If you went through a literature gothic phase in high school, as many literature lovers do, you recognize the title of this post from The Raven by none other than Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. It’s still one of my favorite writings ever, a poem I even went to speech competition and monologued it (they said it was a poor choice for such a “common” poem as if that word could ever be applied to Poe, the uncultured fools).
But it’s this very line that won’t shake from my head. It’s hard to not think about it when some days, it’s all I can feel:
Weak and weary.
I’ve had many times of my life that were so emotionally taxing and mentally draining that it wasn’t surprising at how it affected me physically and vice versa. When I worked in retail, standing on my feet for hours and completing the same repetitive, mundane tasks over and over, my aching knees and back made my want to get out of bed nearly impossible. When I began work for an office job, the weight of the tasks that took more of a mental routine drove me into a drowsy state well before 5 o’clock. It all connects and relies on one another, the body and the mind.
Yesterday, several reasons dropped a weight on my shoulders: a hurt family member who’s been in more need of assistance, two other family members butting heads and needing a peacemaker to quell the tension (somehow I always snatch that role up though no one asks me to and it may or may not blow up in the my face), and my husband is constantly roughing it through a thankless job that is proving more physically taxing than anything else, which makes my fatigue feel like a spoiled whining.
I left my job and when I got home, I didn’t bother with any lights. I stole away up to our bedroom, politely moved my cat, Dahlia, from the middle of the bed (her favorite day spot to nap for hours), and propped every pillow, my husband’s included, into a makeshift nest of down and cotton. After switching my professional office dress and shoes for stretchy loungers and bare feet, I laid back.
I can only describe the sensation of my tired weight sinking into the pillows, sheets, and bed as euphoric and blissful. Every joint in my body had been aching and my chest felt tight as if I had been fighting back tears. Every tight pain eased and a lightness made me feel as if I were drifting yet able to feel statue still after a long day of bustling. Dahlia came to my side, meowing for attention but mostly pets. Eventually, I held up the comforter which she eased under and curled up to nap beside me (it’s her favorite thing to do though I would get too hot completely covered).
I’ll just take a moment, I thought. Rest a little. I won’t let John know I came home just to sleep.
Unfortunately, it was the door downstairs opening and shutting which woke me two hours later. I looked at my phone; two missed calls from him and a text messaging explaining he was getting gas before heading home from work.
My rest felt heavy, and I was sleep-tired the rest of the evening; that groggy feeling that makes your body absolutely sluggish and you never fully wake up. We watched a Redbox flick he picked up and scavenged for our dinner (a couple of bowls of cereal for me). He made sure I was okay since I was so quiet, asked if maybe I was coming down with something, but I assured him it was only fatigue and the triple digit heat outside did not help.
Bedtime was just as peaceful. Even when I couldn’t fall under right away, it was soothing to lie in the dark and listen to the silent lullaby of night and soothing darkness of the room.
Sometimes, I daydream the same thing; I’m in a completely blank room, white walls and white floors, white furniture with a king sized bed with ivory blankets and plush hotel pillows (maybe it is a hotel room, who knows). There is a tv on one side of the room, but it’s mostly for background noise to keep me company. I’m just lying in the bed, curled up with the pillows and wrapped up in a gentle sheet. There is no door, no windows even, but I am perfectly fine with that. It means no one can come in and bother me. I have no phone or laptop, no way of connecting to the outside world, and this only fills me with a peace I don’t know if I’ve felt since childhood.
Is this depression? My brain seeking a solace from the everyday hive of work and home life?
I have no idea, but yesterday’s impromptu napfest was as close to that daydream as anything I could have done outside of going to an actual hotel (where you have to interact with people, which, no thank you).
Do you ever get so tired you feel as if you’re one step away from a self-induced coma? Do you have similar daydreams? Let me know I’m not alone with your comments and messages. I do love to hear from you.
Until then, rest well and enjoy the quiet times while they last.