On Days You Don’t Want to Get Up

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Some mornings I wake up staring mindlessly at the wall. Those mornings, I don’t want to get up.

This morning, I opened blood-shot eyes and just stared. Mindlessly. And I stared some more.

And in that moment, if you had walked through my bedroom door calling my name, I wouldn’t have turned toward you because in that very moment, I wasn’t there.

It is in these moments, when not a single thought or emotion fills heart and mind, I cease to exist; just a shell of a person, I stare at the wall breathing oxygen, but not life.

The dog is barking now, running in circles around fallen dirty laundry. Although I feel detached and distant, the dog’s sharp insistent pleas awaken within me a routine duty, so, silent in my thoughts, I pad across the carpet to the front door and let him out.

Going through the motions of being alive, I fry two eggs, brew coffee dark as night, and take my vitamins.

Sitting in my chair, I try to read something Wholesome but the Words are unable to permeate my cloudy nonexistence so I just stare some more out the window, thinking maybe this is what it feels like to be dead.

Driving to work, I watch the yellow lines and I know when they turn solid, I need to turn.

I wonder if I’m depressed. Or bipolar. Or if God even loves me.

At work, I am unproductive. I catch myself glancing at the clock time and again, willing it to be 5:00 so I can just go home and start the day over tomorrow. Walking out at 5:01, I try not to notice how my desk is cluttered with sticky notes of tasks to accomplish some other time.

On the way home, I decide to stop by my parents’ house and my nephew is there, jumping on the trampoline with a sprinkler underneath. He calls to me, words tumbling sporadic as he bounces. “Hey, wanna... pause... watch me do... pause... the Sonic Skateboard move?”

“Sure,” I say flatly, plastering a fake smile on my face.

My brother’s pet raccoon runs between my legs and under the trampoline, where he fishes in a puddle like only a raccoon can, nimble hands searching, rubbing, somewhat like a human digging for deeper meaning.

“You should jump with me!” My nephew stands before me, tugging his Cars swimming trunks higher because the jumping has lowered them a bit too much.

“Maybe,” I reply. “Would you teach me the Sonic Skateboard?”

“Sure!” His enthusiasm is contagious and I forget momentarily how tired I am.

So I switch into swimming trunks and climb onto the trampoline. The freezing spray of water beads on my arms and it’s so cold that I catch my breath but I’m breathing again, jumping wildly and the raccoon gets scared and darts for the tree nearby because there’s something big on the trampoline now. Under the watchful eye of my nephew coach, I flip again in the air, knees slamming against the wet tarp as I learn the Sonic Skateboard move. I smile and do another, hands reaching for the sky before slamming onto my back and the spray is wild in my face, joy dripping free as I flip in the air, bounce again, and the laughter just tumbles out.

After ten minutes, I’m breathless, so I lay in the grass staring into the cloudless sky and I realize for the first time today, as my heart pounds hard and drops of water evaporate from my face: I am living…and I am alive.

Image by Tim Miller. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Post by Duane Scott.