Nobody likes a whiner. There’s some truth in that, and I was the last one who would argue against it – my family’s motto was Suffer in Silence. We should’ve embroidered that saying on pillowcases and had it embossed across the tops of our doorways, that’s how seriously we took it.
I dislocated my knee when I was 14 and afterward, instead of whining, I went to bed. The next morning my knee was the size of a soccer ball. When we finally went to see the doctor, he was not pleased. My knee is a mess to this day.
So I’ve finally come to realize there are a lot of good arguments against Suffering in Silence. If you have a problem, ache, pain, complaint, observation, injustice to right, or are just feeling puny, let someone know. Scream it from the rooftops, if you must.
And here’s why.
I’ve always been lazy. At least, that’s what I told myself. I would wake up tired. Heck, the act of waking up was itself an exhausting battle. My mom got so frustrated with trying to awaken me that her solution was to throw on the lights and yell my name at the top of her lungs. It was a great way for both of us to start our days. Not.
I didn’t know I was suffering from fatigue until I wasn’t. I really thought I was just plain lazy. I missed out on countless opportunities because I wanted to go home to take a nap or go to bed early.
I took shortcuts with homework or projects just to get them over with. I’d turn down work assignments that involved overtime, because I just couldn’t make it through it.
I didn’t want to go to a doctor or dentist because of the work involved in making an appointment and getting myself to their office, what with driving and parking and walking. The thought alone was overwhelming.
I’d eat frozen dinners because I was too lazy to cook. It was just who I was. I thought there was nothing to be done about it.
Then one day, not long after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and starting on thyroid hormone replacement pills, I felt like weeding my disaster of a flower bed. I spent a couple of hours happily digging in the dirt.
Later that same day I felt like doing the dishes. I’ve always put them off until morning because I needed the temporary motivation that a caffeine burst gave me. But that day I actually felt like doing them right after we ate. Oh, and before doing the dishes, I had prepared a healthy meal.
Eating healthy, I’ve learned firsthand, helps compound your energy levels. Then, before I knew it, I had the energy to start exercising regularly. Before long, I started sleeping better. Waking up wasn’t nearly the struggle it had always been.
I also noticed that, slowly but surely, my anxiety levels were dropping. Things that would cruelly torment and torture me suddenly didn’t seem that dire. I could actually laugh some of them away. I started wondering why they’d bothered me so horribly in the first place.
What was going on? What happened to my life-long laziness? Was this how “normal” people felt?
Don’t get me wrong, I still have occasional relapses of fatigue and anxiety, but instead of letting them defeat me, I double down on eating healthy and exercising. A good night’s sleep does wonders as well.
No matter what comes next, I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I know I can have happy, energetic days again. And best of all, I know I’m not lazy.
I only regret that I didn’t whine, yell, and complain about my constant fatigue. I could have whined to the right person and been told to get my thyroid checked. I could have felt better a long time ago.
So get out there and whine! Do it for yourself. It could change your life.