In the USA, there seem to be many people who are angry about many things. We also seem to become a nation that prides itself on how little sleep it gets. I believe there is a connection between anger and fatigue for the population as a whole and, especially, people who suffer from autoimmune disease, chronic pain, or chronic illness.
When I was first experiencing illness, I was exhausted all the time as well as in continual pain. I had pushed myself. I had fallen prey to the idea that sleep was for those who had nothing to do. I had believed sleeping less meant I was valuable, important, and that without me certain things would never get done. But, after pushing myself into such extreme illness I could no longer function I decided it was time to reassess my belief system. So, out of frustration and since I couldn’t work anyway, I decided I would see how long I would sleep before I would naturally stay awake. It took 2 years of sleeping 20 – 24 hour days before I suddenly started staying awake 8 hours per day naturally. If I stayed awake 10 hours, I was forcing it and would soon get more ill. 10 years later I am able to stay awake all day without repercussions. I wake up energized and I don’t feel tired throughout the day. If I do find myself tired, I offer my body sleep. It has not been taking the opportunity and, after about 20 minutes of sitting, I am ready to get up and go again. I am free of pain, headaches, fevers, and fatigue. It is an amazing feeling and has happened within the past couple of weeks. It may be one of those times when it will go away soon but it feels different this time. I still do not tolerate heat well. I am always surprised, when the weather gets warmer, how I feel run down as soon as I step outside. If I move back to Air Conditioning (AC) and cool off, I feel energetic again.
I first began noticing that,when I was tired, I was a very angry person. Since that is not my nature, I really noticed the anger. Even if no one was around, I was angry. My brain (Ego driven) would make up scenarios that couldn’t even happen that were anger producing. I would rehash things that had happened in the past, recently or many years ago. It was exhausting! I didn’t Immediately connect that the anger was being driven by the fatigue. Eventually, I did wonder about the connection so, any time I would find myself angry, I would stop and offer myself sleep. I always went to sleep. When I woke up, I was no longer angry and the angry thoughts were gone from my mind.
When I was taking and teaching “Awareness Through Movement” classes, people would fall asleep during the lesson. As a student, I fell asleep also. This caused many to be upset with themselves because they were missing the lesson. However, the sleep happens because the body needs the rest. A person will not fall asleep if they are rested and not tired.
We may feel we don’t have time or are too busy to sleep but lack of sleep often leads to diseases. It definitely leads to anger. I realize people don’t want to sleep their lives away. I realize people are told they can catch up on their sleep; you can’t. Sleep is important. Sleep is not a waste of your time. Sleep is when the body heals itself. Even people who are chronically in pain will not sleep. Even they make excuses about not having time. Yet they complain because of their symptoms. Which is more important to get better or to push oneself to do things throughout the day? As a person who has spent many of the past 12 years asleep, I chose to heal and I’m glad I did. Yes, it was hard to opt-out of activities. Yes, it was hard on my husband to do things without me. But, I, too, wanted a life. However, I wanted one which did not include illness. So, I am still taking the time to listen closely to my body and ask “What do you need, What food do you want to eat, Are you tired, Do you want to sleep or do you simply want to rest, How may I help you heal?” It is through these questions I have been able to get back my health. Am I done getting back my health? I don’t know. It’s new so we will see what comes up for me in the future. I will continue to ask my body what it needs to remain healthy. I feel certain, if I really listen to it, I will not find myself ill again.
I sincerely hope the rest of the world will take the time to see if they have an anger-fatigue connection. If you do, please honor it. It is far better to honor it before you become chronically ill than to wait until you are chronically ill. It takes much longer to fix something which has completely broken down than it does to repair a body which is only minimally impaired.