A Friendly Dependency 

I have a problem. 

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so at least I’m making progress. Truly I do want to overcome my dependency but I can’t eliminate it altogether because it’s also enables something I need to live. 
We’re all friends here so I might as well be out with it. I love lying in bed… actually just being in bed; lying, seated or otherwise. This goes beyond just a casual “like” or a hobby; it’s almost as if I am Gollum in Lord of the Rings. When I’m near it I can’t resist its powers, before I know it I’m laying down whispering, “My Precious.” 

That’s pretty normal though. I’m sure a lot of people love being in bed almost to the point that they are afraid to leave it. At least that is what I thought until I did a little Google search. The only bed related phobia that popped up was Clinophobia which is the opposite of what I have. Some people are actually afraid to go to bed so they get a fancy name for their condition but apparently I am the only one that is just a little frightened to get out of it. To add insult to injury there are phobias named for everything. Ambulophobia – the fear of walking. Euphobia – the fear of hearing good news. There is even phobophobia – the fear of phobias. There are hundreds if not thousands of phobias but nothing related to my hang-up. 

As I was scanning I came across several articles that noted if someone was compelled to stay in bed they might be experiencing anxiety or may even have an anxiety disorder. I don’t think I suffer from anxiety, I’m just a realist. The world is a cold and dangerous place, while my bed is a warm and safe one. So I looked up anxiety. It is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. That misses the mark completely in capturing what keeps me bed bound. “Uncertain outcome”? Based upon my life experiences I don’t think the coming of that imminent unsettling event is uncertain at all. I’ll give you a couple of real life examples so you can better understand my plight. 

When I was in fifth grade I walked to and from school. No it wasn’t 10 miles up hill both ways but it was a few miles and I had to cross the railroad tracks. It was a good chance to unwind after a stressful day, that is until a group of less refined eighth graders ended up on the same route one afternoon. Initially I was able to keep a buffer block in between us but then there was a train passing and suddenly they were right behind me. I made sure not to make eye contact and walked even quicker. They yelled at me and it was apparent they didn’t just want to discuss how my day was. They were a lot like the Farkus brothers from The Christmas Story so I was sure they were intent on making me scream uncle or worse. Luckily our house was only a block beyond the tracks. I ducked into the house and ran straight to my bed. Needless to say they had ruined the therapeutic value of my walks and made me aware that bad people are most definitely out there. 

And it isn’t just my childhood memories that make me think that I should stick close to my box springs, I have adult examples as well. A couple decades back we lived in a subdivision that was in the country, a countrivision I guess. Anyhow, the yards were measured in acres not square feet. We put up a fence around a small section of the backyard to keep our 2 Labrador’s from running off into the woods. One still had a tendency to jump the fence and run for the trees. It wasn’t that big of a deal until I got a message from our northerly neighbor. He said in no uncertain terms that if the dog was to put even one paw on his property he was going to kill it and I had no doubt that he would because he was a lawyer and they’ll do just about anything. We had to start putting the dog on a tie out. She didn’t understand her imprisonment and I felt terrible about it. If I never left my bed we probably would have missed out on the companionship of dogs but it would have also spared me from knowing I was living next to a lawyer. I guess the fact that he would shoot a dog is pretty disturbing as well.

Those are just a couple examples but I have written about the smashing of pumpkins, wardrobe malfunctions and gloved doctors; all of which make me want to dive into the warm embrace of my bed and pull the sheets over my head. 

It was evident to conquer my addiction I really needed to understand its origins. Thinking back it seemed that my bed became a companion of sorts for me at an early age. It was just about the perfect place. As long as I was completely on its’ surface monsters couldn’t touch me. I could build forts upon it to shield myself from the world’s woes… or even a little brother. It made sense then that we had grown to be such close friends because it is one of the few things that have been with me every day for the past 40 plus years, in different shapes and sizes of course.   

So maybe my addiction is more of a close friendship. If that’s the case I can’t really afford to get rid of a friend, I don’t have that many. Plus I’m not really sure who else is going to be there for me when the floor turns to lava or if I end up living next to a lawyer again.

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One thought on “A Friendly Dependency 

  1. My memory is that you had a terrible time getting to sleep at night. I used to worry that you didn’t get enough sleep. And it didn’t matter if I sent you to bed earlier. You would often just be laying there trying to get to sleep when I went to bed.

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