google54a21fefcdb79515.html Randomly Kassiopeia: breathe

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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