google54a21fefcdb79515.html Randomly Kassiopeia: 5/1/09 - 6/1/09

Monday, May 4, 2009


Air. I like air. Air is good. Breathing is good, definitely a beneficial action for life.

Laugh if you will, but I don't take breathing for granted. Breathing is a precious act for me, as I have lived with asthma my whole life. Asthma at times has consumed my life, causing me to steer away or avoid things I might otherwise enjoy. Asthma steals my breath, my ability to ensure I can get enough air into my lungs. Asthma has caused my body to be depleted of oxygen, evident by blue lips and fingernails.

I have lived with asthma and breathing problems my entire life, but I did not discover my condition until I was an adult. My parents had withheld rather important information from me as grew up, but it's wasn't because they were mean. The asthma I suffered with as a small child eventually diminished. My parents were told I would outgrow it, and when I no longer showed apparent symptoms, they assumed I had done just that. But I hadn't.

I realize looking back that this silent suffocator, asthma, held me back as a young athlete. I was a runner, a strong runner, but one that would never reach my full potential. I would run and run, only to be stopped still by the inability to properly draw a breath. I would beat myself up, trying harder and harder. I thought I was simply out of shape, but no matter what I did, I could not get enough air to keep going. My asthma was rediscovered at age 18, when I was on a lunch break at work. I was found passed out, lips blue and nearly unresponsive. The doctors explained that I just wasn't getting the air I need. I had asthma.

I have my ups and downs with asthma, even on a treatment plan. I have discovered tricks, being now aware of my symptoms, to control the very bad attacks, even without medication. Taking deep slow breaths and exercises to strengthen my lungs often help. A jolt to my system...a sudden surge of adrenaline (usually involuntarily) or good stiff cup of coffee can often open up the airways quite quickly-but on the transverse can just easily take my breath away. I enjoy the air I breathe, whenever I can breathe it well.

Breathing is essential to life. Not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally as well. I'm discovering in my life that all to often I do not stop to breathe. I've filled up my life with small amounts of busy tasks, stifling responsibilities and clutter. Clutter is both physical and mental in my life. It is all of the stuff that surrounds me, buries me, suffocates me. It is all of the unimportant distractions and unnecessary multi-tasking I take on. It is all of the encumbered emotional baggage that I hold on to. All of this constricts my life-airways...not allowing me to breathe in the joy of life. I'm suffocating myself with cynicism, pessimism, doubt, anger, worry, self-defeatism... I'm allowing all of this to hold me back from my full potential.

It is time to unbury myself, clear the passageways to allow joy to stream into my life. I need to stop and breathe. Just breathe, because life to short to suffocate myself with what does not matter, won't matter in the end. It is going to take time, effort, and a good plan--just like living with asthma. It may take constant "jolt", a good figurative cup of joe each day to keep me going for a while, until it comes naturally... to just breathe.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009


The other day, while attending a business banquet, a co-worker made a rather snide comment regarding my choice to not stand in the buffet line (rather a mob of 300 bodies) waiting to get food. I sat at the table, risking cold and scanty scraps, risking appearing snobbish while sitting alone, until this mob dispersed. To put it simply, I don't like crowds. I really don't like crowds.

I've never liked the feeling of being crowded, closed in. It has taken me almost 25 years to learn to cope with this. Crowds, the feeling of tightness, much too closeness, shared air, touching, the growing amount of noise that come with crowds, is, to put it mildly, overwhelming for me.

My earliest memory of the uneasy sensations of being in crowds was in grade school. I was put into a closet size room with several classmates to work on a project. I do not remember how long I was in the that room, but I do remember how it felt. Stuffy, very warm, dirty. I remember my chest feeling tight, not being able to breath. I remember sweating, the dizziness and nauseousness. I remember bursting into tears.

I don't like crowds. I don't like being crowded. For this, I do not go to the movies on opening night of a new show. I don't go to the supermarket the Saturday on a payday week. I avoid Walmart at all costs, but most certainly on that dreaded Black Friday. If I do voluntarily venture out to a crowded event, such as a concert or amusement park, or semi-voluntarily attend large business meetings or seminars, I do tend to velcro myself, within reasonable & legal personal distance, to the closest being with whom I feel secure. This is often my husband or a good friend.

I've been told my "fear" is in my head, to get over it, to just deal with it. I've been given pills, exercises, and words of wisdom. I've had people make jokes at my expense, been excluded, or just looked at in a worrisome way. But it's not in my head. It envelopes my whole body before it ever reaches the voluntary portions of my brain.

I've learned to control myself well enough to know when to escape. There was a time, in a crowded shopping mall during an impressive sales event, that I collapsed. When I regained consciousness, I was so disoriented that I did not know where I was or how I got there. That was 20 years ago. You see, I feel the mind has a volatile urge to protect itself from the unwanted stimulation and sensations that come in too fast for it to process. If you don't stop or slow it down, the brain is just going to shut everything down and quickly.

For me, the warning signs are the fast breathing, the suffocating sensation, the sweat that beads up on the back of my neck and my upper lip, the ringing in my ears, the dizziness that comes just before I crumble into a pile on the ground. Out of courtesy, I've shared that "I don't like crowds" with others. Not because I really need their sympathy or understanding. It is because of what I don't tell them--what I really want to do before the fast breathing , sweat beads and ringing in my ears set in....

It is the skin crawling off my body sensation when someone else's breath touches me or an unknown body mistakenly brushes by, and the internal compulsion to explode into a super-sonic sprint towards the nearest exit, of which my eyes instinctively spots before my mind instructs it so, with the intent of finding the furthest dark and secluded corner, pressing my back into it making my body one with the wall, shielding my chest with my knees, wrapping my arms tightly around them, burying my face as though doing this makes me like an armadillo shielding itself with armor in an attempt at preventing the massive ocean of tears that inevitably arrives.

No, I don't like crowds. And if you don't mind, I'll wait until the buffet line is gone, better yet, I can eat later (because buffets...well, that's a whole 'nother story).

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

random thoughts of an unstable woman in disguise

This blog is the start of a journal of sorts. I have at various times, in the nearly four decades of my life, started journals. Each is incomplete; most have been lost. It has been years since I've put my thoughts down in writing, but it has been a long time since I've *needed* to. Today, I feel the need to write out my thoughts in order to process them. My thoughts run through my head so quickly that my hands cannot keep up, leaving those small muscles in incredible amounts of pain and an illegible mess of what should be skillfully intertwined letters. I have found typing allows me keep up with my thoughts, and my hands better appreciate it. They can almost keep up, as my fingers move at nearly 100 wpm these days.

You won't find profound musings and deep revelations, but just random thoughts of a woman trying to gain control of her life and mind. Thoughts that may offend, confuse, or even put off those who know me. I can't promise daily, weekly or even monthly writings. At best, you'll find randomness of an unknown schedule. I find writing therapeutic and a relief to the disguises that I find I must wear in the real world which sometimes hide the real me that is screaming to get out.

For those who know me, it is well known that I'm a pretty quiet person, but once you get me talking, I love to talk. Be forewarned, once the reading of the blog begins, there will be no shutting me up.

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