Unrefreshing Sleep!

Woke up this morning feeling depressed and washed out. “Unrefreshing sleep”, as they say. Well, I’ve never been a morning person so this is just more of the same. I think it was mainly about feeling overwhelmed and the zoned-out feeling in my head doesn’t help. I tried some anti-histamines yesterday to see if it did anything to my nasal congestion; but it did not. I also tried some Benadryl PE cough suppressant to try and help me get to sleep last night, and I think that helped a bit.

This afternoon I went to my men’s group, which I really enjoyed. There’s something about having a group of guys who don’t judge you; who accept you for who you are and where you’re at. I few years ago I would never have told anyone that I was depressed; the stigma would have been too great and I would have felt ashamed. But what do you know… everyone in the group has been depressed at one time or another. It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s not what you want, but it’s part of the whole experience of being human.

Meanwhile, I have big plans for the future, and I’m working towards them. For some time I’ve been working towards becoming a professional public speaker or comedian. I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to pan out, but I’ve got a few ideas for going forward. The main thing to deal with is my fear of failure. It’s unlikely that I’m going to hit the nail on the head first go, but I’m tired of feeling listless and like I’m not going anywhere. My fatigue is worst on the days when I have to get up in the mornings, but I cope reasonably well in the evenings. So evening gigs should be do-able. I need to keep reminding myself to be patient because it’s going to take some time to get the skills that I need and to do the networking that I need in order to get bookings. In the meantime, I’ll coach other people and pass on the communication skills that I’ve learned so far – They say that the way to fulfil your dreams is to help others fulfil theirs. Having a direction of some sort leaves me feeling more optimistic and less anxious than when I just have a vague plan and little real direction.

Experimenting with Exercise

The last time a felt really well was back in March 2008, over two years ago. Ever since then, I’ve had these damn cold/flu-like symptoms. But about a year before that, I had similar symptoms for about 4 months. At the time, my psychologist suggested I join a local gym and start doing some muscle-building exercise to strengthen my immune system. It worked a treat: within about two weeks of starting regular exercise, I was back to 100% health. I kept it up for about a year, and only stopped going when I nearly passed out during a personal training session due to this fatigue illness.

For the last couple of years, every time I’ve exercised, I’ve had the dreaded post-exertional malaise; which is a fancy way of saying I’ve felt really dreadful the next day. I tried going dancing one night a week, but found I’d spend the whole next day (and sometimes more) in bed recovering; so although I loved dancing, eventually I gave it up. I decided that any exercise was bad news really; it seemed to do more harm than good.

But I can’t help remembering that last time I was frantically trying to get my health back, exercise did work. So I’ve decided to try an experiment. I’ve bought some dumbells, and started doing some bicep and tricep curls. I’m not going to do anything aerobic; just muscle-building work. I’ve gone back on the protein powder I used to use while I was at the gym too. If nothing else, having stronger arm muscles should give me a psychological boost since I’ll feel less weak. And who knows, maybe it’ll work some immune system magic.

I’m also trying a range of supplements, including ProBoost recommended on the Chronic Sore Throat blog comment thread. Aside from that, I’m focusing my efforts on developing my dream story-telling/speaking/comedy career, which I find sufficiently engaging that I don’t worry about my symptoms… I worry about my being successful at my career instead! I live in interesting times.