I know I sound bitter , but I always sound bitter when I tell people about my asthma . I came down with a severe atypical pneumonia years ago . My friends wanted me to go to the hospital , but I refused . Instead , when my trachea’s diameter felt like it decreased by half , I drank tons of coffee , since caffeine is a natural bronchodilator . The infection gradually resolved , but in the aftermath I developed asthma . Now , every time I run or get upset , it feels like my lungs are collapsing . Sometimes I can barely breathe . A shrink told me it was all anxiety – related , but my internal medicine doctor diagnosed me with asthma and prescribed me both a rescue inhaler and steroid inhaler . My running’s never been the same , but even worse than that is crying , which quickly triggers my asthma . Getting upset somehow makes my bronchioles fill up with inflammatory crud and collapse . It doesn’t happen every time I cry , but when it does , it’s awful . So awful , I try not to cry over anything . Before this hit me , I didn’t even know it was possible to be allergic to tears .
–Manic Kingdom: A True Story of Breakdown and Breakthrough by Dr. Erin Stair
She tried to console me, but I wasn’t having it. I hunched over my plate, scooped up every bit of egg, and gulped down my milk. I didn’t feel all that hungry, but the long days in the fields had made me into an eating machine. I didn’t know many boys my age, but I figured I ate more than all of them. Even when I didn’t want to. With Mom still sitting there looking glum, I walked out the door. The morning was made of dark clouds, and the rumble of distant thunder matched my mood. I wasn’t angry or sad. I didn’t feel any disappointment in Mom or Dad. I felt an emotion I couldn’t place. The clouds and I were the same. We were dark. We were ominous.
–Darkness Between the Stars (Eaters of the Light Book 1) by J Edward Neill
It flashed into my mind that maybe Casimir was better off dead. I thought, What’s the point of living, if you’re a vampire? I felt so pitiable. So victimized. Nevertheless, while it seemed monstrously unfair that someone should be attacking powerless invalids like me, I could also understand the sense of revulsion motivating Casimir’s killer. After all, vampires made me sick. How could I blame other people for having the same response? I was in the unfortunate position of resenting behavior that I could understand perfectly. For several minutes I plunged deeper and deeper into an emotional black hole. Then, with an enormous effort, I hauled myself out again. I made a decision.
“How are you?” she asked. It was a question that would’ve required some college-level math and about an hour of discussion to answer. I felt a hundred conflicting things, the great bulk of which canceled out to equal cold and tired and not particularly interested in talking. So I said, “I’m fine, just trying to dry off,” and flapped the front of my soggy sweater to demonstrate.
–Hollow City: The Second Novel in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs