My transplant center says this happens to a lot of patients, and the best way to beat exhaustion is to get up and work out, or just do something, anything. Which seems a bit counter-intuitive. It becomes a physical and mental feat to pull yourself out of bed, let alone go to the gym.
I can't totally pinpoint the sole cause of my latest "funk." People at my second part-time job being rude, not having enough to do at work - or feeling stuck because there's too much to do at home, stress, and feeling like I'm in this professional rut where I'm not moving forward as fast as I want to. My med levels are high and it makes my feet burn, it's hard to breathe at night so I'm not sleeping well, the weather keeps shifting from humid hot to low 50's...the laundry list of sorry-for-myself is unending, and it will continue to be that way until I remember that sometimes depression makes the laundry list longer than it has to be. It can add shadows in your life where there aren't any. It can fill you with this inward hatred of yourself that makes the world seem hostile and unforgiving of your flaws. It can prompt bad eating habits and health habits that only exacerbate the problem, and it can cause you to focus only on the physical pain and exhaustion of your disease. It compounds every misery you've ever felt.
My transplant center is right, though. To beat the funk, you have to stand up to it, and man, it's a beast to be reckoned with before it destroys you and the relationships you've cultivated your whole life. The past couple weeks, I've slipped into negative schisms, believing sincerely that I'm unlikable and incapable, and that the physical pains were insurmountable. All the while, I knew deep down that I was wrong, that things aren't as bad as they seem, and I will pull through this. After all, I'm going on my honeymoon in two weeks with my wonderful husband, and there are so many things to look forward to in my career and life - yes, depression can make beautiful things seem insignificant, even when they are far from that.
Today, I let myself sleep in. I made a concerted effort not to berate myself for doing that. I trusted my body to tell me when it's time to wake up. I turned on my favorite music on my living room speakers, cooked organic eggs for breakfast, and drank "revitalization tea" - whatever that is. I did yoga and played with my dogs. Over time and practice, I've learned that these are the things that make me happy, or at least calm me. I'm coming back to avoiding those negative schisms - "I'm the worst, What's wrong with me, I'm a failure, No one likes me, This pain won't end...etc." - to redirecting myself. This doesn't always mean thinking self-loving things, though that's a good place to strive for. It simply means thinking productive things, like, "I did well today. I ate healthy and worked out. I don't need to load on expectations of myself this weekend; I just need to take it one step at a time and do what feels right."
So to anyone else with chronic illness, remember this: slow changes are OK. My family always jokes about taking "Baby steps." Yoga and tea will not cure you or suddenly make everything better, but finding something good you can fall back to in order to motivate yourself out of bed is a good start. Do away with the bad schisms - those thoughts you default to over and over when things aren't good. Recalibrate. Redirect yourself to the good news and recognize when you're thinking implausible things. Scale back your expectations and let them regrow. Then congratulate yourself on each baby step.