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Exhaustion is your body's way of making you take a forced break.

A couple of weeks ago I encountered what my roommate described as “extreme laziness.” A little background…

I am moving out of my apartment and we did a lot of work on it on a Saturday. Finally, my back had had it (I have a bad back) and I told Pauli (who was helping me) that I couldn’t lift anymore. So we gathered up the remaining items and headed home.

The next day (Sunday), I had absolutely zero energy. I tried coding, which helps alleviate boredom. I couldn’t concentrate. I even popped a few Ritalin to wake me up, but it did absolutely nothing. I slept most of the day. I did, however, have to muster enough energy to do the cat chores for the week (cleaning water bowls, emptying litter, vacuuming, trash). At this point, my back was in shambles and my energy level was still very low. I barely made it through the chores.

Monday was work day. I woke up at 7am, hopped online, and began my work duties. However, it was hard to think. I had a team call with one of my mentors, and he asked how I was doing. I replied, “I can barely keep my eyes open.” I was unproductive that day, and then slept the remainder of the day after my work duties were finished.

Finally, on Tuesday, I just couldn’t get out of bed. I DM’d my manager and told him, I need an R&R day because I can’t focus, have absolutely no energy, and there’s no way I can help the team.

With COVID flying around, I thought, “Well, maybe I’m at the beginning of the symptoms.” I e-mailed my doctor and asked for a test, but he said fatigue without a temperature is nothing to be concerned about.

After sleeping most of the day on Tuesday, I woke up Wednesday wide-awake and refreshed. My energy was back. It was a bit weird to be honest.

My boss asked if I needed an extra day, and I replied, “No, but thanks. I’m good now.”

So what triggered the sudden loss of energy? My mom said it could be my sugars (I’m diabetic). My sugars were fine. My sister said I was on too many sleep meds and that was likely the cause.

I brought it up to my psychiatrist that Thursday and rules out sugars, and he decided to adjust my sleeping meds. I did ask him, however, what was up with the extreme fatigue. He said, “You had exhaustion.” I replied back, “Thank goodness, I thought I was going down the path of depression or burn-out.”

“No, no,” he said. “Exhaustion is your body’s way of forcing you into a resting state.” We both agreed it had to do with the amount of stress I was under and the amount I was working.

As a result, I discontinued a few products I’ve been working on, told more clients “no”, and focused on my primary job, which is great.

I don’t wish exhaustion on anybody, but if you do experience it, it’s your body’s way of forcing you into a break.

Thanks for reading!

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