Adrenal Fatigue Aka the mothering-syndrome (Part 1)

Jan 13, 2023
homestead adrenal fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue (Part 1) 

a 4 part deep-dive into my on-going efforts to heal my Adrenals.

If you’re like me, this term ‘Adrenal Fatigue’ has been popping up in my belly (yes, my belly, it’s where most my good ideas come from) for almost a decade. My naturopath officially diagnosed me with and guided me toward supplementation over 11 years ago, just after the birth of my third child. But, the symptoms then were mild and ignorable. I was young–only 30, and really thought it was a kind of craze pathology that was thrown around as frequently as phrases like ‘fomo’ or ‘yolo’ or ‘adhd’. (I mean really, aren’t we all on that spectrum–surely that’s why TikTok is such a thing?)

Sure, I have it, but who doesn’t? Aren’t we all just walking symptoms, any combination of which at any given moment could diagnose us with some common or rare chronic issue? In my mind, telling me I had adrenal fatigue was synonymous with saying I was a mother. It’s mothering syndrome. You’re busy, you’re drained, you’re stressed and you’re moody, you’re trying to balance while mostly just constantly getting back up from a fall. And there’s no end in sight bc, kids. amiright?!

Add in homesteader, entrepreneur and general want-to-do-it-aller. Well, it's a recipe for disaster--perhaps you know it?

But, in ignoring this diagnosis for the most part, and the gentle whispers it was giving me back then, I entrenched bad habits & have been dealing with the louder and un-ignorable challenges that I’ve spent the last 5 years trying to overcome, but only seeing worsen. Until finally my gut told me, (or finally I actually tuned in) through a variety of friends in my health & wellness community, that it was time to give that adrenal fatigue diagnosis a bit more attention. (thank goodness it wasn’t a case of gangrene–i’d be missing a limb or two if I’d given that diagnosis this much attention). But then, that’s how people who suffer with adrenal fatigue roll; ‘I’ll be fine’, ‘let me get this other thing done first, then i’ll worry about that’, ‘hm. Sounds fancy, but my kid needs a ride to ballet,’ ‘this homeschool project would be way more interesting’, 'let's get another cow, that would boost my mood', and so on. 

So, here I am. 5 years into dealing with symptoms I’ve not only not enjoyed, I’ve been downright embarrassed about. After all–I’m a bloody holistic health coach & wellness advocate. (pardon my…english?)

Maybe you can relate:

  >10 lbs heavier, pants tighter and half my closet has been unused bc it’s too revealing, snug or simply looks terrible whenever I get dressed. And it wasn’t just the pounds–it’s how I’ve been carrying them. A loss of any muscle tone and firmness, to flabby overhang stuff that was difficult to hide.

  > Let’s not talk about scales–I’ve never been one for measuring things, but I’ve cried stepping off one more in the last couple of years than I care to count. Particularly bc my love of the female form in all shapes and sizes is something I’ve always prided myself on. 

 >Clearly my belly hasn’t been right. I’ve been bloated (like balloon bloated) for 50% of the last 3 years. No amount of enzymes was diminishing this, nor could I isolate the foods that were causing it. 

 >Hormonally, well–shortness of temper, general malaise, and at the worst, depression. These have been pretty normal states for me in the last 4 years.

  >Productivity (though I don’t think this a measure of value) has been at an all time low. With the normal ‘mom brain bc I just had a kid’ excuse becoming less and less valid by the year, I just couldn’t find my groove again. In my business, in my homeschooling routine. Oils were stringing me along, but my normal enthusiasm had simply vaporized.

  >My skin. Ugh, breakouts constantly along my chinline and neck. Perhaps an imbalance of testosterone? Or any hormone? Whatever the case, these past few years I’ve worn more concealer than in the first 35 years of my life, and not for wrinkles–i actually don’t want to hide those, I’ve earned them fair and square.

>Getting up was a hassle. I’d do it, but belligerently. Slowly, mournfully. 

>Coffee. Lots of coffee. 

>I’ve been sick far more frequently, and for longer stints. Things I used to overcome in 24 hours lingered for weeks.

>Stress induced or not, I went through several bouts of wakefulness and panic attacks in the car and in the middle of the night.

>Severely low blood-sugar, to the point of with any travel or off routine excursion I’d crash, almost faint with fatigue and require days worth of recovery. 

Look, I don’t identify as someone who suffers from Adrenal Fatigue because I believe in healing. I believe that if I take good advice from wise people, learn more about my own body than anyone else might know, and find tools that are reliable and good to help me, form habits that are healthful (and more importantly break ones that aren’t), I can feel better. I am not doomed to this state.

And I’m sharing all this with you not bc I want sympathy or good wishes, but bc I KNOW many of you are suffering with similar things. I KNOW many women out there are pushing through their lives, ignoring the little discomforts, skipping meals, drinking more caffeine, eating easy foods, missing opportunities to make better choices because it’s just easier to handle the quid pro quo than to figure it all out. 

But, I have figured it out. I’m seeing massive shifts with not so massive changes. I fully believe that the 180 turnaround is a facade that cannot be maintained long term. Nor should it. I 1,000% cling to life being meant to be enjoyed, and that my over-analytical brain needs to get out of the way 99.9% of the time so I can enjoy myself. 

So, my plan does NOT include: quitting anything completely. Injecting hours of exercise. Revamping my life with massively changed morning routines or night-time rituals. Committing to some weight loss program or quitting anything I love. It’s far simpler, and like the dripping of a spring on a hillside can erode any number of struggles by simple consistency, I am watching these little things wear away the struggles I've been coping with.

I’ll share more about that in my next postl, bc surely you agree this novel is a bit lengthy. If you don’t think you suffer from Adrenal fatigue, but you’re still reading–well, thanks. :D Glad I’m your cup-o-tea.

Part 2 of this saga will come out early Monday morning)

Much Love,


(pic of me from where I typed this. :D) 

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