I just wanted to take a moment, a brief moment, to be grateful that it was only a dream, but that fucking alarm, composed by the devil himself, welcoming me back to another type of hell, refused to just shut the fuck up.
My hand searched for my phone, trying to follow that soul crushing sound, but without a pair of eyes to help, it was failing miserably. I unwillingly open those heavy heavy eyes, and I see it, I see that beeping, vibrating mother fucker.
So with eyes that refuse to stay open, and a hand not yet ready for such a complicated task so soon after waking, I try and navigate my way to snooze. After accidentally opening apps I never knew I had, and almost sending text messages to people I hate, I eventually pressed the right button. Success, blissful silence, but the peace was short lived.
With my senses being so cruelly shocked into action, I could feel the horrible state I was in. While the aching was all over my body, it was more predominant in my thighs. I attempt to reach for my ankle in an effort to stretch back those leg muscles that were begging for relief. The stiffness though, it made every movement a challenge. I had a waist that did not want to bend, and arms that did not want to rise. I imagined this is what old people at death’s door felt. The stretching gave some relief, but that feeling of relentless pain in my thighs returned as soon as I let go of my ankle. Then, for only a second or two, my body, even it seemed my face, involuntarily shook, and it shook violently. I grimaced, not only in agony, but in fear. Experiencing your body struggling to detoxify, with your mind having no say on what your body does, is just so fucking scary. After I feel comfortable that the shakes have gone, I dig my drunk numb thumbs into my legs, hoping to pinpoint the pain and squash it, squash it into nothingness. It was futile, forcing me to give up and just lie on my back, accepting the violent storm raging under my sweat soaked skin. Is this how it feels to be raped?
I can’t go through withdrawal at work again, it’s too brutal, too depressing.
Even though I already know, I lean to my side and open my bedside drawer, hoping to magically find pills that I didn’t notice last night. Nothing. No oxys of any variety. No codeine. No weed. Nothing. Fuck. I’m on my own. The thought of that overwhelms me. I want to cry but I don’t have the energy. The only thing bringing me any sort of comfort is my bed. If I could just hide here for a few days, I’ll be fine, for this bed is my refuge. It will take care of me. It will shield me from the cruel cruel world, warmly embracing me, without judgment, and it will patiently wait for me, it will wait until I’m ready, until I’m ready to face the outside world again. In fact the thought of not going into work today is so exciting that I manage to forget the pain.
I could just stay here, in this beautiful warm bed, and just sleep, binge on Netflix while bingeing on junk food, sleep again, and repeat the process. Heaven. The problem is, I’ve used all my sick leave first half of the year, and I already took two sick days last week. That would mean three unpaid days in one fortnightly pay cycle. Can I afford to take that kind of hit? I would still be able to cover the mortgage repayment, but not much else. I would end up needing to fast for the next two weeks. That prospect is not as daunting as not being able to buy coffee, smokes, meds and illegal drugs. There is always the credit card. No I would be fine. Money is not the real problem.
The real problem is dealing with the aftermath of being away from work so often. Firstly, I’ve got a talk-a-lot-do-nothing fat Principal that thinks his a fucking saviour, I’ve got my immediate line manager, Head of Senior School, who is really a Head of Licking Arse Above Your Pay Grade, title worshipping, talk-a-lot-means-nothing incompetent dimwit, both of whom will likely want to speak with me again regarding my high absenteeism which quite frankly, is more difficult to endure than my withdrawal.
Secondly, I need to arrange cover work for my classes today, which is a full day of classes. That’s a problem because I really can’t be fucked copying work down from subject planners that I can’t find in the first place. Not to mention I barely follow the planner to begin with.
Lastly, while the school will likely get a substitute for the day, sometimes the school will just get one of their teachers to take the class instead. That’s a problem. Some of my colleagues are nosy fuckers, I don’t want them quizzing my students.
It kills me to say, but I know what I need to do. I need to go to work, but do I go back to sleep? Despite the pulsating aches, I find myself not feeling the need to change position, and my eyes, they are so comfortable being closed, actually, the only part of my body that is comfortable. It would be such a tragedy to deny such a small reprieve. Just ten more minutes.
Just ten more minutes happened two more times. Now I’m definitely going to be late. I feel so stupid for yet again making the same mistake. The mistake of thinking ten more minutes sleep will make any difference, it never does. I still feel the same I did thirty minutes ago, possibly worse.
I can hear my inner voice, but it’s distant, a distant echo, as though my soul had been sucked out by a wicked spell. It refuses to abandon me however, for its shadow remains inside this sweaty limp body, limp because it’s been crushed by the squeeze of a steroid pumped python that is now … that is now attempting to swallow me whole.
I try and calculate how much time I will need to get ready and at what time I will make it to work. Fuck. I’m going to miss the morning briefing. Hmmm. Not if I miss having a shower. No, I need a shower, I fucking stink. I’ve been sweating all night.
Am I really going to do this? Yes, you’re a fucking warrior. Yes I fucking am. Except, I don’t move.
I wake up again to those abominable violent beeps, beeps that are all at the wrong frequencies. I promise myself to change that fucking tune once and for all. I’m so scared to check the time I attempt to switch off the alarm with eyes closed, yet I keep failing. I never seem to put the phone back in the one spot. I open my eyes, inviting the painful light into the one part of my body that was not in pain.
Fuck me. Is that really the time?!
Defiantly. I kick the doona off my right foot. The crisp morning air, combined with a coat of sweat, gives my foot a very frosty welcome. Well fuck you too then. I instinctively want to retreat my foot underneath the covers, where it’s so warm, so safe, so friendly, so inviting, but I don’t. I leave it there, naked and vulnerable, exposed to this nasty little world.
Now emboldened, I achingly move my leg, so that my foot is now dangling off the edge of the bed.
You’re a warrior.
Shut the fuck up. You’re fucking pathetic. Your words fucking pathetic. You know what’s not pathetic? Action. Get the fuck up.
So I get up, and somehow … somehow, I get to work, late, but I get to work.