Home / Blog Posts / Fatigue and the Black Dog / Diary of a Chronically Exhausted Vicar. Episode 31
Sniffles, and a cotton wool head. Overwhelming desire to lie down and close my eyes. Muscles stiff, sore; limbs heavy.
Diary of a chronically exhausted vicar image

It is the season, so perhaps this is a virus?
The days pass, the symptoms ebb and return.
Still, I ask, virus? Or Chronic Fatigue slump?
The symptoms are similar. Does it matter what is behind it?

Well, if it is a virus, the outcome will probably be worse than if this is a fatigue slump. Because the underlying fatigue will intensify the virus. So I hope it is just the Chronic Fatigue, and lie down to sleep. Or take a plunge in the pool for a gentle swim, the pummelling of the spa jets to ease those aching muscles.

I go out, to a movie with friends, to preside at gathered worship, to attend the farewell recital for one of our scholars. Friday night at the movies lifts my spirit, and my energy. It’s a brilliant film, and connecting with friends is good for the soul. Sunday morning lifts my spirit, and tires me out some. Worshipping with my community is indeed good for the soul, but the work of presiding and being present with my people and holding their stories is a privilege that takes much energy. Sunday afternoon lifts my spirit, for the music soars, and the organ playing is inspiring to behold in its artistry. By the time we’ve reached the end of the speeches and one small glass of bubbly, I’m done. That’s all my energy used up, and gladly spent. But spent.

A strange melancholy descends in the evening, and I am snarky with the delivery guy who, like so many before him, cannot find the front door of my house, though I have given extra directions. The reliance on google maps seems to have decimated capacity to look up at the actual numbers of the actual houses on the actual street on which you stand. I digress.

I am displeased with my food choices today, having made better choices the day before. They weren’t dreadful choices, and I’m probably being hard on myself. What is this melancholy that envelopes me?

I can’t find what I want to watch on tv. The netball replays are not yet online. The lighthearted detective shows are not screening, or so recently watched I’m not ready to go back to the beginning and start again.

I’m irritable. Restless, though what I need most is to rest. The anger is returning with the muscle aches, and my acceptance of the illness is nowhere to be seen.

Virus or no virus, the symptoms of fatigue are flaring again, and I feel like a prisoner unable to break free from her chains.

There is no happy ending to the story today, no encouraging ‘this is how I found my way through the challenges’. There is only the melancholy, the anger, the pain. There is only, and always, this bloody Chronic Fatigue.