For years, I tried to be brave. I rose from my bed before ten every day, desperate to act like the mobile, active woman society expected me to be. I would walk around the office like nothing was wrong, or sit upright in a chair at brunch like everybody else. All the while, my soul ached to return to my Martha Stewart 300-thread count cotton sheets. Anyone can identify with this feeling, but as Americans, we are conditioned to ignore this natural impulse for the sake of productivity, of capitalism, of the daily grind.
Then one day, I woke up and thought, I don’t want to wake up. So I didn’t. I decided to stop lying to myself—and start lying down in bed 24 hours a day.
That’s right: I gave myself permission to live my best life now, which for me meant staying in bed as long as I wanted, which for me was always.
It wasn’t easy acclimating to my completely sedentary—well, more like supine—lifestyle. My muscles were used to the harrowing daily cycle of walk, sit, walk, sit, REPEAT. I had no idea how to just lie down and relax for 24 hours in a starfish position. It is not natural in our culture. But with hard work, I broke out of the prison of my routine. Soon after, my body broke out in bedsores.
That’s right: I gave myself permission to get bedsores.
And so, I began to let go of the old societal pressures I felt to walk, run, or even roll over periodically. I shed my superficial fears, and with that, the outer layer of skin over my hipbones, elbows, and lumbar spine. I felt more energetic, more alive, and more committed to lying horizontally underneath this pizza-stained comforter 24/7.
In the weeks since, I encountered a lot of hostility from friends who call my new lifestyle “silly,” “lazy,” and even “potentially deadly”. But who are they to judge me by their arbitrary standards like “muscle mass” or “steps per day” or “lying in bed all day is not self-care, it is a hallmark of clinical depression, you need help”? Out culture demands that we go go go and not get bedsores at 26. Um, sorry guys, but I’m opting out of that rat race.
If I’ve learned one thing from the 320 hours I’ve spent eating, drinking, and watching every episode of Gilmore Girls twice, it’s this: The most important relationship in your life is the one you share with yourself while lying perfectly still, swaddled in a Snuggie and surrounded by empty plastic take-out containers. Also if you write a flirty message in your Seamless order, the guys will change your bedpan.
Where society sees “Stage IV bedsores,” I see proof that finally, I’m living my truth. Every life is a journey, and I fully intend to spend my journey wrapped in this yellowed duvet. If it means acquiring permanent damage to my muscle tissue or even getting a massive preventable infection, so be it. Bedsores aren’t just for older people who can afford to live a slower, poorly maintained lifestyle. It’s for anyone who’s bold enough to say, “I love you, me.”
Where will I end up? Exactly where my dreams take me, and nowhere else. ‘Cause I don’t want to take another goddamn step (and at this point, I may be incapable of doing so).
But don’t envy me. You too have the power to uncover your happiness, maybe from trying something new, or maybe by crawling under your fleece covers and staying there until you reach self-actualization. Don’t let the risk of chronic bedsores keep you from healing your soul! I sure didn’t!