Spiritual Awakening: Intense Fatigue & Identity Loss

I recently received a comment on an older blog post from someone who was seeking feedback on how to cope with the fatigue and loss of identity that occurs after a spiritual awakening. I think there are a lot more people who are experiencing these symptoms than we realize, so it seemed like now would be an appropriate time for a new blog post about these symptoms so that people can receive some validation for their challenges.

So of course each person’s awakening experience is unique, but there are certain patterns that frequently occur. A common experience is that someone will feel like they are progressing through life on a steady course. They have goals, desires, and dreams, yet they remain unconscious of how much society, culture, media, their family, and their peer group have influenced the decisions they’ve been making their entire life. They’ve built up an identity based on all this programming from external sources. Their main concern is with material, physical, worldly pursuits, and they are highly attached to their false identity, a.k.a. the conditioned ego. Then a particular event occurs in their life that causes the ego to crack open and eventually fall apart. Whether it’s a mystical experience, a near death experience, the death of a loved one, job loss, or a debilitating illness, something significant happens that causes the person to question their purpose, their role, their identity, and maybe even the meaning of existence.

When the ego cracks open, that’s when things often turn messy. There is suddenly so much uncertainty about everything. You may suddenly be asking yourself, “Who am I? What am I supposed to do now? What are we all doing here on Earth? Where do we go once our physical body ceases to function? Who/what created all of this? Why do people suffer? How do I make sense of this complicated mess called life? How can I function and maintain an identity now that everything seems like an illusion? How do I move forward and strive toward achieving goals, like I used to, now that everything suddenly seems so meaningless?” As awkward and uncomfortable as it feels to start questioning everything, it is a clear sign that you are evolving and trying to come back into alignment with truth. The process of deprogramming has begun.

If you have spent the majority of your life thinking of yourself one way, and now that old sense of self you created is falling apart, it’s no surprise that you feel pain and confusion. Your foundation has been knocked down, causing you to feel unstable and without a sense of belonging. You may feel fearful and insecure about your ability to go back to living an ordinary existence like everyone else. Your perspective on everything may be changing so rapidly that it’s hard to adjust and remain grounded in physical reality. At this point, people often get so desperate to return to the sense of control they felt when the ego was in charge that they will attempt to return to their old life or build a new identity. The problem is rebuilding an identity will no longer work in the way it used to. The reason it will feel like you’re chasing after a prize that doesn’t exist is because an identity truly does not exist. You know now that creating identities is a silly game that people play. Many are completely tricked by this game, but you have become disillusioned by now. The illusion that your ego is who you are has been shattered.

When you suffer, it is often because your ego is desperately grasping and aching to regain the dominant position, but those days are over now that you have expanded your awareness. Once you’ve expanded your awareness, you cannot contract it and pretend not to know what you now know. You can try to go into denial, but you won’t obtain inner peace and fulfillment by going down that path. Going back to what was familiar is likely to feel like a horrible fit for your new expanded awareness. It will feel so wrong to go back to the way you were. Maybe you can’t get any sense of direction about where you’re heading, but you know waking up has forever changed the course of your life.

Losing your sense of self can be very strange and/or painful. This experience can sometimes lead to ego death or the dark night of the soul. The dark night can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Some say their dark night lasted for decades. I find it hard to give specific advice on how to get out of a dark night because, for one, I am still dealing with these challenges. I also think what works for some may not work for all. Even if I could predict a solution that would work for you, now may not be the best time to apply that solution. Awakening is a mysterious process, and no one can say with any certainty why some of us are going through this. It’s unfolding differently for each person, and in order to feel some sanity in all of this, I recommend that you try to be at peace with where you are instead of letting others advise you on what to do.

My recommendation is to remain patient. Let the process unfold. Keep learning. Keep expanding. Keep going within. Keep trusting your intuition and truth. See where this journey takes you. It might take you further into emptiness, confusion, panic, exhaustion, or isolation for a while longer, but maybe this challenging phase will serve its purpose in the end. When you feel inspired to act on something, then act, but it is best to avoid rushing ahead of the process and forcing things to happen out of fear or impatience. If you want to rest and withdraw most of the time, do what is necessary for your survival and then rest. If you want to read an endless amount of books and articles on spiritual topics to absorb as much knowledge as possible, then read. If you want to spend hours meditating, meditate. If you want to do nothing, do nothing. Try to stop putting judgments on what you think you should be doing right now. This is your path.

