The Bends

Nothing has felt quite right this year. Everything is slightly off-kilter. People are acting weird. Not weird enough to call the men in the white coats (for the most part), but weird. Everyone is ever-so-slightly less patient and quicker to anger. We all seem tired, irritable, resigned. There’s this universal malaise. Whatever it is, it seems to be bringing out the worst in people. There’s outrage, and then there’s that tipping point when you feel as though you’ve lost the ability to be outraged. That’s when it starts getting scary, when you stop recognizing yourself.

We’ve been hearing things we’ve never, ever heard before, and it’s shocking. At first. But today I realized that I heard someone say, “No one knows what the president wants,” and I didn’t even blink. That, and words like “shithole” and “pussy” and phrases like “Nazis are good people”, and “fake news”, these are becoming normalized. Why are they becoming normalized?

Because if we don’t create a new normal, we’ll all go insane.

And then it occurred to me that we are all suffering from The Bends. Like divers who try to escape the deadly environment of the deep sea too quickly, we are suffering from decompression sickness. As the toxins bubble up within us and settle into our joints and brains and spine and skin, we all suffer slightly different, albeit significantly painful, symptoms.

The Bends can manifest in many ways. A dull ache, a feeling of insects crawling over your skin, itching, increased sensitivity or complete numbness, confusion or memory loss, unexplained mood or behavior changes, weakness, a tightening of the chest, headache, fatigue, loss of balance, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

Does that sound familiar to you? Because it sure does to me. I’m a changed person, and I don’t like it. Maybe what we all need is a recompression chamber; a place to shut ourselves off from the world and artificially remove these toxins from our bodies. Because rushing away from this deadly environment, while a natural instinct, has only made things much, much worse.

Be gentle with yourself, dear reader. Breathe. Take it slowly.

The Bends

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8 thoughts on “The Bends

  1. lyn sutton

    OMG! My doctors will be glad to know all my symptoms have a common cause and a single cure. For over 20 years they’ve given me multiple diagnosis’s and treatments, yet I just get worse. Hope my insurance covers a re-compression chamber so I can throw away all my assistive devices and leave the house again. Maybe I’ll even take up scuba diving and risk the real bends. 🙂

      1. lyn sutton

        Whenever the naked emperor comes on my screen and opens his offensive mouth I just bop it with my Hog Wild Popper (Creepy Kim the Zombie because he is a walking dead) … instant stress relief. The down side is retrieving those balls while battling the bends. Amazon carries a wide variety…even a Nisse one (Papa Gnome).

  2. Nobody

    It’s the remembering to breathe deeply again, in an hour, in a day, that becomes challenging. I enjoyed years watching the world work toward compassion and a better understanding of our interwoven lives around the globe. And now seeing the greed, intolerance and indifference that our leadership has chosen has a disheartening effect on our culture and the youth that will be our future. The reminders to breathe deeply and not lose hope need to be shared often. Thank you.

  3. Are you sure that running away doesn’t work? I have been contemplating not watching any news shows, late night commedians, and staying off of Twitter for a week or two. I would just like the old normalcy for awhile.

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