I woke up today in a mood opposite from the one I had when I went to bed. What happened? Somehow while I slept depression overtook me like dense fog. It won’t dissipate just because I am awake.

Today is Sunday, the day we usually go out to dinner with my mother. Tears actually run down my cheeks because I must get up, shower, and get dressed.

Today those tasks seem enormous if not impossible.

It would be terrifying if this had never happened to me before but it has and I know what it is.

Following days of productivity, I inevitably wake up one morning and I’ve been transformed into a slug. It’s a mighty struggle for a slug to get out of bed and stand up. It’s pretty much impossible; since a slug has no backbone. I feel as if I don’t have one either.

Last night I didn’t want to go to bed because there were so many things I wanted to do. I had trouble sleeping because I was full of plans for today and anxious to get started on my projects.

Seven hours later, I can’t imagine why I wanted to do any of those things.

Who cares if we get our clutter to the curb for the city-wide cleanup? What difference could it possibly make?

It’s useless to try to declutter this place. That is so clear to me today. But just yesterday I had visions of creating a clean and clutter-free environment. What was I thinking?

My teenage grandson apparently intends to sleep all day in the chaos he has created upstairs. I know I shouldn’t let him get away with it. He was warned last night he’d have to clean his room today. But I lack the energy to go upstairs and roust him out of bed.

I don’t know what happened this time to sap my energy. Often there’s no obvious cause — although a mildly critical remark, not getting enough sleep, or some sad thing I heard on the news may precede a fall.

Usually nothing happened. It’s a mystery.

Did my brain overheat? Is it starving for X chemical or flooded with Y chemical? Who knows?

Maybe it’s low on oil or needs a tuneup. Maybe the tranny is slipping. Brains can misfire. Mine is like an old jalopy that runs great for awhile and then suddenly starts sputtering. It’s unreliable. Sometimes I wish I could trade it off for a new one; or at least one with fewer miles and better springs.

Remember being a kid and wading ecstatically in a water and not seeing the drop? One second you’re happily splashing, playing, and jumping along; then the bottom disappears and the water goes over your head?

You know you can paddle back to shallow water. But it’s a shock. There’s a moment of primal terror.

What if I can’t get back to the surface? What if I can’t get my head above water?

But I can. I always do. Just not today. There’s no sense in pushing it. My stubborn brain isn’t about to do much today and it has sucked all the energy from my limbs.

I’ll not be moving any mountains. And for now that will have to be ok.

But tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that — things will be better. Eventually, they always are.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store