When you think about how hard it is to function, to socialize, or to stay grounded in reality, remind yourself that you are ok right now. It might feel like your world has fallen apart, but you are where you are right now. Remind yourself that you are being brave by diving completely into the process. It is no easy feat to drop your old life and begin navigating your way through so much uncertainty.

I have one last thing to say about the ego. I think on some level, we have to construct a form of identity in order to function in the 3D world, but a spiritual awakening causes you to lose attachment to your ego. When you play the silly game of creating identities, instead of deriving pleasure from it, you know you’re just playing a game. You know an identity is a false, temporal creation that can change from day to day or hour to hour or even minute to minute. The soul is much bigger than any label. I do not believe words can capture the totality of who we are and what all of this is.

Now, moving on to the other common symptom–chronic fatigue. As you lose your sense of purpose and are no longer able to derive any meaning about life, it can erase most or possibly all of your passions, which ultimately feels a lot like depression. Feeling confused and lacking inspiration will pull down your energy. Another theory of why fatigue occurs after awakening is because when the kundalini energy suddenly comes through the body, it can be too intense and burn out your endocrine/hormonal system. The thyroid and adrenal glands are most affected. It’s a good idea to research adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism to get an idea of whether you might be suffering from hormonal imbalances. Also, perhaps you have always been a highly sensitive person and therefore are less resilient at coping with stress, making you even more prone to suffering from stress-related ailments like chronic fatigue.

Potential solutions for fatigue are to get more rest, reduce stressful experiences while increasing pleasurable ones, connect with like-minded and supportive people, practice meditation and other relaxation techniques, engage in light to moderate exercise, eat nutrient dense foods, resolve nutrient deficiencies, experiment with supplements and herbs, find outlets for creativity and expression, make time for self-care, and avoid having expectations of when you hope to recover. Though it is no longer as intense or quite as debilitating, fatigue and low motivation are still issues for me. I try to be ok with the fact that this is still part of my reality. I’m not saying you should give up and surrender to the idea of being exhausted or unmotivated for the rest of your life. Life just flows easier when you can be proactive and consistently put in effort, yet you are also allowing your body to heal at its own pace.

I know how hard it is to be patient when fatigue becomes an everyday experience. I’m sorry to say that the awakening experience is not just about feeling peace, connection, and bliss all the time. If you are a real truth seeker and are willing to confront the darkness that exists within yourself and out in the world, it can get really messy and uncomfortable. The fatigue and low motivation are forcing us to stop participating in the external world. It’s allowing us to look within ourselves deeply enough to reach new levels of awareness. We’ve been playing as actors in the physical world. Now perhaps is the time to slow down so we can learn, heal, and discover who we really are. We can use this time to get in touch with our soul and listen to whatever messages it is trying to convey. It is time to follow our inner guidance and stop letting the voices all around us control the direction of our lives.

To the person who posted the comment related to identity loss and fatigue, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your difficulties with me. I hope all that I shared here helped in some kind of way, even if it only helped normalize what you have been feeling and thinking lately. Have faith that you will continue to be transformed in significant ways through your awakening experience. With time and patience, it becomes possible to feel less resistance to sitting with uncertainty.

To anyone who is dealing with a dark night of the soul, identity loss, or post-awakening fatigue, here are a few things I recommend that you explore:

The Awakening of Involution

The End of Your World by Adyashanti

Disillusionment as a Positive Process

Spiritual Awakening Symptom: Feeling Tired

Stages of a Spiritual Awakening: The Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul & How to Feel Better

