If it didn’t worry me it would almost be pleasant.

I feel my breath in and out, my eyelids, the almost imperceptible difference between the mattress and me.

The sounds of my life are outside my bubble. Leo’s incoming skype call from an unseen minecraft buddy. Oliver dragging the desk across his floor. The peeing cat’s yowl to come inside. The way the heat sounds like the dryer. Or is it the dryer? No. Its the heat. We have given in and turned it on.

Every piece of me feels leaden. Like the flu with no sinus symptoms, skin and muscle so heavy. My own body is lying on top of me crushing me down. Slowly, evenly, crushing me.

Oliver and Steve built a bridge today. Their third in the last 10 weeks. I went to visit it half way through and in its final form. I walked across and tested its strength and stability. Oliver had enough excitement for all of us. It was a command performance that served its purpose with my physical self only. The rest of me is…resting?

I got my period the other day which is relevant because this is supposed to be one of the good days. I get between 12 and 14 good days a month and this should be day three. I try to reconstruct in my molasses mind. How was yesterday? Yesterday? I don’t know anything at all about yesterday. I don’t really remember anything between last weekend and this one. Lat weekend was good. We had our anniversary. I gathered photos and videos to make an anniversary post. I have not posted it.

I didn’t cancel on the friend who came over today because I know that I like her, and my boys were really excited to see her son. I did alright. We drank bloody mary’s and took a short walk to another friend’s house, we talked about travel and skiing, and our kids. When we came back and I looked into the eyes of her 14 year old son I had a weird wake up jolt.

There was something. Just for a minute. I don’t know if I saw him or if he saw me, but for a tiny sliver of moment there was no guard and no haze and I was right there behind my eyes. It reminded me of my first wedding, the one of the failed marriage. Where I faked my way through the entire expensive ceremony and reception and spoke with everyone in the world who was supposed to be closet to me and there was one guests. The son of my father’s best friend who I barely knew. He wasn’t looking for the happy wedding story, he was projecting nothing on to me and he knew right there that I was miserable. The only one of the 250 guests. He grabbed my arm and said. “I’m sorry.” He probably sped up my divorce by a year with those two words.

I think it was the kid who was open tonight, not that his mother and my kids and husband and our other friend was closed tight…just not right behind our eyes like that. For the rest of them they have memories and next steps, and next lines and new connections running. For me I am just trying to stay out of bed. But not him. He is grown enough to be right there, but not grown up enough to have the interference of expectations.

I tried to hold onto that.

The new medicine doesn’t seem to be working. So I strip back my expectations. There is no bedtime tonight. Oliver is asleep next to me as I type. Leo is downstairs snacking and playing. He started his day at five. I know all the shoulds. I think about what the kind of mom I wish I were would do to help him rest. I set that aside. This one night will not be the end of Leo. It will probably make for a tremendously difficult morning. I try to think of a time he might have napped today but it escapes me. It seems unimportant. I will not get him to bed.

Sometimes this neglect serves the boys well. At dinner last week with another family the mother explains that she wakes her high school kids every morning. Steve and I tell her that the other day the boys got on the bus with the snacks and backpacks and we slept through the whole thing. They manage themselves pretty well for little guys. When they really need us we are here. I went to see the bridge. Even though most of me stayed in bed.

You know the phantom limb stories? Not the amputees who believe they still have their legs, but the opposite…the able bodied individuals who try to throw their legs out of bed. It is a lot like that. I wiggle my pink painted toe and think. I did that. I made that move. That is my toe. All five of them in fact are mine. On my foot.

This is the level of discourse that I have. My world is not much bigger than the bed. It extends across the room to the table with Steve’s Tigers hat. I am practicing feeling something for the hat. What I feel is a lot like the foot story. What is that hat doing there? It makes no sense to me at all. So I am practicing the memories. This is not the first Tigers hat. I try to remember the first. Nothing. There is just a general sense of not right ness about the hat.

I try something else. I think about my week. I know right away that the week is too big. I think about tomorrow. Also too big, or maybe too far away. So I go back to the heater. Dryer? Heater. I can hear the air. That whoosh is outside my head.

The drug trip without the insights or the ups. Just the downs.

Leo is coming upstairs now. I want to fix his chapped lips. He shows me how quickly he can drink water. I care a little. I’d say more than the bridge, but I don’t have to move so this might be an unfair comparison. I’m considering leaving bed to get him chapstick. He wants me to read to him.

I will now.

sleeping things

sleeping things

And 15 minutes later we have this. It is impossible to feel nothing with this situation. What I am feeling is good.

The following two tabs change content below.
Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

Latest posts by Anna Palmer (see all)