20 July, 2009

So I have this weird problem with what I guess you would call my sinuses, that happens to be happening at this very moment. I don't have any kind of concrete evidence to prove that correlation implies causation, but the problem frequently occurs during those times when, while sitting at my computer, I am in a more social mindset than others. For example, times when I am in a less social mindset typically include watching movies, reading articles, generally surfing the net (though this depends heavily on what kind of surfing I'm doing), looking at images, generally solitary things of that sort. And while I'm not ever *really* social in the strict sense of the term, there are other activities that are closer approximations to being in a social mindset - these include chatting on IM (albeit only ever with one person), posting or even just reading posts on message board forums, and also typing up blog posts and rants and whatnot - since in those cases, even though the writing activity itself is solitary, it involves positing myself in a situation of addressing my concerns (coming from within) to an outside receiver (whether or not it involves an immediate audience of transient beings).

You might notice, as I do, that those "social" activities, aside from more or less involving interaction (if implied or indirect) with other persons, also involves words. Obviously, interactions with people are largely, near to the point of exclusion, based upon the transfer of words - especially in the electronic medium where simple presence, and things like looks and touches are rendered meaningless - so I cannot determine if the source of my problem lies with the interactions themselves, or the involvement of words - although my experiences *might* actually lean towards suggesting the latter. You might say, what effect can words possibly have on a person's sinuses - specifically when those words are being read or typed and not uttered - but the type of reader (and writer) I am, I actually formulate, physically, the words in my mouth when I read, and also even when I type (indeed, I am doing it right now). I do not need to open my mouth, nor utter the slightest vocalization, and my tongue doesn't even necessarily need to make the full motions associated with the words I peruse, but still, to some extent I form those words within, and thus in some way my throat may be stimulated.

What is the problem exactly? What are the symptoms? Excessive, spasmic coughing that leaves my throat dry and raspy; production of mucous, that causes wasteful (and of course annoying) usage of tissues. It's pathetic, really. And it leaves me feeling quite miserable and desiring much more to cease and desist whatever activities I am involved in to go lie down or do something less exacting on whatever faculties whose employment cause this problem rather than to forge ahead and complete the task at hand.

It's like God himself is consistently striking me down for actually trying to make some form of contact between my inner world and the outer one. You just don't realize the kind of things I have to struggle through just to be.


  1. Having had some time to lay down, relax, and think about it calmly, I decided to reevaluate the situation from the perspective of being an HSP. I realized that I don't think I ever recall having this specific form of attack while away from my computer, even in anxiety-ridden situations involving other people. And I came to the conclusion that it might have less to do with the expression of thoughts and the formulation of words, and more to do with simply being overstimulated - mentally. In which case, it might be a sort of alarm, a last resort, my body sets off to try and get me to back off from the overstimulation and find some shelter.

    This interpretation doesn't necessarily null my previous one, it's simply an alternate possibility.

    At the time that this particular attack occurred, there was much to stimulate me. I was chatting on IM; I was thinking over the concepts going into a discussion I was planning to write up, I had a project running in the back of my mind, there was a CD I was waiting to listen to and evaluate, and every time I bring up my browser window, I see all the tabs in it that indicate unfinished business that needs to be dealt with eventually. And then I started writing up a blog entry about how it all was making me feel. Certainly, enough to overwhelm me.

    Using a computer, in this day and age, can involve a lot of multitasking. Things going on underneath other things, things currently in the process while doing other things, multiple conversations going on in multiple windows, and in multiple forms. It's enough to drive me mad. Particularly considering the way that I instinctively react (negatively) to chaos and impulsively try to organize things - thoughts or ideas or items or anything, really - in my mind if not in any sort of physical form. I guess, when I'm away from the computer interface, life is a more straightforward thing. You have the world in front of you, and what's going on there. There are other concerns, but they are pushed aside by the activity immediately in front of you. Maybe that's the expanation.

  2. On second thought, I wonder if these attacks have anything whatsoever to do with the attacks I used to get when I was younger. Those happened away from the computer, usually while I was in school, and were thus extremely inconvenient, considering that I didn't want to make a big commotion or even let on that anything was wrong. My throat would tighten up and I'd put all my energy into preventing myself from coughing, which was very difficult and very painful. It happened once again, I recall, in college, but by then I was mature enough to excuse myself and fight it out in the bathroom.

  3. The first word that came to mind upon reading all of this was "psychosomatic". You think you have a problem, so your body makes a physical manifestation of that problem.

  4. Yes, that word crossed my lips as I was lying in bed thinking it over.