7 Signs of the Dark Night of the Soul

Ram Dass – Dark Night of the Soul



19 thoughts on “Spiritual Awakening: Intense Fatigue & Identity Loss

  1. Sheena March 11, 2017 / 1:29 AM

    Thank you, thank you! I’m so happy I’ve found your blog. It’s been hard finding another person who seems to be at a very similar “stage” in the awakening process as I feel that I am in at this moment or at least, as I read your words it feels as though I am reading my own thoughts. How amazing! Speaking to hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue specifically, I can certainly relate. Summer 2015 I had an incredible spiritual experience on mt Shasta. Afterwards I entered the ‘dark night of the soil’. Incredibly painful. After about 8 months of this, needless to say I was stressed and exhausted always. I was then diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I had no choice but to, for first time in my life, slow down and evaluate, rest and focus on my health. This is still all I really have the energy for. After I read your post, I am thinking now that I had a kundalini experience (I certainly felt God) and my thyroid/glands got ‘burned’–makes sense! Ever since that summer, there have been moments of great clarity, beauty and connection but also many moments of deep pain and sadness as the layers of ego slowly peel away but above all, an inner knowing that I must keep going. I admire your courage for speaking out and sharing your experiences so intimately. I came across your blog at just the right time, when I was feeling pretty low–now I feel some fire coming back into my heart again. Thank you!


    • awakenfromthedream March 11, 2017 / 12:46 PM

      Hi Sheena,

      Thank you so much for your comment! It really put a smile on my face to know that my blog helps validate what you’re experiencing. Although I doubt you were enthused to receive a diagnosis, I kind of wish I had received the same. My numbers always came back normal, but having so many symptoms of hormonal imbalance, I just decided to tackle the issue on my own with natural remedies. It will definitely take some time for your body to heal and for you to regain inner balance due to the dramatic transformations you’re going through now. It’s an up-and-down ride, for sure, and not one that a whole lot of people understand. You’re right, once we get a glimpse of our true spiritual nature, we have an inner sense and a deep yearning to keep trekking through in order to learn and grow. Continue getting lots of rest, look into taking some herbs for energy and hormonal balance…do whatever you need to do right now. It will gradually get easier. I think for now, we’re still in a bit of shock and are doing our best to adjust to something that we were not expecting! Take care of yourself, dear. And most importantly, listen to your soul’s guidance πŸ˜‰


  2. feelinglost April 17, 2017 / 5:31 PM

    Thank you. I have been stuck like this since my second son was born. I am beyond tired now. I don’t want to be alive any more. What am I fighting?


    • awakenfromthedream April 23, 2017 / 9:36 PM

      Hi dear, I’m really sorry that you’re feeling so tired. I feel your pain. I really do. I know what it’s like to question the point of living when you can’t muster the energy to do much of anything but eat and take multiple naps throughout the day. It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? The endless fatigue can lead to a rut, and then being stuck in the tired rut becomes depressing. This is not an easy experience to go through. I can’t say with any certainty why you’re feeling tired, but I’ve heard about a possible connection between pregnancy and adrenal fatigue. Maybe your body experienced some significant hormonal changes during or after the birth of your son that has led to fatigue. If you were dealing with a lot of stress prior to or during the pregnancy, that could definitely play a role. Consider researching adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism if you haven’t already. Hang in there. Our bodies can heal once we find the right solutions. Sometimes the thing our bodies crave the most is simply rest and relaxation for a while. I hope you find what works for you. Please reach out if you have any more questions.


  3. Kansas October 22, 2017 / 12:02 AM

    Thank you for this post!!!! This is exactly what I needed to read. I recently began my spiritual awakening journey and lately I’ve been really struggling and feeling like a mess and I couldn’t understand why. I was trying hard to focus on being positive, spreading love and practicing gratitude but I still was feeling overwhelmed and this sense of suffering inside. Now I understand that those feelings are part of a spiritual awakening process and I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences, they are greatly appreciated ❀


    • awakenfromthedream October 22, 2017 / 6:11 PM

      Yep, pain and confusion is very common after we begin waking up! Some people will have you believe it’s all about joy, love, and being positive all the time, but that’s not the truth of it. A lot of us, unfortunately, still have a lot of traumas/wounds, programmed beliefs, and fears that remain after the awakening has begun. There is a lot of mess to sort through, and we’re now becoming significantly more aware of it. We know there is a lot to release, but no one taught us how to handle this. No one taught us how to be loving toward ourselves, to be in touch with our hearts and intuition, and how to be a sovereign, empowered, and fully actualized self. My best piece of advice is to face the darkness, pain, and negativity so it can be healed and released. Too many people are using that ultra positivity approach as a form of escapism from pain and to deny that bad things happen in the world. Balance and acceptance of feelings is better, in my opinion. You most certainly are not alone. There are a lot of us going through this right now. I hope this process leads to a deep transformation for you, no matter how long it takes to get there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AC November 5, 2017 / 3:12 PM

    Thank you so much!! This was such a helpful (and normalizing!) article!


