choking and dying alone

As many of you know, one of my fears is choking and dying alone. Last night I choked. It was an honest to God choke, where the Heimlich Maneuver would have actually helped. The food wasn’t just stuck in my throat, but lodged in a way that sealed off all airflow. I swallowed a piece of meat, it sort of suctioned to the back of my throat. The suction was so strong that the Heimlich Maneuver probably would have propelled it through the air to hit someone in the face or plop into someone’s beer like in the movies. My cousin and her husband invited me to a BBQ at her house last night. Being social is always difficult, but I went, wanted to go, only had to talk myself into it for a few minutes. Everything was going along smashingly, with nice, peaceful chatter, when I launched forward, eyes bulging, and made a loud sound, like a dry heaving/barking/burping/vomiting sort of noise. (My body was involuntarily heaving and lurching as well.) It was loud and EMBARRASSING and everyone stopped and stared at me. Afterwards they all said it looked like I was going puke. They didn’t recognize that I was choking. What finally ended up happening, after three or four of these loud, deep, involuntary dry heaving/barking/burping/vomiting noises, the piece of meat dislodged and went down my throat and safely into my stomach. I sat red faced for the rest of the evening, denying the urge to bolt home. I was also scared of food for the rest of the night.
When I got home, I was desperately lonely for Isaiah. I needed someone who really loves me and knows how to comfort me.
I will not weave this story into a metaphor about my fears of “choking” in graduate school.

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