a woman with red flags on a path in front of her

Signs Throughout My Life That It Was More Than Just Tiredness

Growing up, I went through stages of depression, anxiety, and always not feeling well for long periods of time. I thought it was maybe just my body going through another cold again, or I was just very tired. I would go out with friends one day and the next would need to rest from not feeling well. It was the same for any event.

Going back to high school is where I started to struggle the most. I remember being in Grade 8 having a hard time catching up. I loved playing soccer as a pass time for the longest time, but as it came to high school and try outs, it was unsuccessful. I remember trying to run on the field and my legs just couldn’t run the same speed anymore. It felt like I had weights around my ankles. I felt so ashamed. As time went by, even gym class started to become hard.

I would just feel so tired all the time

I would be wondering how come I am always tired. I would be always lacking energy. In most of my classes, it became so hard to pay attention and try to stay awake. I thought all this was normal. I kept everything to myself, as I thought it was all part of growing up.

A new year came along, and I made it to Grade 9. I was thinking maybe things would get better, but sadly that was the year I struggled the most. I started skipping classes, as anxiety and depression started creeping up.

I remember skipping school and I would sit outside at the park, across our house, waiting for my mom to go to work, to go home and rest without anyone knowing. I just figured: who would understand?

I started to struggle with being social with my friends

I started to distance myself slowly. I was having a hard time getting dressed in the morning, ended up always with the same hoodie and my hair in a bun at school. The friends I had were not my friends anymore. There was no one to ask me what was going on. It was like I was suffering in secret.

My mom got a call from school one day. It was to let her know I was not doing good in school and my grades were not looking so good. I started high school with good grades and being so optimistic, and it all changed with a snap of a finger. It all seemed unreal, like a dream. I didn’t want to be in this position, but I had done it to myself. This is when I opened up to my mom and let everything out. I expressed how I been having a hard time and really needed a break. I felt lost and alone. I explained how hard it was to function all day. I expressed how hard it was to get myself to school, when all I can feel is exhaustion with no energy.

Starting to get support

It was a big decision to make, but my mom actually sat and listened. She expressed it was up to me what to do and she would support me. It was a hard one, but I took the rest of the year to focus on my health. It was the most important thing in my mind. I was really not okay. It took me a couple months with lots of rest and sleep, every day to get myself stronger to a level where I was able to function again.

Once I got to a point where I felt ready, I took the step to go back to school. I chose adult education, and finished my high school slowly, in my pace. This was a new step to a new chapter.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our In America Survey yet?