I heard the term Fabulously Lazy in a Franz Ferdinand song. (I base a lot of my life on song lyrics. I first heard the phrase “Sour Jane” in a song lyric as well.) I think the song is about a glamorous gal who gets people to do things for her, and isn’t the best connotation, but what I enjoy about it is the juxtaposition of some kind of “large” life combined with something decidedly mellow. I’m open to new name ideas.

But that is how my life goes. I have big ideas paired with an extremely low-key manner. I’m a mass of contradictions.

I’ve lived with chronic fatigue since I was a teenager. No doctors could ever figure out why I was so tired all the time, and the anti-depressants they prescribed me to get me out of their office didn’t sit well with me. So I learned to live with it.

I learned to accept that I run a level or two below most everyone else. I learned to pick my battles. I learned to conserve energy and prioritize efficiency.

Every few years I get frustrated and go in for more tests. Doctors do their best but whatever I have doesn’t show up in their screens. I’m grateful for that, I guess — it means I’m not dying yet.

While I haven’t found the answer, I’ve picked up a few clues and am starting to piece together a decent theory.

  1. I’ve always been a night owl living in a 9 to 5 world. I’ve been sleep deprived and irregular in my sleep patterns since my teens.
  2. Like most of America, my diet has often been too full of processed grains and refined sugars and not enough vegetables and protein.
  3. My work life has gotten increasingly more stressful and demanding as the years have progressed.
  4. On top of it all, I’ve been living with mild scoliosis. The muscles around my spine have to work extra hard to hold it together. This takes energy.

Poor sleep hygiene, as it turns out, is rough on your body and mind. An American diet is pretty bad, too. Stress is one of the worst things of all. And my back weakness adds extra body burden to a stressed out system.

I’m guessing my chronic fatigue stems from the stress of these 4 issues on my adrenal glands, resulting in a condition called Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. I’m not sure which stage I’m in, but recently a doctor of mine also came to the same conclusion after listening to my symptoms — especially the fact that I wake up tired regardless of how long I slept, and get a burst of energy around 10pm no matter how tired I was all day. This is apparently a hallmark of Adrenal Fatigue due to an abnormal Cortisol release pattern.

Fortunately, the steps to healing stressed out adrenals are also in line with my general goals towards a happier, healthier life:

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Laugh often
  3. Don’t push yourself too hard
  4. Don’t feel sorry for yourself
  5. Reframe negative thoughts to be more positive
  6. Eliminate stress and energy drains from your life
  7. Practice gratitude
  8. Eat whole foods often; avoid processed and refined foods
  9. Avoid foods that make you feel bad
  10. Don’t skip breakfast
  11. Pay attention to your body’s cues
  12. Practice yoga and light exercise
  13. Avoid caffeine and alcohol

“How you spend your energy, how you conserve your energy, and how you create energy are all extremely important. Your recovery is also contingent on what you eat and drink, as well as on the thoughts you feed your mind and the beliefs you base your life on.” — Wilson, James L. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome


Update: My friend reaches out with some more info