  5. bash December 10, 2017 / 6:41 AM

    The exhaustion never seems to end.
    One wonders what is going on inside.

    What is going on inside.


    • awakenfromthedream December 12, 2017 / 2:23 AM

      I think the exhaustion could be caused by several different factors. It’s going to vary from one individual to the next. There are sometimes obvious causes, like vitamin deficiencies, lack of exercise, and excessive stress that leave us feeling depleted. But for some of us, the exhaustion and low motivation just linger. I know it’s terrible and frustrating. It still continues to affect me, though not quite as badly. I try my best to look at periods of inactivity as an opportunity to learn more and look further inward. Maybe the point is for us to slow down and really look at things instead of jumping back into distraction through busyness like most do.


      • bash March 9, 2018 / 12:41 PM

        I used to be an athlete so I it’s not the lack of exercise thing or diet.

        I don’t really know what it is.

        There is another question. How does one function from the Space?

        The fatigue isn’t quite as bad and I still work.

        But i honestly don’t know what is going on.

        It’s only a problem if I “think” about it.

        In the Space of being all is well. But I have no plan about my life and not yet aware of intuition.

        Still there is incredible peace.

        What happens now?


      • awakenfromthedream March 9, 2018 / 6:21 PM

        Hi bash,

        If you’re certain that none of the basic factors are contributing to your fatigue, it would be wise to look into factors on the spiritual and energetic level that cause fatigue. In one of the video links I listed at the end of this blog post titled “7 Signs of the Dark Night of the Soul,” Victor Oddo described long periods of time during the beginning of his spiritual awakening where he experienced unexplainable fatigue and body aches. Also, starting in 2014, Earth’s vibrational frequency suddenly started increasing, and no one knows why this is happening because it had been steady at 7.83 Hz for so long. Maybe there is something going on energetically that we don’t fully understand yet, and this might be creating instability and physical symptoms in our bodies since we’re having a hard time adjusting physically to rapid frequency shifts. I may write a blog post about this topic soon. Check out this article about the Schumann Resonance and especially pay attention to the symptoms she mentioned at the end: http://www.trinfinity8.com/why-is-earths-schumann-resonance-accelerating/

        I wish I could provide more answers, but I haven’t fully resolved this issue myself, nor do I understand why many of us have been hit with fatigue that will not go away. Of course, life can be stressful, and it’s harder to be healthy in some ways, but it seems like there’s something else going on. Try to be at peace as best as you can with where you are right now until you can find the answers. Explore some outside the box solutions. Spend as much time as possible in nature. Some people report benefits from grounding. I hope you find something that helps.


  6. allen comeau March 7, 2018 / 4:51 PM

    Adrenalectomy last may, my stress has subsided, I can relate and was thinking this was brought on by ego death or toxins and chronic pain of 25 years. I am trying to do all I can to exist, I am here and it is better than not being here. I am awake for the most part but find myself in a dreamy state sometimes which is very unnearving. I realize I know so much more now that I am awake and a lot of that is the fact that all of the certainties in my past consciousness were for the most part delusions and for the most part it happens a lot in society. I found this post when I did a search for finding identity after ego death but now I am thinking that some day I may look back and say this is who I was, maybe my efforts will make it possible but I should try not to burden myself with expectations on some ideological predetermined expectations of self identity. Your writhing is insightful and with me as with others I think it’s been brought on by crisis and although I am not entirely certain of the crisis I am trying to look at this like bad news good news. I have been forced to be someone else and I am not exactly certain who yet but am optimistic about the possible potential? I have to stay optimistic. Despite this reality. Thanks, cheers.


