Otherwise known as my constant state of being.
I have always been wary of writing a personal, but then this one word prompt came up and I quite literally live by this word – knackered. (also recently I have begun to appreciate the worth of these the stream of consciousness rambles – who knows, maybe someone will relate…)
Knackered can be defined as extremely tired, or worn out and damaged by overuse. It’s a slang term from the word knacker – a person in the trade of rendering animals which are unsuitable or unfit for human consumption. They then would be sent to the knackers yard, and subsequently knackered.
I have gotten distracted.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with ET (essential thrombocythemia). This is a chronic condition, I can spend a whole load of time explaining it, but I am going to stay focused on the word in question – knackered. One of the side effects of the condition (and the treatment) is tiredness.
But I can break it down like this –
Pros – a new-found understanding and appreciation of the word tired.
Cons – the tired thing.
When someone asks me how I am, more often than not I answered ‘tired, but I’m ok’ that’s because tired is ok, knackered is a little less so.
What this whole thing has taught is that there are levels, and when people say they are tired/struggling chances are they are actually ok. I think (and I can now speak from experience) being truly knackered is VERY different from being tired.
I have had many conversations about illness and discomfort being a beneficial experience – in that you can have a more well-rounded vision of the world, your capabilities and also your limitations through discomfort. Here is an interesting article exploring the idea – Being ill, living well.
Before I was diagnosed, I was super active (with inevitable crashes, which I later found out – completely normal).
I found myself competing at various martial arts events, training like a demon, working my socks off at my job.
Then I started treatment. And I have never been so beaten in my entire life. I am fairly certain it took a year of my life, and just blurred it into one big mess. Luckily my treatment has now changed, and became a whole load more tolerable. (If you want to go check out some biology )
As you can imagine, the whole prospect of training, competing (not to mention simply getting out of bed sometimes) was the very last thing on my mind. Its been over a year, and even though the moments of ‘knackered’ are much less frequent, they still pop up. I am more than aware they still linger there, waiting till I overdo it, or forget to give myself downtime, or push it a little too far.
What I am trying to learn (and maybe my point for this post) is to use those moments; either as an exercise of seeing what I am capable of; or, learning to listen to what my body says; listen to that, and not pay any attention to the frustration, self-doubt or any other little niggly internal voices that pop up (why are the negative ones much louder than the positive?!).
Another thought, which has just snuck up on me – try not to compare yourself to others, surround yourself with people who will challenge you, but enable you to progress. Try not to think – ‘why can they do it’ ‘why can’t I …’ ‘how do they find it so easy’ instead; create achievable (but challenging) goals. You know you; don’t give up on an aim just because you have to take a day off, use your day off to catch up on your washing… Don’t let that knackered feeling knock you off course, just take it for what it is and use it.
Also don’t expect your goals to remain solid – right now I have no desire to go and compete. I do have a new-found enthusiasm to learn, see and experience new things. OS that’s what I’m doing.
Lastly, when you need help or a break; ask for it, and do not feel bad for having to do that. Everyone needs that sometimes, in that sense, you (and I) are no different from everyone else. But don’t let that be a point to beat yourself up about, do not compare the internal struggles of yourself, to the external strength of others (they may well be having a hard time too).
This is turning into a strange self pep talk.
SO that’s where I shall leave it.