I’m laying in bed and it feels like there is brick on my chest that weighs a thousand pounds. It’s only eight thirty in the morning and it’s already hard to breathe and my eyes are swelling with tears.
I can’t move my arms or my legs, it's as though they had been tied down to the bed. I can feel my face redden, as my fingers twitch and my mind runs wild. Ignoring my pleas to shut up, the thoughts bounce around my head freely. I play over all the terrifying possibilities that await me. I don’t want to interact with people. I don’t want to run into anyone I know. And I am just plain terrified to leave the comfort of my own home. Close your eyes. Close your eyes. My mind whispers for me to fall back asleep. How I would give anything to be able to roll back over, wrapped up like a burrito and hide from all my responsibilities and obligations.
I don’t understand why the mornings are so hard for me. Even when I go to bed after a wonderful day with my boyfriend and my dog, I still wake up to the same exact battle I woke up to the day before. Whether things are good, bad or in between, mornings are a struggle and hurt me to the bone.
I always wanted to be able to jump right out of bed and eagerly hop into my day. But things are never that easy for me. No matter the job or the class and the excitement I get from them, the idea of waking up and entering a world I find so terrifying causes me to freeze and question. It would be so much easier if I stayed in bed. But I am an adult and that's not really how things work. I have classes to attend so I can get a degree to get a better job to support myself and whatever family I choose to have. I have a job I need to go to so I can pay for my food and take care of myself. The biggest responsibility is my dog. He needs me to get out of bed every morning. He needs to be walked, and fed, and cleaned, and played with.
Every morning I have to fight off the thoughts and the demons, pull on a fresh pair of pants and socks and go into the world I am so afraid of. I just wish those actions were as impressive as running a marathon. It is unbearably hard to explain to people the routine I go through every morning. It is impossible to explain that sometimes I am just sad and I have no idea why. The fears are irrational and most times make no sense but they are there and I can’t escape them, and trying to convey this to others just makes me look insane. Sometimes nothing is physically wrong. The day went right, my grades are great and work went fast. But in that day I feel like a slug and can’t pull myself from the hands dragging me back to my bed.
College is so much more difficult than I ever thought. I was a straight A student in high school, I was part of student council and President of my spanish club. School came easy, even when I was fighting through the darkness. Yet, here I am a Junior in college struggling to pull up enough that I can even walk.
How can I explain all this without being told I am coming up with excuses? Without being called lazy? WIthout being told I am moping? Everyone tells me it's all in my head. But that's the thing! It is my head! My head that wont shut up. My head that won't breathe. My head that won't take a minute break so I can enjoy the life dancing in front of me.
Getting out of bed is so hard. And unfortunately some days just impossible. So I cover my head and I hide the fact that I am ashamed, that while people are running marathons, I am just trying to put my feet on the ground.
What makes my head race is that I am so aware of the fact that I am not alone. There are many people out there, young and old, who have a battle they face each day. A battle that they have just as much trouble, like myself, describing to people who just can’t understand. It is not as simple as saying, “Today is going to be a good day.” It is not as easy as setting an alarm and throwing yourself from bed the minute it chimes.
Every person has a battle they must fight. No one should look at another’s and tell them theirs is inferior.
Congratulations! You got out of bed today, and you gave the war another try.