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exhausted? me too.

Does anyone else wake up exhausted? I could sleep eight hours like a baby, from 10pm to 6am without a single disturbance. And yet I would still wake up feeling like I hadn’t slept in years. And not just that – throughout the day, my entire body will ache with fatigue. Walking from one room to another can leave me winded. Sometimes I may even need to lie down.

For the longest time, I accepted this as my normal. I work out, I eat healthy, I thought. I’m doing everything I should be doing. Maybe my baseline is just…lower than everyone else’s.

One day in therapy, I casually mentioned how sleepy I was. Did you get rest last night? She asked. I explained my curse – that no matter how much sleep or rest I get, I will always be completely depleted.

She paused. My therapist’s pauses always scare me. After a thoughtful moment, she asked, “Are you exhausted or drained?” “What’s the difference?” “The difference is, does your body need more quality rest, or does your mind?”

I noticed it everywhere after that. I noticed my exhaustion when I would think about the things that cause me anxiety or stress. My whole body feeling like it had been hit by a truck when something would happen to trigger an unhealed part of me. I wasn’t exhausted. My body was responding. It was in constant response mode, fight or flight. There was no such thing as rest inside of me.

Rest goes beyond physical calm. Rest is journaling, rest is aromatherapy. It is quiet daily walks and reflection, and it is gratitude. It is setting boundaries – with others and with yourself. Rest is nourishing yourself. Rest goes beyond sleep. Rest is to restore all parts of you.

That exhaustion creeps up from time to time. But now I know what it means. It means there is something that needs to be addressed. It may mean that I need a little extra support from my friends or my therapist that day. It may need I need a little extra self-care.

Sometimes I get lucky, and it’s just a nap.


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