Reflections from the ER

I’m a big believer in the common denominator. When you find the same kind of people in your life, the same kind of experiences and the same kind of chaos there is one thing they all have in common…YOU.

Every once in a while we purge our lives. We take out what no longer serves a purpose. We clean house and get rid of the cobwebs. Some friends stay while others get kicked to the curb. I remember when unfriending was as simple as taking someone off your phone’s contact list. Now it’s more overt. When you unfriend someone they know. The whole world knows. And now you’re publicly accountable for letting go.

But what happens when the cycle of emotional chaos doesn’t end?

What happens when you find the same patterns repeating like some broken record, on a broken turnstile, barely holding up on a broken table in a room with broken windows, belonging to a house that has a broken spirit because the inhabitant is a person with a broken soul?

Over the weekend, I found myself half naked in the ER listening to someone with Type 1 diabetes complaining on his cell phone to his friend about not wanting to be here. None of us want to be here and yet the life choices we make often becomes the fast track ride to physical ailments.

I’ve lived with Asthma since I was 6 years old. I was raised in the East Village during the 80s which was notorious for a rise in asthmatic cases thanks to the Brooklyn factories right over the East River. I’ve managed to control it so that it doesn’t control me but a part of me can’t help but wonder if my breathing defect will someday be much more chronic than the occasional wheezing spells.

When I look at my chakras I see that asthma is between my throat and heart. As an adult I can see how this affects my day to day life. I struggle with self-love and I am not great at being honest with myself or the world. But at 6 years old, what life lessons was the universe imposing on me to give me such an infliction? I was baptized as a baby so the whole “original sin” BS doesn’t apply. I went through the proper sacraments and still nada.

I was born into this life not knowing the sins of my past and now spend the rest of my adult life trying to heal old wounds.

I’ve always felt super comfortable in hospitals. I spent enough time here as a kid that it’s kind of like Stockholm Syndrome. For the first 20 years of my life I thought my career was in medicine. Eventually college level Chemistry killed that hoop dream.

Even as I sit here, knowing that being in an emergency room is never the best place to be, I feel a sense of calm. As if this is where my body sometimes belongs. As if I get sick so that my body can return to the place where life began.

I’ve never felt “at home” anywhere in my almost 40 years of life but I can only imagine this is as close to feeling at home as I’m going to be right now.

For some home is where the heart is.

For me home is where the nebulizer machine is.

Toxic. It’s a funny word. It means poisonous.

34 years ago toxins invaded my body and set in motion a life long battle with grasping for air. Yet here I am wondering about the toxicity around me without stopping to think that maybe it was in me all along.