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An explanation of my first 5 seconds of consciousness


On the weekends I have more time to contemplate how much I hate being woken up in the wrong way.

To most people my ailment might bear the same characteristics of the minor discomfort they too feel each morning. But for me, it is much more than that.

It’s an irrational feeling of abandonment in my most vulnerable moment that catalyzes disdain, anger and vengeance . The emotions that feel like they’re erupting from my chest and seeping into my arms and head are so loud and bright I have to squeeze my eyes tightly just to get through it.

My body declares war against the transgressor. She convinces me this is treason, punishable by things I can’t even summon in my mind yet because I’m barely processing how to walk again.

If the body didn’t need it, I think I would rather not sleep. Maybe once a month.

When you’re a child, fairytales and magic are promised in dreams. That’s where they live and you can only visit. That’s why babies giggle so much and their cheeks are so rosy. Happy dreams are an elixir and children are drunk all the time.

But just like healthcare, it all gets taken away or changes when you’re around 25.

You’re dreams are more often nightmares, if you can remember them at all. I had an incredible imagination as a child and its evil sister reigns over my sleep-thoughts now. Lately she’s been incredibly stressful and if my dreams were really a person, I would have taken out a restraining order already.

Every morning is different. It’s like getting off of a plane and not knowing what awaits me at baggage claim. The suitcase could be full of sadness, of loss. Or it could just be discomfort. I really hate that one.

I know I can’t have it both ways. Mornings can either be mundane or exciting. At least this way it’s always different and I start the day with an acute self awareness.

Maybe that’s really why I’m so picky about how I’m woken up. Because those first moments of consciousness out from under duress are like rain on the skin or gasping for air. I want to have enough time to process what has just happened to me without getting swept up in where my other sock went or how late I am.

I think those close to me will still picture the head on the cave of wonders when they wake me up. But if anyone else exhibits these symptoms upon waking, you’re not alone.

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