it will start with the fog, the same as it always does. you'll wake up in the morning, but you won't really be awake, you'll be floating, drifting through the motions of getting ready, packing lunch, driving to work. you'll zone out at the red lights except it won't be zoning out, it'll be frozen, unable to speak or move but fully aware of the world and the danger and *if you don't snap out of it, you'll crash the car*.
eventually, sometimes after driving in that same mood, you'll get to the office. and your day will be fine, good, even, until the afternoon comes and that first little movement sets off alarm bells in your head. you'll get tired, and looking at a new email or a passing comment from your coworker will seem like déjà-vu. That's because it is. You know how this goes. The pattern is hard to ignore, but you're going to try your best.
so you do. you ignore the tugging of your chin to your shoulder, shaking it off as exhaustion. even when it picks up pace you'll pretend it's not there, but the ache in your neck from constant and uncontrollable jerking to the side will persist nonetheless. can't be a problem, though - it's all in your head.
when you get home, the headache will be in full force, and you'll realize the space between your eyebrows, the bridge of your nose, your lips - they're all numb. but you're just tired. you'll crash on sheets that haven't been washed in two months and you'll sleep for hours. and when you wake up, you won't feel any better, and it won't be because you're rested.
no, when you wake up it'll be because something is hurting. you'll slowly become aware of the fact that you've bitten your tongue in your sleep. your knee is pulled up to your chest and even as you look down you can feel the ache in your neck getting worse. and then it'll really start. (but don't worry, it's all in your head.)
your arm is going to curl in on itself like it wants to snap in half. that's because it does. in fact, it might be less painful if it did. your leg will follow, and then all of a sudden you're even more bent over and you can't make it stop, you wonder if it's really all in your head, or you would, but instead all you can think of is elmo, and the fed, and something about lollipops as a cover for invasion of the mind. it's a conversation you'll have in your mind with a person who doesn't exist, who stands over you asking if you are okay, what's wrong, and in return those are the only words you can deliver, 'elmo', 'fed', 'lollipop', 'invasion'. except you're not actually delivering them. that part, really, is all in your mind.
and then all of a sudden the person will stop. it's because they're not there anymore. but you're still being plagued by the painful spasms, they won't go away. how long has it been? two minutes? ten minutes? you can't tell. but you have more important things to worry about because all of a sudden you'll realize that you cannot breathe. you're inhaling in gasps one after another that your lungs do seem to know how to let go of. you're drowning on air and electrical impulses. your left side is in agreement. your right tries its best to hold on to the sheets.
but don't worry. becaue it'll calm down, eventually, after fifteen minutes or twenty, and the jerks that wrack your body will slow and ease away and you'll lie there not knowing what's real or a dream and knowing only that you are in your bed still and everything hurts and you are somehow breathing again. you bit your tongue again, too.
it only takes twenty or thirty minutes to recover. the headache is back, the neck jerking too. but maybe you're safe for the rest of the night. maybe not, but who knows - you can't do anything about it, anyway. they'll just tell you what you already have accepted, and years of knowing how doctors work supports the fact that you have convinced yourself of now, too - so don't worry. get up and get back to work and go back to pretending that you're okay. push back the line that floats to your mind from a chart back in 2018 that never got shared. if it were a concern, they would've said something. they would have referred you, they wouldn't have sat on something so big. right? don't worry. it's all in your head.