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I miss being authentically tired.
I miss being tired because I have put in a long, hard, physically active day. One in which perspiration dries to a salty layer on my skin, and is only removed by a steamy hot shower.
I miss having muscles that are sore after an exercise class, or a long uphill hike. I miss putting on my gloves and unloading hay bales from a wagon and grumbling because it's such dusty and scratchy work.
I miss jumping and running and dancing and doing all those things that leave one gasping for breath but giddy with laughter. I miss feeling bone tired yet confident that a good night's sleep will erase it all, and I will awaken the next day ready to tackle anything.
Autoimmune fatigue feels fake. It feels artificial, unnecessary and undeserved. One should have to legitimately earn this sensation of feeling so tired, and I haven't done a single thing that warrants even one drop of sweat on my forehead.
I don't deserve to be this tired, really, I don't.
I wonder what makes exhaustion legitimate?
I mean, what kind of exertion earns that gold foil stamped certificate of authenticity? Is it energy put forth for some kind of visible product? Is it sweating resulting in the appearance of toned and fit muscles? Is is made evident by that newly-mowed lawn and weed-free garden? Do shiny floors and gleaming polished furniture give legitimacy to someone's hard work? Or hours of labor resulting in stacks of freshly-printed, collated, copied, and stapled reports? How about a hundred shingles newly nailed in perfect, even rows? Or the person that hands over a dozen crisply ironed and spotless dress shirts?
I'd put my stamp of approval on an individual collapsed in a heap as a result of those exertions. Yessir, If I was in charge, I'd smack that person's forehead with a big old stamp that said, "THIS PERSON DESERVES TO BE TIRED". And I'd put a gold sticker on their chest, too.
Now, I know that my fatigue is real. I do have that knowledge tucked away in my brain. I have been told this by reputable people, and have read it in authentic medical sources.
Knowing is different than understanding.