Getting back the unintentional smile

This past month has been a real bitch.  Fatigue sucks.

One of the hardest parts has been feeling so down all the time.  Sometimes I couldn’t tell if I was sad or tired or depressed.  I knew I didn’t have my usual pep.  I’m generally a happy, cheerful person, and that was definitely gone.

Today should have terrible.  I over-exerted myself last night and went to bed too late.  I was woken up very early by outside noise, and forced to get out of bed.  I should have been a mess, but I felt ok.  I actually felt pretty decent.  How odd.  It took me longer than it should have to get out of the house, but I tried not to pressure myself too much, and hey, at least I made it out before lunchtime!  I took a quick walk down the street to the library and CVS, then came back home for lunch.  And I wasn’t exhausted.  Weird….. Good… but weird.  Even stranger, I noticed random people on the street smiling at me.  A few made random comments (Good morning. Did you see what that driver was doing?)  I didn’t feel any happier, but I did feel that the cloud was starting to lift.  Maybe strangers saw it too?

I really needed to do something about Prednisone boobs, so after lunch I drove to a store I like that carries unusual sizes and tried on everything they had that was an option.  I should have been exhausted, but I wasn’t.  I was a bit tired, but ok.  I made friendly chit chat with the woman helping me.  Hmm… that feels more like me.  It felt good to be friendly and pleasant again.  And she was pleasant back.  And hey, I was smiling!

On the way home I stopped for groceries.  It was late afternoon and the store was getting crowded.  I took my time finding the right items, asking a clerk for help, trying hard to make sure I’m keeping a healthy diet (ugh.)  The clerk kept apologizing for taking so long to check in the back, for making me wait, for not having the item, and I kept assuring her it was fine.  I didn’t care.  I wasn’t in a rush.  Woah, it’s like the old me!  Not rushed (unless I had to be) and patient.  The checkout lines were long, but I was in no hurry (though beating rush hour would be nice.)  A new register opened up and the cashier asked me to come over.  I said not to worry, that I was fine waiting, and that the woman behind me with the very full cart and the obviously-bored child go ahead.  She looked incredibly grateful.  I felt good.  Hmm, I wouldn’t have done that a few days ago.  Ok, I couldn’t overlook that one, something was definitely different.

By the time I got home I was feeling it: I was tired.  Still, it wasn’t the fatigue I’ve been feeling lately, just the old kind of tired.  I sat and rested for a while.  I listened to an audio book.  I ate dinner and watched a movie and now it’s about time for bed and I feel… OK!  I FEEL OK!  I want to shout it from the rooftops.

This might not last.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel great, maybe tomorrow I’ll feel horrible.  I’m just so grateful for today.  These good minutes, hours, days, weeks, and sometimes months are such a gift and I’m so grateful for them.  Did I say that already?  Well it’s true.  Thank goodness for today.  I would have survived physically, but mentally and emotionally it was getting really tough.  I feel renewed.

I just hope it lasts.

And every day that this lasts, I will use it.  I will cross off items on my to do list, I’ll write, I’ll clean, and more importantly I’ll help others.  Maybe I can’t do volunteer work at a charity or help a friend move, but I can let someone cut ahead of me at the grocery store, and for now, that’s enough.


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