    • awakenfromthedream March 8, 2018 / 1:03 PM

      Hi Allen,

      I’m sorry to hear about your health challenges. Like you, I’m not sure if it was the physical factors (for me, stress and diet) or the spiritual awakening that has contributed more to the fatigue & adrenal issues I’ve experienced. It could be a combination of factors in both our cases.

      Yes, I think you are on the right track when you said, “I should try not to burden myself with expectations on some ideological predetermined expectations of self identity.” People don’t want to hear it because it takes them out of their comfort zones, but these identities we create are an illusion. Once you’ve experienced ego death, this truth has been realized, and you cannot unknow it. One on the hand, knowing this can be depressing, scary, and unsettling from the ego’s perspective. We like to think we know who we are. But on a deeper soul level, it can be liberating when you realize that labels/roles/identities cannot define you or your worth. Chronic health issues have a way of stripping us of our former roles and identities to the point that we don’t recognize ourselves anymore.

      The good thing about losing your sense of identity is that you can embrace whatever identity you want at any moment, and you don’t have to get upset by people’s perceptions of you because you know you and everyone else is just playing an illusory role. You could spend time each day trying to connect deeper with your soul by sitting alone in silence or journaling your thoughts and feelings on paper. This gets us in touch with our more authentic selves that don’t care about society’s expectations and judgments. Recognizing yourself as a spiritual being who is currently riding along on this journey called life might help ease the pressure to have an identity.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts on this topic. Waking up is challenging for sure, but it leads to a level of growth and depth within us that could not be gained by living completely carefree on the surface of life.


  7. Cinnamon March 22, 2018 / 11:01 AM

    Thank you so much for this article. I remember reading it some time ago, now I read it again, with a different flavour. As it has changed over time.

    I’m struggling now to express in words what I want to convey here. I’m on this journey for some time now, five years, but feels like my whole life. Sometimes there is bliss, I had periods of magic, and periods of dark night. It always changes. Whatever I believed, you could bet after some time I would wake up that it’s just not true for me now. One belief after the other falling away, then sometimes coming back again. About a year ago I resigned from my job because I could not continue being there 8 hours a day, felt like I’m going to explode, often spent half of the days crying in the restroom, not sure why…I had no energy. Back then there were these explanations in my mind, nice dreams about me being destined to do something more…that “there is a path for me, something that fits, something that will help the world” etc. The last drops of this kind of motivation and belief that there is some path for me have just fallen away not long ago.
    Now I’m facing the abyss again, and I’m not depressed. Only feels like going crazy.
    There is resistance still, I suppose and that is what causes the suffering in my case. There is this huge acceleration happening where I can see clearly the resistance, the beliefs that are still lingering, the parts of the false self (is there such a thing?) that don’t want to let go.
    I suppose this resistance is what is eating away my energy, but what do I know? πŸ™‚
    So it’s been going on for years now and since the last year I live almost like a monk, isolated and unable to function. While any story I tell, feels so fake, even this one.
    I’d like to find someone like a teacher, some sort of guide, maybe.


    • awakenfromthedream March 22, 2018 / 3:17 PM

      Hi Cinnamon,

      The difficulty with putting it all into words is something I currently relate to, as well. My path is obviously different from yours and everyone else’s path, but we all know some of the same struggles.

      I’m sorry to hear about your challenging time at work. It sounds like it was time to exit from that environment and that phase of your life to enter more deeply into your rebirthing phase. This is a very uncomfortable place to get stuck, isn’t it? We don’t have literal caves anymore where we can go hide and escape from society. When we stay isolated inside our homes during this part of the process, there is still that part of us that feels pressure to hurry things up and hop back into the game with passion and purpose. Trusting the process, and even understanding what this process is, is perhaps most challenging of all.

      Despite how crazy you feel right now, I think all this is a sign of gaining spiritual maturity. You’re not denying what you feel. When we’re honest with ourselves, we will experience the dark, confusing periods and the times when things flow better. Without the struggle, I doubt we would learn or grow as much.

      I hope you find exactly what you need to assist you on your journey. I’m in favor of trusting ourselves to be our own teacher/guide, but if you’re feeling called to seek external help, there could be a good reason for that.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is a comfort for me and the readers of this blog to know that others out there are having similar experiences.


