06 March 2017


I go through an annual bout with allergies--three or four weeks in the spring when pollen causes my sinuses and nasal passages to do all sorts of crazy things, mostly having to do with sneezing and creating immense quantities of fluids with which I can fill tissue after tissue.  These are the days when I almost never get a full night's sleep, for I wake up two or three times either sneezing or so congested that I almost can't breathe.  The medicine that worked so well the first year now works fairly well, as I think I've been building up an immunity to it--I still wake up very often and end up walking around like a zombie the next day.

When all is said and done, though, I'm pretty grateful that this is the extent of my poor health on an annual basis--when I think of all that I could be going through with a different health problem, my problems are very minor in comparison, and I have to be thankful to be afflicted with simply a reaction to pollen.

I've started to look at this affliction a bit differently, though, and I'm not sure why.  I've been aware for years that my allergies are caused by my body trying to fend off an "intruder" that's completely harmless:  pollen.  My body is sneezing and watering and draining and itching because it wants to get rid of something that it doesn't need to get rid of.  What a waste of energy and fluids that is!

I've tried to imagine what it would be like to get my body not to fight off the pollen--to just let it be when it enters my system.  All of the symptoms then, in theory, would disappear, and I would no longer have allergic reactions.  But that's only if I can accomplish allowing my body to accept the "intruder" and not try to fight it off.  The allergy medications merely stop the call to battle by blocking the histamines, from my understanding--it's suppressing a reaction that's trying to happen, causing another battle inside of me, and it does get me pretty tired.

I've realized that this has been a trait of mine that goes far beyond pollen and allergies--I've always tried to push away anything that appears to be a threat, trying to keep myself "safe."  It seems to be a rather normal human tendency, but I go a bit further because of some other things that have gone on in my life, and I know for a fact that I've rejected some things and people in my life that could have helped me to grow, to mature, and to learn--all because my first perception was that these things posed a threat to me.

My allergies mirror a very important aspect of who I've been for many years, and I'm pretty convinced that the only way I can get rid of my allergies is to get rid of this harmful aspect of myself.  It's okay to want to protect myself, but I also reject the good and the harmless when I try too hard.  That's what my body's doing--it's trying too hard to protect itself, and making me miserable because it's trying to reject some simple pollen.

These days, whenever the symptoms start up, I try to tell myself to relax and to let the pollen alone--there's no need to reject it.  I'm trying hard to extend that approach to other things in life, also, that I perceive as a threat.  So far, I don't see any big changes, but I'm pretty sure that the more at peace I get with the perceived threats in my life, the more at peace my allergies will be.  Even if I don't succeed in lessening the severity of my allergies, at least I'll be working at something very important--acceptance of life and the different aspects of life.

Most of the things we face in life are as harmless as pollen, but we spend a lot of effort and go through a lot of agony trying to keep them away, anyway.  I've realized by looking at my allergies in a new way that I want to be more open and more accepting, and that I don't want to spend so much time rejecting things in a futile effort to keep myself safe from something that I don't even need protection from.

No comments:

Post a Comment