I’m a small piece of detritus floating in the outer fringes of our universe. There is no sound. I can feel nothing because the temperature is beyond my body’s measurement system. I float, bobbing and spiraling throughout our galaxies.
So totally alone. Isolated from not only my own kind, but from anything else that has substance. I begin to fight my own mind.
How can I survive this exile? Somehow I can still think, but it is my worst punishment. My five senses are useless in this environment, as all that seems to work is my brain. Trapped, suffocating, silently screaming for rescue.
I feel panic setting in. That old enemy of mine. It steals into the farthest recesses of my mind, and settles in for a long, long visit. I try to control my thoughts, to calm the panic. There is no-one to help me! I am all alone. Why, oh why can I not control my own brain? I would be kicking and screaming right now if I weren’t so immobile.
My limbs are frozen stiff, as though I’m a freeze-dried piece of meat. Will I ever recover and be able to move with fluidity again? Am I damned to a life of rigidity instead? My heart races as I consider the horrific possibility of staying trapped in this shell-like body with no way out.
I’m inside an aluminum casting! I claw and scratch at my outer surface with my mind. My synapses and neurons are bloodied with the effort, but to no avail. I cannot break free of my captivity. I’m convinced that there is no hope for rescue.
What if I spend all eternity in this state? I will be insane in a matter of minutes! What will I be like in the future? My own thoughts terrify me. Nanoseconds stretch into eternities. My mind is the only part of me that is left. I cannot control it!
Oh, to have compassion on beings that cannot move or communicate with us, but still live on. What kind of private nightmare might they be living?
The worst battles are fought in our minds – with ourselves. Mine is the fear of losing control of my own mind.
(This was written in response to several events in my life where I was bedridden. These feelings have descended upon me when I have suffered with high fevers due to strep throat and rheumatic fever, as well as during recovery from serious accidents and the injury and painkillers immobilized me. Lying helplessly in bed with no way to turn off my brain has literally driven me crazy at times, and I submit this very personal work to demonstrate that there are probably others that suffer this way as well. I am a member of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, which advocates for those living with my husband's disease. Huntington’s robs you of your ability to communicate while your brain is still working furiously Please support mental health research, groups and funding.)
(edited 02/11/09 to remove extraneous exclamation points)