All But Comatose

If death is sleep
then surely I am close –
body leaden
refuses to budge,
brain a slow crawl

I would feel something –
remorse, fear, confusion –
but the weight of slumber
has numbed senses,
reaction sludge

only a drum, drum
of heart harkens
life’s continued spark –
What thread of will
keeps me hanging on,
surely sleep preferable?

(Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is characterized by exhaustion after exertion. Β The fatigue is systemic. )

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

24 thoughts on “All But Comatose

      1. Looking back I see that was a bit insensitive, especially the smiles. I think its the survival instinct. Years ago I tried very hard to blow my head off and just couldn’t do it. It takes a lot for both the body and the mind to truly give up. Take good care V.J.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No worries Mike. I know you are of good humour, so I expect nothing less. It does take a lot for body and mind to give up. I remember years ago meeting a woman who had this disease for 17 years. She could barely walk from her bed to the bathroom, and putting sentences together took a concerted effort. I met her as a therapist, and was struck by her incredible will to keep going.


  1. “the weight of slumber”…your poem really captures the body sensations and reading it made me feel a bit sleepy!
    I know when I am exhausted nothing else matters, just sleep pulling me into it
    Thanks for sharing the name of the condition. I did not know about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This poem really spoke to me. Recovery from cancer and its treatment leads to a fatigue that I wrote about as well – “fatigue/ hits you like a ton of bricks/suddenly you must lie down/even if it means/asking a stranger to move over” I hope for you, this too will pass. Hugs, Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah. This is the nature of the disease – often compared to cancer patients or patients with congestive heart failure. Very little energy to spare in a day. Fortunately, if I watch what I do, I can find some balance. Recently, it’s been a losing battle.


      1. You have a lot on your plate right now. I am hoping the tide will turn for you. I am impressed by your strength of mind and your amazing poems!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would wish abundant energy at any time (all times) for any one (all ones) … self included … and yet? I have a deep affection for napping. When I retired in 2002, NAPS were the top priority. After 33 years of so-such-thing except maybe on an occasional weekend when other duties could be put on hold, NAPS claimed me. And still, I have not napped enough to satisfy the craving. Mine may be a psychological issue (an addiction even).
    Wishing you healing slumbers rich in dreams – and (when your body is ready) a fresh burst of energy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my, this does not sound good, VJ–rather, it must wear down body, mind and spirit. Does it have cycles or seasons intermittent when it’s more “active”, or no? Anyway, your poem is very descriptive–really gives me a palpable vicarious feel for what you contend with, thus my prayers remain faithful and fervent. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel for you…I don’t imagine it gets easier with time/ageing. I’ll just keep up the prayers, and try to do humorous posts as often as I can πŸ™‚ Much love to you ❀

        Liked by 1 person

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