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Is breathing optional now, too?

Posted Aug 24 2008 8:04pm

During my daughter's recovery she felt resentful, and ashamed, about how much she needed to eat and how other people didn't seem to need as much. All my arguments about differing metabolism and explanations of the higher calorie needs of people recovering from malnutrition - didn't register. I know now that it is part of the illness to think that way about food even if the actual amount is a thimble-full of fresh lettuce.

I asked her "What if you discovered that you needed more oxygen, or that you metabolized trace minerals faster than others?" Would it allay the feeling of "taking too much" or the guilt of need more?

She said no. It would apply to oxygen, too. It would apply to anything. Her brain made her think she "shouldn't need" these things, or at least not need them any more than anyone else.

She no longer thinks this way, much. But I thought of that conversation when I read about people learning to not need to breathe: Holding Your Breath .

Just because you can, does that mean you should? Eating, sleeping, breathing: why are we determined to make these things avoidable?

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