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Letter to the other me: From a destitute Lover

Letter to the other me: From a destitute Lover

My Marie,

I have a strange wish today. I was awake last night writing this letter to you, but today, I wish I do not have to give you this letter ever.

This could be my message in a bottle. Years later, when I am long gone, you could find this somewhere hidden in your closet. I have these things that I need to tell you, but for some reason, I also have nothing to say to you anymore.

For the last few days, we haven’t spoken to one another. You ask me to speak. I am strong, Marie. I usually feel extremely strong deep inside, and I have lots to say. But today I am feeling very tired. What can I say, M? There is little left for me to say.

You were nineteen when we first met. I was a few years older. You were a girl fresh in college. I know I was your first and only true love. It hasn’t been that long, has it? Perhaps you’d remember, I was a broken man when I met you. I had lost everything – love, my ability to make decisions, all of my self-confidence and self-respect. I really did not know what you saw in me Marie, when you fell in love.

I did not think I deserved you. I thought if someone would ever fall in love with me, that would be out of pity. I Honesty did not think I could ever be loved again so unconditionally.

You made me feel like never before. You didn’t know it, you were just happy that I loved you, but as you arranged that broken jigsaw puzzle, you made a beautiful picture out of me. Your love made me whole that day, M. You would not understand this, but for a person who had once lost everything there is no greater gift!! I must have told you a million times, I thank God every day for you, every morning when I wake up when I am away from you, that’s what I do. Trust me, Marie, I have never taken you for granted.

Even as I write this letter there are so many things that happened today which I just have to tell you! But I am scared now Marie.

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I have come a long way holding your hands. I am not a person who thinks I could have done it by myself. It was always you, M. But things are different today. Today you see me with these accolades and you start comparing how much I have achieved against what you have lost.

That hurts. You know why? Every time I achieved something the real joy was to be able to share that with you, to be able to see that pride for me in your eyes. There was nothing greater than to feel that someone like you thinks about me every day and feels proud to be with me!! I have no success outside of you, M.

Letter to the other me

    We are a team M, I always thought we were that team which no one can defeat. I always felt we are this one big blob of one person with two bodies. Like a boy who comes running to his mother, I come running to you to tell you, so you will feel proud of me!!

    I really feel proud of every achievement you have in your own profession, Marie. When you achieve something, I do not feel happy for you, I feel happy for myself. I see My baby girl waving at me…there is a part of me which wins every time you win, and I really thought that’s how you felt, too.

    You think all this is my success? I never told you, but I have just one achievement – and that is you! All the others were just to impress you.

    Today you compare and tell me how you have achieved less because of me. You think I am standing in the way of your success? Really, M? Was it wrong of me to feel that we were one? Was it always a comparison for you between how much you can achieve and how much I have?

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    Who can doubt that you could be successful in your career? When did I ever doubt that? When did I ever doubt that you could soar if you wanted? Do I need a letter to tell you that? That hurts, you know. It is a line of thought I could never have imagined coming from you. It really really pains inside!!

    As I write I’m having this heavy feeling inside…when you read this perhaps you will feel I am using mere words to convince you, to justify my own demands. It’s painful to think that you may feel that way.

    I really feel sad about being professionally successful today, M – because had I not, perhaps you would have stayed with me, and not ripped yourself apart to compare. We could have been that happy couple in a small apartment, and I would have been happy with you, M, instead of two different people living in a mansion.

    I was always so confident about us, and today I feel so naïve.

    When you tear yourself apart from me and show me how much you had to sacrifice to make me successful I stand spellbound.  We are family. Does this not mean that we stay together all the time? Am I missing something? Am I too ambitious for you? What can I do, Marie? What else do you need me to do? How have I not supported you all these years? I could not have told you this if it not was for this letter.

    And I did not support you because of you wanted that. I did it because we wanted that, it was always us. So many people have asked about my plans in life and why we are not together. Without exception, I stood for you, every time. I did not even tell you because I always felt our time will come.

