I’ve always considered myself a creative person. I started writing stories in middle school after devouring a dozen R.L. Stine Free Street Novels. I imagined myself as a YA horror writer and was lucky enough to have a group of friends that read and encouraged my writing. I stopped writing shortly after that when I moved and changed schools but I picked up a few other creative hobbies over the years including pixel doll creation and jewelry making.
The thing about creativity is that it uses up a good amount of energy. And to be creative (at least for me) you have to have energy.
For the last few years energy is something that I have been lacking and as a result my ability to create or be creative has diminished.
At first, I thought the cause was the fact that I work the graveyard shift. But, after talking to some of my coworkers I realized that even with working as much or more than me they were still getting stuff done. They were raising kids, sometimes alone, going places and enjoying life. While I sometimes barely had the strength to get out of bed to fix dinner before heading in to work.
Something is/was wrong.
After several hours searching the internet I came to a possible diagnosis. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It makes sense and I have a lot of the same symptoms that other suffers of CFS have, even though my case appears to be mild compared to some people.
Finding out I might have CFS hasn’t really changed anything. It seems to be an illness that has no cure and little treatment. I did start to take my iron tablets more consistently and increase my sodium intake. I am going to add a few more vitamins to my regime and see if they help any.
But having CFS and working graveyard shift has really taken a toll on my ability to create and finish the deadlines that I create for myself. When I started this year, I had plans to have something in the final stages of completion by now. In reality, I am struggling to just complete my Camp NaNoWriMO novel, which is a second draft.
That simple fact is that yesterday I work up exhausted. It took me an hour to get out of bed and do laundry. When I got back from doing laundry, I was tired after only a couple of hours and had to take a nap. I was still tired after that nap. I then struggled to push out 355 words before work, because my brain was just not into it.
This is my creativity and fatigue cycle. Periods where I can create for a day or few days at a time then nothing for days or weeks.
Simply put: IT SUCKS