(photo: Sleep. Photo taken by Rigamarole on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)
I have my red flags. Physical symptoms that usually mean something in my life is out of balance. My biggies are extreme exhaustion, scratchiness in my sinuses, muscle fatigue, and congestion. If I am being smart, I don’t just try to treat the symptom but try to figure out the root cause of it. But I’m not always smart. It isn’t always convenient to spend time digging beneath the surface. And sometimes, the symptom does not mean that there is some huge underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
Yesterday, I was so tired I could barely move. This was after nine days of six am yoga, so my first thought was that I haven’t been getting enough sleep and it was catching up with me. But despite the daily 5:15 wakeup, I’ve been getting more sleep each night these past few nights than I usually do, at least according to my Fitbit, which tracks the quality and quantity of my sleep.
I tried to fight the fatigue with work, with dog walks, with jumping jacks. My eyes would not open all of the way, my legs felt like lead, and I could barely raise my arms over my head. So, I gave in. I climbed into bed and immediately passed out. Almost two hours later, I awoke a little more energetic but still feeling unusually weighed down.
Since I couldn’t concentrate on anything I had planned to do, I sat with my journal and did some free writing. This is where I write and write and write without any direction from my left brain except to keep the pen moving on the paper.
I’m always amazed after a free writing session. Thoughts come out through my hands that I have no memory of acknowledging in my head.
I’d begun the writing with the words “I am tired because . . . ” The first lines were simplistic. I’m tired because I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m tired because I’m tired. I’m tired because my eyes won’t stay open. Pretty unhelpful stuff. But then my writing took a turn. I can’t explain exactly where my mind (and hand) went, but I wrote about seemingly random moments from my past, some the past few days but some the past few years. I ended my wandering rant with the word caffeine. It ended because that word triggered a realization about my exhaustion.
In order to get my body ready for an online program, which I begin in a week, called Reset and Renew, I decided to begin the process of taking myself off of caffeine. This isn’t the first time I’ve stopped drinking coffee — I did it when I was pregnant, twice, and a few other times for various reasons. What I discovered each time is that I have an unhealthy addiction to caffeine. If I go cold turkey, I suffer from intense headaches. If I go off more slowly, as I began to do a few days ago, my body reacts with exhaustion, the “I feel like a steam roller just ran over me” exhaustion.
Why I didn’t put two and two together when I first felt my body drooping, I don’t know. It isn’t like it hasn’t happened to me before. I think it may be that I still find it hard to believe that cutting back on my coffee intake can cause such a severe reaction.
And, this is why I am taking the e-course mentioned above. That and it is run by Marjorie Nass who ran the amazing yoga and wellness retreat I attended in Costa Rica in January. I learned so much from her during that week away. Here’s an opportunity to heal myself a little more and in the process collect some more valuable knowledge about keeping myself healthy.
If you’re interested, the program is open to everyone. Click here to get to the information page for Reset and Renew. Maybe I’ll “see” you in class!
I'd love to hear what you think. Share in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Please share my posts with your friends by clicking on the FB, Twitter, or email share buttons found below. And if you like what you've read, click on the Facebook like button.
You won't miss a post if you sign up to receive my musings by email (see the sidebar on this page).