I started using an inhaler when I first went to London to do an art degree when I was 19yrs- before that I had hay fever, sneezing fits that lasted so long I bruised my stomach.
When the asthma arrived , the hay fever stopped – I don’t remember when it happened exactly but I don’t sneeze any more I just wheeze
All sorts of things set me off – animals with fur and feathers , damp, mould, strong smells – passive smoking
I control it with antihistamine and preventative drugs
I am struggling at the moment because we had a flood in our bedroom – there is a bath in my bed room itself ( why? It was there when we moved in) the pipes between the bath and the taps leaked over a period of time and then flooded – we woke in the night to the sound of rushing water behind the wall …….
Anyway it hasn’t dried out properly and when we had a carpenter and a plumber in there was black mould all behind a cupboard and under the floor boards – this has been treated but I can’t sleep in our bed with out having a reaction
So I think my levels of allergic reaction are a bit high and my chest is a bit tight – it is easy for me to forget to breathe
I occasionally ( well a lot actually) hold onto my breath and clamp down on my stomach when I am stressed or in an emotional situation – which as I have intimated before is ongoing at the moment
I am surprised at how powerful I have reacted physically to the art journalling
– Deb has said that it is the same for her – I suppose it is not so surprising as we are visually orientated – but it is a bit of a shock. The idea that drawing windows and doors . Playing with the concept of standing on a threshold and then shutting the door metaphorically could impact on me quite so strongly
I feel things visually and experience embodied reactions
Yesterday I went around the National art gallery in Edinburgh and looked at the latest Scottish art society exhibition with a friend . We stopped at a vibrantly coloured huge abstract work. My friend said she loved it – my first reaction to the clashing colours and vibrant paint was that I hated it- then I stopped and I had an embodied reaction to it which I liked – I sighed – she laughed – I said well maybe I don’t hate it after all .
Sometimes I feel over stimulated . By lights, advertising , window displays –
I had a breakdown of sorts when my children were small – I couldn’t bear going shopping because the shelves of packaging , text , photos and colours were over whelming –
These are all examples of how I respond to the visual so may be I shouldn’t feel so surprised after all – I said to Jon this morning – what has he brought me up to Scotland to do? Lots of good work he replied ……….