    I always believed our equation is different. What we have, Gods Envy!

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    I am proud of you M. I always have been. I have no doubt you would succeed in whatever you do in life, with or without me. I hope you know that I never doubted that.

    But you are my other me, Marie. You are a part of me. If you do leave on your quest for success it will break me forever again. I would return to being a no one like before.

    I don’t know if these words mean anything to you now, but let me say it anyway. All these years you have been busy with your career and I have been with mine, but I was happy inside. Because I knew someday we will be together again. I hoped for us being a family – for almost a decade I felt that. And today you want to compare achievements.

    I am not a stupid guy, Marie. I know what you feel. I have seen this feeling in so many people. I just did not think you could feel this about us. So naïve of me.

    I have never stopped you for anything, and I have always expressed what I felt. If you really want just professional success you will have it, Marie. But if you rip yourself off from me and head out to your true calling, I know one day you will be scared, M, and I feel scared thinking about that day. I know one day my Marie will be alone and look for me with longing eyes and I may be far far away from her. I really love you more than to bear that thought.

    I am scared for myself too because I know I will be shattered here. You will be victorious, Marie, but will we be victorious? Perhaps you compare our relationship with those of other people. I never did. I could not even begin to do that.

    You tell me I would not understand about your profession. I know a thing or two about success Marie, and I know about achieving. I just did not think that for us, you and I were any different. It was always our success!

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    I can fight against the whole world for you Marie, and if you are by my side, I will win every battle for you! I just cannot fight with you. I just won’t be strong enough. I wish we met in a different time, M. We would have been happier.

    I do not know how to end this letter, M. Just stay with me, okay? Will my love be enough for you?

    Yours forever.

    PS: I love you. And the other night, that call was from me. Just wanted to hear the sound of your voice.

    Featured photo credit: Captain D via thesoulcreator.com

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    Published on November 14, 2018

    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

    With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

    For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

    In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

    Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

    Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

    It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

    For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

    Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

    Symptoms of Fatigue

    Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

    • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
    • mental blocks
    • lack of motivation
    • headache
    • dizziness
    • muscle weakness
    • slowed reflexes and responses
    • impaired decision-making and judgement
    • moodiness, such as irritability
    • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
    • reduced immune system function
    • blurry vision
    • short-term memory problems
    • poor concentration
    • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

    Causes of Fatigue

    The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

    • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
    • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
    • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
    • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

    Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

    Medical Causes of Fatigue

    If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

    Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

    Anemia

    Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

    Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

    There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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    This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

    Diabetes

    Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

    Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

    Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

    Thyroid disease

    An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

    Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

    • Lack of sleep
    • Too much sleep 
    • Alcohol and drugs 
    • Sleep disturbances 
    • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
    • Poor diet 

    Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

    • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
    • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
    • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
    • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

    Psychological Causes of Fatigue

    Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

    • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
    • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
    • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

    How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

    Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

    1. Tell The Truth

    Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

    To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

    Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

    The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

    One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

    • How you feel
    • What time of day it is
    • What may have contributed to your fatigue
    • How your mind and body reacts

    This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

    2. Reduce Your Commitments

    When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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    If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

    When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

    Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

    3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

    If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

    Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

    If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

    Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

    Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

    4. Express More Gratitude

    Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

    It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

    Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

    5. Focus On Yourself

    Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

    There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

    But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

    We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

    6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

    Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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    Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

    The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

    Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

    7. Take a Power Nap

    When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

    Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

    This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

    8. Take More Exercise

    The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

    Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

    The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

    You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

    9. Get More Quality Sleep

    To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

    Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

    My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

    10. Improve Your Diet

    Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

    Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

    On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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    To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

    Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

    Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

    11. Manage Your Stress Levels

    Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

    When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

    Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

    My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

    12. Get Hydrated

    Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

    Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

    If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

    The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

    The Bottom Line

    These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

    If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
    [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
    [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
    [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
    [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
    [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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