Guest Author: Adi Sattva
No. We are not tired. We are bone-split and quark-sucked.
A healthy person gets tired. I get bone-splitting, quark-sucking fatigue.
Why do I say bone-splitting? Because I’m so tired it hurts. This is not a metaphor. There is actual, physical pain. The kind that disintegrates.
Why do I say quark-sucking? Because I want you to understand the thoroughness, the depth, the minuteness of this enervation. It drains you down to the very detail of your molecules. It sucks life from the heart of your atomic structure. It steals the fabric of quantum level you. It takes what you have and then it keeps taking. Tired doesn’t cover it. Fatigue doesn’t cover it. Even this paragraph strains at the seams in its effort to cover it, and fails to cover it.
At this point, it becomes a linguistic problem. In order to communicate with language, a basis of shared experience is required. If you are healthy, that shared experience does not exist. I hope, at least, this serves to dispel the assumption that our energy deficiencies are anything like anything a healthy person has ever experienced or could even fathom. You might be thinking, “well how do you know?” I know because I was once you. I once lacked the experience to understand what I am now saying. I have been on both sides of the isle with this, so when I say, “your tired is not my tired,” I know what I’m talking about. Right now I am taking to you, dear reader, but I could just as easily be talking to my past self.
I could talk about this on a scientific level, but it would suddenly become ridiculously long and tedious and very much feel like that advanced biochemistry class you took in college that cost you your 4.0 GPA and that might make you feel like you’re all of a sudden very hungry and leave for the fridge and never come back. And I want you to stay. I need you to stay. My very life depends on your not venturing to the fridge right now for that leftover ham sandwich. So I’ll talk about it in briefer, normal-people-who-haven’t-had-to-read-peer-reviewed-studies-in-scientific-journals-regularly-for-17-years-just-to-survive terms. These terms will fall short, but if they fall on your heart, it will help. And we need your help.
Tired means you need to go to sleep so your body can recuperate and then you feel all rested and better and can have at another whole day. Our kind of energy depletion would be better likened to a car with almost no gas. It’s not that we need to sleep so we can rest our brains and muscles. It’s that we are critically low on fuel. It’s that we are running on fumes. We are cars running on fumes with no gas station in sight. We are cars with holes in our tanks so big that even when we do finally make it to a station, by the time we’re done refueling, most of the fuel is on the ground.
When you see someone with a chronic illness like MCS, CFS, Lyme, Multiple Sclerosis, etc, move their body, there is something happening there, and there is no way you could know about it unless someone like me tells you. When you see that person do something you do all the time, like lift their arm, what you’re seeing is a herculean effort. The effort it takes for us just to move our bodies is as heroic as it is silent, as tenacious as it is invisible, and is no less for your not seeing it. But it would have an indelible impact if you, a healthy person, said to that chronically ill person, “Wow. I am so impressed. I don’t know how you do it. You have the strength of a warrior.” You see, we do not know what it means to be seen.