To Sleep Perchance to Sleep Some More or How to Sleep and Still Wake up Tired

Today, I’m writing a poem about tiredness. As many of you know from my recent article, I recently went off the birth control pill (after being on it for 15 years), which really tends to throw your hormones out of whack, causing symptoms such as temporary exhaustion and it can take between three and six months to get them balanced again. I haven’t felt this tired in a while, but this also takes me back to my struggle at the beginning of my diagnosis and how horribly tough and frustrating it was. At the time, I was also fighting off Epstein-Barr virus. I don’t think I ever gave up hope, but until you’ve been to that dark place of despair – as those reading this with a chronic illness assuredly have – you can’t even comprehend how people can get tired out by the slightest activity. I didn’t have the energy to eat much, let alone prepare food and reading became almost impossible as I found myself reading the same sentence time and again without really taking it in. However, I know I’m not alone and I know that for many (and hopefully the majority of us) this too can and will pass.

Tiredness is the current dragging me underwater
Tiredness is when my body doesn’t feel like it ought to
Regardless of how much I sleep, it really doesn’t matter
My sleep account’s getting fatter and fatter

Sleep is the thirst-quenching water of the oasis
I feel helpless and my mind is in stasis
The tiniest effort tires me out
Makes me want to scream and shout
“Why can’t I be normal again?”
It’s not a matter of why, but a matter of when

I never gave up hope
Clinging on to memories of before
Life had changed so suddenly
My body was at war
My brain was fuzzy
And my limbs were sore

Now I listen to my body
And what it’s trying to tell me
No more shame in needing rest
Because sometimes it’s for the best

It’s possible to get well
Though sometimes the process will take you through hell
And how long it’ll take
Only time will tell

By Sarah Downing

My name is Sarah. I was born and grew up in England and currently live in Düsseldorf, Germany, with my fiancé Corey and my cuddly cat Biscuit. I work as a translator and writer for my own company Aardwolf Text Services ( and I love vintage clothes and music, as well as singing karaoke.


  1. Sorry you’re going through it once again but I know stopping the pill is a means to a “good end” for you. I sure hope it doesn’t take too long though for everything to start balancing out! Everything to do with this illness takes time and we are forced to learn patience, although it remains quite frustrating to deal with. I have the flu at the moment and it has zapped every ounce of energy and I am reminded of the exhaustion I had from my thyroid when all I did was sleep, sleep, sleep and sleep some more, to only have energy for a short while and have to start all over again.

    Love poem, Sarah!

    1. Thank you for your compassion, Lori. You are always so caring. I know that going off the pill was the right thing to do, so I’m just going to have to make it through this transition period. At least I have a good thyroid doc and gyno (my new gyno) who are supporting me in this. As I mentioned, my thyroid doc upped my dosage from 1 1/2 grains to 2. He had already anticipated that he might have to up it during this transition period, but reckons it is all temporary and we should hopefully be able to lower it again in a few months.

      I’m very sorry to hear about your flu. Get well soon and be good to yourself. This illness has taught me that I no longer need to feel guilty about not working and that sometimes I just need to rest, even though right now that’s all I ever seem able to do. Glad you liked the poem.

      Take care of yourself and talk soon!


  2. I love this and the timing could not be better. Give yourself a little time, taking a break is sometimes a necessity not a choice. xo

    1. Thank you, Donna. I wish we had more choice over these matters sometimes, but I feel pretty much bedbound a lot of the time at the moment. Hopefully, it will get better soon though.



  3. Great poem Sarah sorry your going for this shit of not being able to sleep after coming off the pill hopefully once things get balanced so will sleep. I must be terribly unblanced as my sleep pattern is the pits.

    I will get around to reading all your stuff just had so much going on lately. so far I like what I see.


    1. Thank you very much, Lolly. That is very kind of you to comment and let me know you are thinking of me. I’m very sorry that your sleep patterns suck too. I really wish you could feel better. I think about you a lot. Glad you like what you’ve read so far.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *