I’m tired. I’m tired right now despite eight hours of sleep and a big cup of coffee. I’ll be tired later after two more. With or without caffeine, with or without exercise, with 10 hours of sleep or 6, I am always tired. At least three days a week I wake up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. There’s an intense internal shame, as a servant who can’t keep up with his work. I am not looking for your miracle cure, mind you. I know this has a natural ebb and flow. I don’t know if my exhaustion is due to one of the illnesses I suffer from or all of them, but since I was a teenager, I’ve struggled with my energy level.
Despite this, I want to serve. On my best days, I wake up, get ready for the day, take care of the cat, and do a few more house chores before about ten. By eleven I need at least two cups of coffee if I’m planning on being up for the day. By one or two pm I have another dip and often take a nap.
Sometimes I start to feel the telltale tingles of migraine in the afternoon, so I take medication and sleep the pain away. Other times I might have an endo flare-up, so I dose under my heating pad because I’m useless for anything else. When I am in intense pain, I could probably fall asleep sitting up with how fatigued I feel. For people that don’t have chronic pain, it might be surprising to know that processing pain takes energy. I’ve found more recognition for this idea in the kink community from people who participate in pain play and know that they feel tired afterward.
I wish that I didn’t have to deal with this. I wish I could serve Miss Vaness and the house all day with no breaks, but maybe all servants feel that way. My more realistic fantasy is that I wake up feeling refreshed and only have bearable amounts of pain during the day.
The best advice that I have received from the Master / slave community is commonly called the prime directive: Protect the property. In order to care for myself, I need to make sure that I don’t push past my limits. Miss Vanessa has shown me that she is ecstatic when I choose to take a day to self-care. When I do so, I know that by taking care of myself, I am serving Miss Vanessa and the household.
Those comforts are helpful, but never perfect. Days when I stay in bed until after the sun has set, days when I’m on a roll until pain strikes…It’s not enough. I know that I’m a good servant. But I wish I wasn’t a tired one.