When I try to describe how it feels when I wake up and want to quit the day before it even starts, the best word for it is paralyzed. Completely and utterly paralyzed.
This morning I tried to craft a text explaining to my partner that I couldn't come in to work today because there was no way to compel my body to move. How do you even describe that to someone? I attempted to illustrate it the best I could to help her understand, but who knows if she did. I hoped she didn't hate me for burdening her; I sincerely felt awful for not coming in. But I didn't even wait for her reply. I just closed my eyes and drifted back to sleep.
There is no way to wrap your mind around how the body can just reject directions from the brain if you haven't experienced it yourself. Until Blake died, I had always taken for granted the automatic nature of the mind-body connection. If you want to pick something up, your brain tells your hand to reach, open, close, and lift. Simply because your brain sends the signal, your body reacts accordingly. But not when you're paralyzed.
I don't want to be insulting to people who actually have medically diagnosed paralysis, but I do believe grief and depression can legitimately have similar (but transient) effects. This morning my brain feverishly sent signals to my legs, but they refused to move. It tried again with my arms, but they lay limp under the covers. After working on overdrive sending signals and screaming at my body about why we needed to get our shit together and GET UP, my brain finally accepted that it lost. I remained in bed the rest of today.
Instead of beating myself up over this, I can only kindly ask myself why? This feeling of being paralyzed hasn't taken me over since the weeks immediately following Blake's death. What I experienced on my birthday yesterday and again today jolted me back to that black hole I was in before. It was terrifying to re-experience that crippling, but indifferent sense of mental defeat when I thought I put behind me. Why was this happening again?
I honestly don't know why. What I do know is that I need to develop better strategies to help myself if this happens again. There are only so many times that a text about my "paralysis" will be accepted and unpunished by a person who was counting on me. Because the reality of the situation is I'm not paralyzed. Even though sometimes it feels that way, my body has full ability to function in whatever way I want it to. I guess what I need to work on now is truly wanting it to.