  8. Ben April 13, 2018 / 3:04 AM

    Unless I started awakening very young, I’ve got something other going on causing me to feel sick and tired all my life, but if I’m gonna subscribe to these ideas of a spiritual connection to my physical pain then I will figure it applies with all physical conditions right? Like even if you fall off your skateboard and break your arm, there too must be a spiritual connection, perhaps not so deep as a personal revolution or anything, but even the timing of our births have a connection with the stars above and effect our whole physical lives, so I guess whatever it is that has ailed me all my life, pain and fatigue centered around my torso, it must have a deep connection to something non-physical I feel is attached to fear in general and until my physical body is no more I will always have fear, shouldn’t I? But why some, like you mention are more sensitive and thus experience more suffering? I have empathy because of my pain, but God, can’t I do the physical things I desire to do like every other normal healthy looking person? Am I suffering for a past life? Why do I feel like in order for me to feel physically good I have to face fears normal healthy people don’t have to? There’s never been anything physical wrong any doctor could notice, so any symptoms I experienced were all attributed to ‘allergies’ which is correct I guess but doesn’t really explain much. I don’t like to settle on fate as an explanation. There are ‘cheats’ or little previously undiscovered tricks people sometimes find that change their lives. Where’s my special day coming? Will it be a really good Google search, some video, article, some strange bush I have smoke or drink it’s tea? Do I have to jump off a building with true faith in my invincibility? Will it be a totally new and correct question I’ve never asked? Has some higher power abandoned my physical health to focus on my mind for it having a super high purpose(as opposed to ‘everyone else who doesn’t suffer like I do)? Why would one look so physically healthy(yes I look great on the outside) yet feel so ill? Or is this there no “physical” in reality and my suffering is in essence a spiritual energetic thing? Well fine, but I’m not getting any younger, what the heck am I supposed to do here in this hard physical world with this hard painful body? I think I should take steroids to assist my spiritual journey. Why not if it can help with the physical aspect of life? Cuz it would be addictive and unhealthy… And I feel so good now… Ugh. Not my night/morning/month/year/… I’ll reclaim my life somehow. “my” life? Who the f is that causing me all this pain? Oh that ego death thing. Aye! IDK


    • awakenfromthedream April 21, 2018 / 3:26 PM

      Hi Ben,

      Thank you for commenting. Some people say every health problem is rooted in a spiritual issue, but I’m currently hesitant to subscribe 100% to that belief. I may change my mind on this matter in the future. Anyway, this post was primarily written for people who have recently experienced a spiritual awakening and notice themselves suddenly feeling exhausted without any clear explanation. Fatigue is not always linked to a spiritual awakening, of course, which is why I encourage people to go beyond the spiritual and also consider physical, mental, and emotional factors that can contribute to it.

      Regarding your situation, I won’t be presumptuous and suggest I have any solutions or answers. I don’t have a super positive outlook on this reality we are in. These bodies we inhabit are, in my opinion, like flawed machines and prison cells that keep our souls trapped. I believe we possess the ability to be co-creators in this reality, though, and to encourage healing through intention (look into Dr. Joe Dispenza). It’s discouraging when quick, easy fixes that work for others have no effect on some of us, but it’s an encouraging, hopeful reminder when we see someone finally find the solution that works for them after years of searching and struggling. I don’t know why it feels like some of us are being tested and have to face struggles that others never taste.

      I will point out something that might sound a bit strange to you that is based on a couple things you said. The discomfort in your torso and the non-physical thing you suggested that is attached to fear made me think of the archons. More people are starting to think that there is a dark force (aka the archons) that feeds upon human suffering and fear. Some suggest archons attach themselves to the solar plexus chakra and feed off that energy. If this concept interests you or resonates with you, definitely explore it. If it sounds too strange, you can ignore this idea. Just throwing it out there as a possibility among a hundred other theories. Gnosticism has been one of my favorite topics to explore lately, and I can’t help but wonder if its teachings provide some pretty accurate answers about life, reality, and suffering.


      • juntjoo nunya April 21, 2018 / 8:42 PM

        Thank you. I will look into archons and continue looking into gnosticism.


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