I’ve been sick for three days now, my partner and I both so we’ve both just been laying around trying to take care of each other and the pets. I mention the sickness because I’ve had a cough and maybe it sounds silly but it’s a huge trigger for me. I have asthma. I had it severely as a child, I had more scary asthma attacks than I can remember, one of the scariest was waking up to nurses holding an oxygen mask on me while I fought it. I spent many nights up with my parents steaming me in the bathroom with warm water, doing breathing treatments with my asthma machine, leaving school twice a day to go to the nurse to use my inhaler. I haven’t had asthma like THAT since I was a kid fortunately. It flares up seasonally, with cold weather, with exercise, with cats and grasses and dust, but I just use my “rescue inhaler” once and it’s ok. Sometimes I steam myself with a personal steamer and put a drop of eucalyptus oil. The trigger part is-my anxiety looks and feels the same to me as my asthma flaring up. I feel short of breath, like I can’t release a full breath so there’s no room for more to come in and my chest feels tight and my throat feels tight and panic. Now that I am sick I have more reason to believe it’s my asthma this particular night so I went to the bathroom to sit in the warm steam and tried some breathing exercises and when it wasn’t helping I thought injuring myself would help. Maybe it would shock me or something and bring me back to a calm place and not the floaty panicky place in my head. I started to feel smothered in the steam and I don’t know if I really almost passed out or if it was in my head! The same things happen to me with anxiety so which is which, what do I believe. It scares me. Usually the steaming comforts me because it reminds me of being little and my parents being up with me through the attacks until it stopped and I relaxed and fell asleep. Sometimes they would rub holy oil (whatever that is?) on my forehead and pray over me. Since my partner fell asleep on the couch I’m in my bedroom with the windows open, the fresh air is helping. Or maybe that I’m getting too tired to be anxious or that I’m focusing on writing this and not the noise outside that sounds like the smoke monster on lost. I didn’t injure myself in the bathroom, I don’t think I have the energy and I think I know deep down it won’t help. I am also one of those people who sneezes and I think I have pneumonia…so I’m trying to stay in the here and now and be rational and try to get calm and stay calm. At least calm long enough so that I can sleep.