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New member
Jan 11, 2015
Hi, nice to meet you... I'm Exhausted.

First Contact
Back in 2007 I was working an emotionally taxing counseling job, that I loved, but for a shy and introverted, sensitive person it was probably too much. I must have gotten burned out and it was at this time that I first noticed feeling "not right." I didn't get any answers from my doctor(s). I eventually had to quit the job. It's just gone on for years.

At some point I've had lyme disease, but it could have been in childhood, long before this problem surfaced. Anxiety, environmental depression, trauma, IBS, eczema, various pains blah blah blah... are all things I've learned to manage or overcome, and they mostly lie dormant because I make the effort to keep them in check. But after a decade and a half, the regular maintenance that keeps those troubles at bay is faltering and new problems are occurring. Sensitivities are heightened: light, sound, smells. My sleep is horrible and unproductive. New aches and pains. Headaches every damn day. New allergies. I can't exercise or be too active. I can't do as much as I used to; I can't do as much as I need to. Showering is exhausting, nevermind all the chores that pile up, or my personal or professional goals. Things too familiar to you all, I'm sure.

A few years ago, my mom was actually the one to suggest that I had CFS (which is ironic because she's kind of the "suck it up buttercup" type, a mentality that's probably contributed to my push-till-you-drop tendencies). Finally, late last year year, I got my doctor's attention and she diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. I'm under the impression she's a doc who doesn't differentiate between CFS and Fibro. Frankly, I don't know which I fall into. There's a hearty helping of each.

The Challenges at Hand
One thing I've got going for me, surprisingly, is I'm actually not depressed. I'm angry, frustrated, and worried. Angry I can't figure out how to take charge of my own life. Frustrated I can't get the understanding out of friends, family, or useful guidance from professionals. And worried because it has gotten worse with time. Symptoms change up every once in a while, especially with lifestyle changes. Drugs don't work with my brain chemistry, so I'm on my own for solutions (because writing scripts are all doctors seem to be capable of doing these days). All I want is a little more guidance and support. I want to know how to fix this, or how to live with it better (I'm learning as much as I can). Better yet, I want to be allowed to take care of myself better, without having to validate myself. How do I make my sleep count and be actually restorative? What kind of career choices do I have? How do I make a living? How could I possibly manage a higher education? How can I ever expect to have a relationship or family, when the simple things can be so difficult? How do I get a better quality of life? I don't want to waste my potential. It was hard enough before all this.

This mini rant has been a long time coming.
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