- Sarah, 26 years old
Looking back, I guess I have suffered for a long time. When I was at school my friends would study all day, then do sports and then go out (once we were old enough) – and then do it all again the next day! I could never keep up. If I went out, then I would struggle at school, so I made excuses and only met friends on the weekend when I could rest before heading out. I certainly didn’t have the energy for sports! I just put it down to being a bit slower than the others; I needed longer to do my homework and was just not as energetic.
Then I left home and started work. I wanted to socialise and make new friends. But you really can’t use ‘I’m tired’ all the time as an excuse not to see people. In the end I was quite isolated, because I couldn’t chat during the day, as I needed to focus on trying to get my work done, and didn’t have the energy to go for a drink afterwards. Some of my colleagues had kids – but they managed everything ok. I worried about whether I would be able to cope with children, as I was just constantly exhausted! That made me feel sad about the future too. Life was passing me by and I was only able to do my job, not enjoy life at all.
Eventually a friend suggested I should see my doctor, and that it wasn’t normal to feel so down all the time. I kept putting it off; after all, what were they going to do about tiredness? But when I did go to the doctor, they took it quite seriously. I mentioned feeling depressed, and the exhaustion, and also feeling dizzy. After a few more questions the doctor suggested that I had fatigue, possibly caused by not having enough iron. I had a blood test and the results showed he was right. I’ve been taking the treatment for a while now and can’t believe how much better I feel! I am more optimistic about the future and can even see myself having kids one day.