Some people will notice I’m pale and often tired. They’ll pick up on my bad physique. See me yawning or catch me closing my eyes for a minute.
And some of those people know I go to bed at 9:30, to get my 8+ hours of sleep. They know I take naps a couple of times a week. On an average day, that nap takes me 30 minutes. On a bad day, it can last up to 2 hours. They see me less than they used to, as rest is often more acute than my social life. Some of them know I have health-issues I was born with, as well as a cocktail of medications with a matching array of side-effects.
But most people don’t know any of it all. They see a perky young woman, just like any other. They see my positivity and childlike nature. They are genuinely surprised when I have to tell them I need a break.
And that’s where it gets sour. It is hard to ask for understanding, when the majority of my burden is hidden from the public. Responses generally range from good natured platitudes to well… misunderstanding.
“I’m also tired, you know.”
“Maybe you sleep too much.”
“Perhaps you should try to push your limits.”
“Isn’t napping making it worse?”
“What about changing your diet?”
“Don’t be such a pussy.”
I know people mean well. And I know it is confusing that I work hard on the one hand and seem to be an energetic happy person; but on the other hand need to focus a lot on resting. That I try to do sports 2-3 times a week, but that some days I just cannot get up on my feet to do anything. Not even getting dressed. That sometimes I need an off-day and just sleep through it.
I have to accept that I will always be tired. It will not go away. It will never go away. The good days are great. The bad days are exhausting. And I never know when it will hit me.
But that’s ok. I’ve never been healthier than the past few months, mainly thanks to ice hockey. I enjoy life and have a lot of adventures. Even if that means having to plan my days around naps and early nights.
Now you know my secret.