Anymore, I don’t very often have days when I can’t get out of bed, but this week I had one. It doesn’t matter now what caused it, but I am feeling the lingering aftereffects. Today I had no choice but to get out of bed, and I thought as long as I’m up, I might as well blog.
(Actually I can blog in bed too, since my tablet will take dictation, but it’s not optimal.)
I had been headed for bed-bound all week – the slowly creeping whelms; the feeling of being nibbled to death by mice; the recent trauma of two pets’ deaths; a game I couldn’t win, couldn’t break even, and couldn’t get out of. Expected relief came three days too late.
Aside from not eating, not getting out of bed meets many of my needs – quiet, rest, naps, not having to fight off the numbness and care about anything. And yes, there’s some feeling sorry for myself in there too. I won’t try to deny it. Staying in bed is a big messy wad of self-pity, anhedonia, lack of energy, trying to stave off thoughts, and generally not being able to give a shit about anything. It is more than sadness. It is as J.K. Rowling described the Dementors: You feel as if you will never be happy again. In other words, there’s nothing worth getting out of bed for.
When I was searching for images to go with this post, I entered “end of rope.” I guess I expected to see cute kittens dangling and inspirational quotes like “Hang on Baby, Friday’s Coming!”
Instead, what I found were endless images of nooses. Nooses by themselves or with people in them. Overturned chairs under nooses. Photos, illustrations, every conceivable image of nooses. According to the visual imagination of illustrators and photographers, “end of one’s rope” means suicide. There were some images of frayed or broken ropes, but the nooses were in the lead by at least four to one. (There were also a few nautical pictures with coiled ropes, but they weren’t statistically significant.)
That’s not what I mean by “end of my rope” – not dangling kittens OR nooses. Staying in bed all day, being unable to function, is a long, long way from suicide. Indeed, I find it a mechanism that staves off thoughts of nooses. Staying in bed admits of the possibility that tomorrow, or maybe the next day, I will have the wherewithal to drag myself out of that bed. Or that something will force me out of the bed and I will have to respond, as it happened today.
Hence the title of this piece. I have not reached the end of my rope – certainly not to find a dangling noose at the end of it. I have not reached the end of my hope, because I believe that some day (I hope soon) I will be out of the bed (at least as far as the sofa, and then who knows?). But when I stay in bed all day, I have reached the end of my cope.
This is not exactly the same as reaching the end of my spoons, because I don’t use up any spoons by lying in bed. And I don’t really know, or perhaps don’t believe, that I will have a new supply the next day.
I expect that some people will beat me up for being so useless as to give up for even a day, to be unable even to try. I know I’m beating myself up over it too. But today I am out of bed, for at least part of the day, and I am writing. That means there’s at least an inch of rope left. An inch of cope.