February 21st, 2014
I tried to open my eyes – They were glued shut. I tried to move my hands, but they were locked, too. I tried to look around, I tried to scream, I tried to jump up and yell at the top of my lungs, but I couldn’t. I was trapped.
My body was unconscious, but I was totally alive.
After screaming and thrashing around, I realized that absolutely nothing was happening. I was in a coma. I slowed down. I tried to focus. I tried to breathe.
What happened last?
I didn’t remember much. And I couldn’t see anything. I could only hear my own breathing. Inhale, exhale – Inhale, exhale.
Wait – What was that?
Yes, something – somebody. What was that voice? What were they saying? I could hear them trying to talk to me. It was so distant, and yet under my skin – The voice couldn’t be closer. I could hear them trying to wake me up.
I wanted to jump out of my body and scream and embrace them and hold them, but I couldn’t. I was caged.
Caged in my own body.
We understand the idea of being held captive by something outside of us. Being a prisoner of war, or being held hostage, god forbid. Or being held in prison for a crime, or just being detained or something. But the concept of being held captive by yourself – That’s something that’s never explored.
Your body becomes your enemy. Every muscle that refuses your command is like a hostile that is forcing you down. Your mind is frighteningly awake, and yet, it’s the only thing that’s awake. The mind is a terribly vast territory to explore when the body is awake, and a terribly small territory to be confined to when the body is asleep.
Day after day, I tried to escape my mind. I would wake up and see myself lying on the hospital bed. I would see each of the visitors that came to visit me, bringing me gifts and flowers. I would hear them talk about me, how much longer I had, how I was responding to treatment.
The thing that I never realized is how much of one’s life actually takes place in the mind. At first, I felt like I had lost everything. I was a mind living inside a shell. But slowly, I realized: “What am I limited to?”
I could still live inside my mind. I could still go to the grocery store. I could still eat. I could still do pushups and watch movies and make love and drink coffee inside my mind. I was the only person stopping me.
“What am I limited to?”
There are no limits.
There were no limits.
Until they shut me down.
Outside of my mind, they didn’t realize that I was awake. I heard them talking about putting me to sleep, taking me off support.
I was alive inside, and they shut me down outside.
The morning that they were going to do it, I tried everything to wake myself. I screamed and pulled and pushed and yelled –
But they didn’t hear me.
They just said a quick prayer for me, muffled over the screaming in my mind.
And pulled the plug, pulling against all my force in the world.
What am I limited to now?
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