I'm a nurse (or at least I used to be) so if you've never had surgery you're going to have to believe me on this: coming out of anesthesia is hell and it happens in lurching stops and starts. I react especially badly to the stuff. Many years ago I had a minor surgical procedure that should have been a breeze (that was the evil propaganda they fed me), but it turns out that I don't transition well from "under" to "awake". First I heard far away voices trying to annoy me back to the world, and then I vomited and passed out. It was pretty much down hill from there. Imagine trying to swim with ankle weights in the middle of ten foot waves: lots of gulping and sputtering and sinking to the murky bottom. Eventually they gave me some kind of injection to force the issue and my heart beat a crazy jungle rhythm outside my body. I followed the sound back to the recovery room and they ushered me out the door.
This is what it was like for me to come out of my frozen soul-sleep. When I spoke my name in the fifth grade I really did wake up, but this consciousness came at a price. I started to notice the pain...really vivid, screaming pain. If you've ever been in this kind of pain, you can understand the urge to go back to sleep. Periodically, when the nausea and pain became overwhelming, I would kind of slip away from my life into the murky, dreamless depths. I would pop the lovely narcotics of avoidance and dissociation and drift far, far away. I would hear God's voice through thick velvet stage curtains trying to annoy me back to the classroom, telling those terrible jokes, "What do you say when a dog runs away?...Dog-gone!" But sometimes it just hurt too much to be present so I would decide to be absent even when I was sitting at my desk. Exit, stage left. Dog-gone.
So waking up wasn't quite as smooth as I was making it sound. I'm still a little bit of a dissociation junkie. And I'm still trying to follow my heart's crazy jungle rhythm back to the world and to my life. But that's OK. God's pretty dang patient and he's got a ton of jokes up his sleeve.