? Understanding that the way someone else acts is all about them and what they have going on rather than you really helps.
  • Be nice – treat others like you want to be treated
  • Say thank you – to other people, to yourself, in every situation you find yourself in. Find the positive. Someone slaps you in the face, but it got you to look down and see that penny in the road. Awesome, you just found yourself a penny! 99 more slaps and you got yourself a pound 😉

What goes on in your life goes on no matter how you think about it. This is where you are in control. See the negatives and be miserable or focus on the good stuff and be happy. It is up to you. Your decision.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet

Have a great 2014!!!