We all get tired.  All the time, I’m sure.

Like most people who’ve reached middle age, I’ve experienced all kinds of tiredness.  That dehydrated post-swim tiredness comes to mind – especially after flailing around in armbands at the age of 7 or something.  As a student I had really poor time management, so regularly found myself pulling all-nighters, finishing essays.  Even when I was meant to be enjoying a life of leisure travelling the world, at one point I spent eighty hours out of ninety on buses travelling through South America.  Trust me – You certainly can get very tired sitting still.  Being overweight and unfit on that trip, hiking the Inca Trail absolutely did me in.  At the time, that was the most physically gruelling undertaking I thought I’d ever manage.  More recently, I’ve taken upwards of 200,000 steps within a 24 hour period and felt the kind of depletion that comes with spending 10,000 calories in one hit.

I know that there is more to tiredness than the physical. Not being particularly quick witted, it doesn’t take a lot to exhaust me intellectually, like with crosswords, mental maths, reading stamina or playing the piano.  I’ve known the emotional exhaustion that comes with giving all of your heart and soul to loving someone else and the crushing heartbreak of losing them.  I exhausted what was left in a toxic relationship that saw my self worth systematically dismantled as months turned into years.  I emerged an empty vessel.

They say there’s no tired like *teacher tired*.  This is fair.  This job stretches you in all directions physically, intellectually and emotionally. There’s a day in, day out accumulating exhaustion that sees everyone crawling to the end of each term like we’re trudging through the desert in search of water.  Anyone claiming that teachers have too much ‘holiday’ will receive short shrift from me.  No matter how much extra work is done in the breaks, that time is desperately needed for recovery from all the energies long since spent.

But chemo tired – this is different to all the others.  Every one of my three trillion or so cells has had enough.  My entire body is telling me that there is no energy left.  Metabolism appears to have halted, muscles ache where I wasn’t aware they existed and the very act of breathing in and out is strangely cumbersome.  Let me put it this way – reclining as opposed to lying in bed is quite ambitious at the moment.

I suppose today’s perennial state of exhaustion is my own stupid fault.  I did insist on getting in a taxi to Plaistow to help out at music school.  I did pretty well at not exerting myself too – I sat down the whole time.  But half a day out the house has resulted in more than double that absolutely laid out.

But I don’t regret the decision to leave the house for the second time this week.  The mental boost of doing something with my day besides passively watching rubbish TV is significant and I needed something.  It’s a pretty bleak place otherwise – this lying in bed with little to distract me from my own self-destructive thoughts.

So at least I can say I did something.  Plus the neuropathy seems to be receding: I managed to eat an entire youghurt without incident and drank some unheated water this evening.  Give it a week, and I might be breaking out the ice cream – that would be something!

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