I told Lindsay today that the new way I’m dealing with papers is to simply pretend I have a chronic disease, to recognize that it’s here, and it causes me more discomfort than a lot of people. I have to just accept it, treat the outbreaks when they occurr, and be grateful when I have no issues.
It’s ironic because I grew up with severe asthma, a disease which exploded in weekly attacks when I was stressed, as I am now. The only thing that would help was to go home. At least, looking back now, that’s how I see it. It wasn’t technically that, but these attacks always happened in my latchkey locations, at friends’ or major events. I knew once my mom turned on the engine and headed for home that the suffocation would stop, and the stopping was near. Usually I had to wait for full relief until I filled the plastic cup of the nebulizer, and flipped the switch to on. Within ten minutes, a wave of euphoric comfort floated up in me like a hot shower, after hours in a burly Nor’Easter. Once I sucked in that bitter salt, it didn’t hurt as much. I wouldn’t have to forget how hard it was not to die.
Nothing else matters after that.
I wonder though if I’m wired like that, to feel the weight of the world pressing in against me, and I’ve just rotated coping mechanisms. I don’t have asthma attacks. I wheeze. I whittle little problems into mental accident scenes.