6:30 in the morning, I’m lying in bed trying to fight the morning wood that seemingly has over taken my mornings. “One-hundred conscious breaths,” I tell myself, as I attempt to re-frame my mind with some form of meditation in order to use it for something workable and and sustainable for today. I focus on the tiles on my ceiling, the ones with the holes that are mostly covered in paint. They’ve always been there, well for as long as I’ve been there, but this morning I remembered the pattern they repeat.
With a deep inhale from my nose, not uniform because my insides are all plugged up, I start counting. “One.”
I exhale as slow as possible, the out breath is the strangest sensation. It might not feel like anything at first, but at some point its expelling something that I was not aware was there. Something I’m glad isn’t there anymore, though its possible that that just means my body is approving the expulsion of the carbon dioxide that its expelling, regardless, the flow of air from my tracheae through my sinus cavities and expelled through my nasal cavities, is kind of glorious.
What comes out now is in the form of a cough, as my entire being is being shaken awake. My alarm went off a half hour ago and here I am on my second breathe thinking… “I should go back to sleep.” It would not happen.
“Three, Four, Five”
I managed to get through three breaths without paying too much attention to anything but the paint covered holes on the ceiling. This is what it was, focusing the mind in order to make sure I didn’t lose anything along the way in the shuffle of the day.
“Five, Seven, Eight”
I lost count for a second there, but I think I’m still on track. No need to be worried about the mistakes I’ve made, just keep moving forward. “The numbers are just pointers,” I tell myself, trying hard not to stress the mistake.
I took that last breath from a wide open mouth, it was powerful, as if i was drowning. I wish I didn’t know what that feels like, I think to myself, “no one should know what that is.” The oxygen floods my body, I can’t really feel it anymore, just this sensation of internal flooding. The wood is still there… ever present, ever uncomfortable.
I count to this number and have a small celebration in my head. Then I realize that I’m only a tenth of the way through, and I probably should wait til the whole things over before I make any rash celebratory thoughts appear.
“Eleven, twelve, fourteen, Fifteen, Fifteen.”
I missed and doubled one somewhere. But that’s alright, the paint covered holes are still there. looking Like constellations that I always neglect because the sparse star here and there in my night sky gives me the assurance that I need to keep going with whatever I’m doing. “Okay,” I have to assure myself,”keep breathing.”
The numbers continue, “twenty-five, twenty-six…”
By this point, I’ve managed to forget whatever thought I was thinking about and was thinking about how nice the birds were, outside
There’s no direct sunlight this morning. The clouds are low and swift, as if the earth’s rotation synced perfectly with direction opposite of that of the clouds giving them a slight streaking quality in the sky. I was glad for that moment.
“Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Three”
A thought about something I’d rather not have has entered my mind. Its not something unpleasant, but the more the thought progresses I’m unable to refocus my mind with the breaths, the way that I had before. I am not concerned, this too will pass.
My breathing is shallowing, I can’t remember what the thought is anymore. I remember what its about, but I am no longer concerned that it will overtake my thoughts and thinking. I’ve forgotten the number.
“Forty” I say again
The thoughts are all flooding back. The ones I was really hoping to avoid. They’re always there, ever prevailing, but today, they’re back but sitting there, hanging almost at the end of the my breath.
In the microcosm of the time between the next breath and the one I had just taken, the thoughts wait there, transfixed by where they’ll be headed next. I’m not actually all too sure where they went in the end, but the next ten breaths lost them to the void.
Another thought has entered my mind, the phrase “This is boring and hard” creep in, they’re accompanied by no justification.
I leave the thought behind.
The breath leaves my lungs, and I lose myself.
Where am I? The ceiling stars are no longer the stars.
The thoughts are no longer coming…
“Fifty-six, Fifty-seven, Fifty-eight”
The goosebumps are ever present, as if I was flooding my body with something I wasn’t yet aware.
The breaths continue, and I keep counting. I’ve managed to ignore the discomfort, its going to come back somewhere else.
Everything is blurring, I am counting, but I cannot remember what the last number to have been uttered is, but the numbers keep going.
I don’t want to finish, the urge has returned to stop and break.
The word “rise” is heard by me somehow. I keep counting.
The memory of croissants has entered my mind. The warm flakey buttery warmth of a Ground Central organic croissant, with an Ethiopian light roast… that is a thought.
The want of the confectionary goods is strong. Had this thought come earlier, I’d have been lost. I can’t think about it now.
I feel tense. There is a discomfort inside me, I’m not sure what it is.
Another dozen thoughts, another series of breaths I hope will be consistent.
The next breaths are fast, and intense. They have an impatience about them, one that I cannot hope to overcome this morning.
Everything is gone. The impatience, the insufferable thoughts, the broken patterns. They all have been vaporized, by a breath.
The breath leaves me and I am already worried it was not enough. It hasn’t worked…
The reframing, the focus, it was all for nigh, I continued what was already there.
“One hundred and One”
Something in my mind screams, yells at every cell in my body, and forces my eyes to darkness.
The rain begins outside the window. It envelopes everything I hear.
I sit up, and feel as though I am going to vomit my soul. It doesn’t want to be there anymore.
The morning wood is gone. My mind is in shambles and the rain is still going. I look outside.
Who am I again?