Suffocation or at least the feeling of it is terrifying. Every day I get to sample what its like to feel like someone has a bag over my head. The airway feels clear, but it feels like I’m not getting enough oxygen.
Last night I had more than one of these suffocation scares. I had one walking to my car after my group therapy meeting, the other was getting ready for bed.
The experience is scary. When it begins I can feel something strange, an odd sensation in the place that was once between my lungs. It feels swollen like feelings, it feels like it is pressing against something that’s making it hard to breathe. As I pull the air in, I can feel it fill my remaining lung. No matter how hard I pull in, it makes me think I’m not getting enough oxygen. I can feel my lung fill to capacity, but its just not enough. This makes me breath harder and faster. I try to breath slowly, I really focus on it, but as I’m trying I begin to fear suffocating and my anxiety begins to grow. It takes several moments to navigate through this horror. Afterwards I am left exhausted.
Fog of Complacency
Earlier in the evening I had a conversation with a young man about existence and purpose. I shared with him that I believe we often live in a fog of hypnotic complacency. It’s only after we’ve crossed a threshold of tolerance that we take action and do something about the things in our lives that bother us. We use this moment as a catalyst to change, once this pain drops below our tolerance level the motivation disappears.
The pain I experience on a daily basis keeps me motivated to change it. Essentially my barrel is constantly full, making me want to continually take action. The breathing, the feeling of suffocation is a daily stress that helps keep my barrel full. I am constantly beyond my tolerance level.
The discomfort I feel on a daily basis helps me maintain my focus for change. The stress I experience from these sensations can be positive but I foresee a problem. My daily scare could lead down two possible negative paths.
- The first is it becomes normal and so my tolerance level is increased.
- The second is that it puts me in a constant state of fear.
The value of this interaction is that it opened my eyes to the potential negative outcomes of this pattern. Perhaps the knowledge that these things could happen, might help me live a better life.
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