Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and LiteratureSummer 2016
One of Those Days
By C. Borden
There are days when getting out of bed makes my head hurt just thinking about it. You know those days. They are the days when every muscle in your body is screaming, telling you to keep your butt right where it is. The days when moving even the tiniest bit is like moving a dead body. Oh wait. That is my body.
Yeah. It is a dead body. My mind, not always the liveliest to begin with, is the only part of my body that is ready to go on mornings like these. My body is screaming for an early grave. Why else does it weigh me down, feeling like I am trying to move five times my actual body weight?
Today is one of those days. The alarm went off. I hit snooze. The animals stir. They know it is time to be fed. I hear the dog in his dedicated room - he likes to chew on anything of a wooden nature. Not great for my furniture. I hear the cats as they moan the blues outside my door. They are not allowed in my room. Love them as much as I do, breathing in kitty fur all night is not my idea of restful sleep. The alarm goes off again. Wait! Fifteen minutes has already passed?
I am still not ready. I hit snooze again. I tell myself all I really need is five more minutes. Just five more. Surely in five minutes my dead body will shed its lead weight and be ready to start the day. The snooze goes off again. Where in the heck did I just lose another fifteen minutes? I was just thinking about... Oh never mind.
I hit snooze again. I swear this is not a daily ritual. It can’t be, you know. I have a family I have to take care of. Yes. Beyond the three furry creatures demanding even more insistently that they be fed, I have a husband to see off to work and a child to send off to school. I cannot afford to just lie around. The fact that thirty minutes has passed me by is killing me. Guilt goes so well with the depression. You know that, right?
What depression? Yeah. Right. You didn’t know. Of course not. Neither does my Doctor. Why in the hell would I share that with anyone? Why put another label on my back? Why open myself up to be criticized even more by people who mean well - at least they think they mean well. I have doubts.
Why guilt, you ask? Oh yeah. Let me tell you about the guilt. Mornings like these don’t occur all that often anymore. However, after days, and weeks, and bless me, nearly a month of having nothing but great, bounce out of bed, I love the sunshine and the sunshine loves me mornings, when a day like this hits, I know the next day will be the same, and maybe even the next. So, yes, there is guilt. Because after stellar days, that you all call ‘normal,’ a day like today means anything after getting out of bed is a huge success for me, but also a huge disappointment for someone else.
Guilt because days like today mean my family has to fend for themselves, because once the immediate burst of energy I am always miraculously able to whip up expends itself, they almost literally have to peel me off the floor and help me back to this old bed.
Guilt because days like today mean my friends are not going to see me after all. I will not be going to meet for coffee. I will not be up for chatting on the phone. I will not be sociable at all because every ounce of my energy has to be present in this house for as long as I can manage.
Days like today, where this old dead body, that tricks people with its mockery of life, that tricks even me as I take another breath and as I feel my heart beat, does its best to foretell the future. This is what it will be like, it tells me. This is what I have to look forward to. At some point, this will be the absolute best I will be able to do - stare at the ceiling.
I guess I should be scared of that. I guess that in itself should drive me right out of this bed. It should make me flex those muscles that I know work just fine and roll this dead body out of bed.
It should... It doesn’t... I hit snooze again..
C. Borden is a business owner, wife, and mother. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and dabbles in nature photography. When she is not following her passion in storytelling, she is most likely enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, or curled up with a good book from one of her favorite authors. You can find a few of her works on Smashwords.com