The funny thing about being exhausted all the time is that it creeps up on you. Since I’m not a good sleeper, feeling awake and alert and energized seemed to be just over the horizon. One more night. One more chance to sleep soundly and wake rested.
Then I started sleeping soundly, because I was purely exhausted. I still didn’t feel better, even after weeks of getting a good night’s sleep.
I was completely engrossed in a project, writing like a fiend all day. Surely, that was mentally exhausting. That would explain it. Then I finished a draft and took a break. Still tired.
Then I tried to cut down on coffee, so of course that would explain why I felt like I was wading upstream through my day. Everyone said it would get better after a week or so. It didn’t.
It was subtle enough for me to find excuses for the way I was feeling: I’m being lazy. I’m just stressed. My brain is busy. I have too many tasks I don’t want to do, and I’m avoiding them. I’m just feeling quiet right now. Maybe this is just what being 34 feels like.
Finally, I mentioned the way I was feeling to my doctor. She did blood work and discovered that my Vitamin D levels were low. She put me on prescription Vitamin D, and suggested that I spend some time every day out in the sun, or even just sitting by a window when I’m working.
I’m one of those people who never leaves the house without sunscreen and sunglasses. I keep the blinds drawn while I’m working so I don’t get distracted by whatever might be going on outside. I sit in the shade when I am outside. We live in Rochester. We don’t get enough sunlight in the winter, and we’ve had a dark spring this year. My doctor said she’s been seeing a lot of Vitamin D deficiency this year.
A simple blood test, a simple fix and I feel like my life is in Technicolor again. It’s amazing. On Sunday, we did yard work in the sun and I remembered what it felt like to have energy, and I felt the joy of being tired at the end of the day because I’d done a hard day’s work, not because I’d been dragging myself along.
So, now I’m making an effort to get some sunlight in my day. What a lovely fix it is! Sitting outside to soak up the sun in short, responsible intervals is the perfect time to read (I set a timer and put sunscreen & sunglasses on when my recommended sun time is over).
Of course, I can’t get this song out of my head. Yo. Cut it.