That first moment of consciousness before even opening your eyes is always filled with mixed feelings. There is the memory of that last dream still lingering in your mind’s sight, the unreal mixed with the real, are you awake or dreaming still? Slowly, but in a split of a second, consciousness wins the battle, the dream is forgotten and you realise that noise is the alarm, not the bell clock of the tall red bricked old church announcing the mass is starting. What time is it? Time to come back to life. Time to start your day. Time to go over that mental list of a thousand things you have to do during today’s long hours. Time to get real. You open your eyes. Your sight is blurry because you are still sleepy as hell. The list grows longer. But wait a second, you think, didn’t your counsellor tell you to take it one small step at a time? You want to stay in bed. You want to go back to sleep. Waking up is hard.
Ok, one step at a time. What’s step one in waking up? Opening your eyes. For real, this time, to keep them open. You open your eyes. You stare at the ceiling of your bedroom and see the list again. Standing there on the ocean of white concrete, you see the list. You only realise you’re going through it again when you reach number seven. As you bring your attention back to the ceiling and the list fades from your sight (but not from your mind), you try and think about what’s the next step. Sitting down. Yes, if you don’t sit down, you’ll fall back asleep. You barely opened your eyes and you’re already exhausted from thinking about the damn list. As you sit down, you look at the pile of clean laundry sitting comfortably inside the blue ikea bag, each piece snuggling with each other. You have to put that away at some point today. Do you have time to do it before leaving for work? Maybe, if you’re fast in getting up. But then there’s also the dishes, bored out of their minds, waiting to be washed. But having a shower to wake up is more important, so you decide to leave that for tonight. Without realising it, you’re lying down again, eyes closed.
Do you really need to get up already? If you skip the shower, maybe you can sleep another five minutes. As you dose off, you see the walls of the church again, but this time you know it’s the alarm ringing for the second time. Yet again, you open your eyes. It has been 10 minutes since the first alarm went off. You definitely need to skip the shower today. You sit down again, this time removing the warm blanket from over your body. The feeling of cold did not originate in that, but in the thought of another day ahead of not completing the list. The list. Ok, first on the list: getting up. You drag your feet through the bed all the way to the side and they hang on the edge weighing five hundred kilos. You rub your eyes, feeling the slime run through your fingers as you do it. You need to at least wash your face. You drag yourself forward, now your entire body is as heavy as a submarine sinking in deep waters. Speaking about the sea, there’s one of dirty clothes on the way of where your feet are supposed to go. You push a pair of pants to the side, as you try to push the list out of your mind. As you stand up, your thought goes to the warm morning breath. You need to brush your teeth.