Open Medicine Foundation®
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ME/CFS and related chronic complex diseases

The Alone

By Daphne Pottle Coley

One Room, four walls, two windows, one door and one bed.
The Alone
Minimal
Silent

To survive in The Alone acceptance is mandatory
No choice
Letting go
Floating, untethered
Existing in a void rather than a place

Dry and suffocating
The world gradually recedes
The Alone becomes comfortable
Necessity

Intermittent contact
Friends slip away
Family lives outside The Alone
None can see or feel The Alone
Real recedes
Everyone is beyond the wall
Mourn and accept
Always accept
Too many tears
Too many silent screams
Too much sobbing in the closet

The Bed is the companion, always there, always steady
The bed comforts and accepts
Doesn’t understand that it can’t replace The Human
Voice
Touch
Contact
Overwhelming
The moaning silence of the void swells
The tethers hold fast

The windows tempt and taunt
People walk, talk, work, hug, drive, join, meet, exercise, volunteer, vacation, bathe, get hair cuts, buy stamps,
The Outside is not possible in The Alone
Inside looking out folds the body into a sore, intolerable nausea
Throat closes and chest tightens
Closing the blinds in The Alone blocks what might have been

The Door mocks the bed
The bed is too big to fit through the doorframe
The frame blocks emotion and feeling
Squeezing out self
Exhaustion and pain are the sentinels
Silence and tears the barbed wire of its fence

The walls are ever seeing, ever present
Their weight is oppressive and blank
They never recede
The Alone has walls of invisibility
Always there, always inanimate
Hard, uncaring and disinterested
Vacuous
Only there

Fear hides tucked away into the corners of the room
When ready its long tentacles slide unseen down the painted surfaces
Piercing the dull routine of The Alone it glides across the bed
Sucking out the spirit of the prey
Replacing it with the venomous ooze of dread
Paralysis sets in and fear annihilates
Nothingness looms

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