It is so cold outside. It is February and while that should be expected, I live in Texas for a reason. However, this year apparently Texas is drunk. Or bipolar. Or both. Mother Nature is delivering all 4 seasons in the span of 3 days. Everyone is sick. Sinus congestions. Coughs. Snotty noses. Asthma exacerbations. Headaches. Itchy eyes. The list goes on and on. I hate winter. I like pretty fluffy snow the week of Christmas but by January second, it needs to go. I cannot handle the gray skies for days and I need warmth. I dislike being cold very much.
Add complete COVID fatigue to that and I am absolutely done.
I have asthma and I cannot imagine wearing a mask for 10 plus hours per day for much longer. By the end of the day I am so tired. By the end of the week, I am fully exhausted. I don’t want to do anything on the weekends but rest. This last year has taken such a physical toll on all of us. I wonder if, in ten years, they’ll discover we all have some respiratory disease from rebreathing our own CO2 and whatever chemicals are used to make these masks that are not, and never were, designed to be worn for days and weeks on end.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, I got divorced. Anyone who has been through that knows how extremely painful and difficult it is. Complex situations and life or death issues added to the maelstrom of intense emotions that vacillated in me every hour. I would spend days angry and frustrated. Then I would spend days sobbing in a puddle of grief. The hurt and betrayal I felt after my dreams fell apart was so intense that I physically felt it in my muscles. I had almost constant tension headaches and body aches. I either slept for 10 hours at a time or I did not sleep at all.
When the divorce was finalized, I was so happy. I felt free. All of my loved ones were happy as well, and we celebrated! I walked around in a pink cloud of joy for about two weeks. Then I crashed. My friends likened it to what happens to elite athletes when they train for huge events. All the mental and emotional work and prep for the big day builds and stockpiles in our systems. Emotions are energy, after all. That energy has to either be released or it stores in our tissues. After the big event is over and that energy is released, for me it was the celebration of my freedom, the emotional crash is very real.
I was depressed. I was anxious and slightly panicked about the future and finances and issues like “Oh my God, I’m alone again. How will I ever afford to save enough for a down payment on a house?!”. I slept and then I slept some more. All I ate was soup for days. It was warm and comforting. And through it all, to add difficulty to an already tough situation, I tried my best not to drink all of those hard feelings away.
I didn’t succeed one hundred percent. I drank wine. Some nights I drank a lot of wine. I always regretted it in the morning. The shame and guilt came fast and furiously when I woke up. I tried to extend myself grace and compassion for managing an impossibly rough situation the best I could in the moment. I learned from what I did wrong and I moved on. It is still an almost-daily battle to not stop on the way home from work and buy the wine because whatever feelings I am experiencing are creeping stronger and stronger.
I’m not sure why I have such difficulty sitting with intense emotions, why I feel the need to distract myself or make the feeling soften, blur and go away for a while. I suspect it has something to do with the fight or flight response and my freshman year of college. Now that my divorce is final, that is the work my counselor and I will begin to dissect. Sober groups say the only way through it is to do it (the work), and when emotions get high to be in it for a minute. So that is what I’m working on currently. I’m trying to write more. I’m trying to read more. Everything from distracting cheesy novels to historical fiction to quit lit. I’ve watched every Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc show I want to watch right now. I ordered a macrame for beginners kit so I have something to do in the evenings that is both meditative, mindful, and productive. If spring every arrives, I will be outside with my dog more. Maybe I’ll buy a bicycle or a kayak.
I don’t know if this will help anyone else, I don’t even know if anyone else will read this. I wrote it as a cathartic journal entry for myself. I woke up with all of this racing through my mind immediately when my eyes opened. I needed to get it out of my brain. Know that for anyone that does see this, you’re not alone. So many people are going through it in so many ways and shapes right now… reach out to friends and family if you need help. Check on your friends and family that have gone quiet. Maybe they just need some quiet time or maybe they are not alright. There are endless resources online that offer support for everything from grief to addiction.
We will all come through this dark, winter, COVID season at some point. The sun will shine again, friends. Hold on.
Love and light,
One thought on “Winter Fatigue”
so, so sorry to hear your heart breaking news of your divorce…
my prayer you find peace and comfort in Jesus ( yes His heart is broken too… ) please stay away from wine, you know your hurt is still there, and wine makes it last longer, and you may by it’s influence do something you’ll regret for life…
for example i knew a man whose wife left him, and to get even he went drank alittle and found a woman…however, she had a STD…and he has it for life…so please be careful
praying for you,