I wake up.
At least I think I am awake.
I can feel the faintest sense of sunlight on my skin, filtering through my eyelids, gently urging me to wake up.
But I can’t move.
My breathing feels laboured. My heart struggles with every beat. It can’t be morning, surely not already, I’m exhausted. Just lying here, feeling the sunshine, breathing in and out – it’s all so exhausting.
That’s the only problem when you have a medical mind like mine. You know what your body has been up to all night – breathing, beating, digesting, repairing, regenerating. If only I could stop all of that activity, just for a minute, I might be able to summon the energy to get out of bed.
But it doesn’t and I can’t.
Maybe it’s my mind I need to switch off? To stop all of this thinking – I wish! My mind has taken over my body, my being, my life. It hates me. It watches everything I do and reminds me of all the things I have done wrong. Makes sure I get every glimpse of my fat arse, remembers every stupid thing I’ve said. And not just from the last week or two. If ever there is a dull moment, my mind will start troweling through days gone by and bring up a fib when I was twelve, a tasty comment to a classmate at fifteen. It’s exhausting, all so exhausting.
Just breath – in then out, in then out.
I went to some yoga class a few months back and they talked about your breath being restorative, giving you life. I will positive energy in with my next breath. A huge sob instead settles on my chest trying to strangle my next breath. Tears prick behind my eyes, sadness seems to fill every cell of my being.
And then I sense another breath in my room. I am not alone. Little feet trip across the floor boards and a warm hand reaches out to touch mine. Little hands that are all day reaching, asking the world of me, taking every ounce of energy I have and then needing more. But right now, right at this point in time, those little fingers are love, they are warmth, they are my everything. Fingers of love that start in my hand, spread their warmth to my elbows, relaxing my shoulders, strengthening my heart.
“Hey, little guy, how did you get in here? Mummy’s meant to be having a sleep in.” He senses I am awake, plants a kiss on my forehead and asks. “Coffee?” I find the energy to nod.
Just when I’ve given up on my head ever being on my side, it calls a truce. It sends me love and coffee. I gingerly sit up, swing my legs over the edge of the bed and take a step to the window. I pull up the blind and look out onto our street. A pretty little yard cordoned off by a perfect white picket fence. A little bird skips through the yard and a smile finds its way onto my face. It’s only the start of the day, but I’ve made it out of bed. It will be a long day, I know there will be tears – for both him and me, but I’m out of bed so that makes today better than most. I can breath, I am here, I am loved – better than most.