The art of Hugging
Everyone who knows me will tell you that in all my emails, live chat, any place that allows for more one-on-one text communication, that almost without fail I will close with a ‘hug’. Sometimes I will even get carried away and there will be different variations of hugs, such as from bunnies and kittens.
A fair assumption would be that I am this way out of my virtual life as well. But I’m not. Not anymore at least.
As my multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) became more severe, I started noticing that the simple act of hugging could lead to the misfortune of transferring to my clothing someone’s perfume, scented laundry soaps, or almost anything they’ve been around. This would cause a feel good hug to become also a toxic cloud that followed me for hours, making all my symptoms that much worse for the rest of the day. The price became too steep to pay for a moments worth of closeness and comfort.
I don’t think I have ever run across someone with MCS speaking of this but it seems to me to be one of the greatest losses of my previously healthy life. The act of hugging another human being is something easily overlooked because it is so mundane as to be taken for granted. Yet almost everyone has a beloved memory of a hug received from a loved one at some point.
Mine is from the last time I saw my mom before I had to move two states away. I can still feel the tightness of her arms as she hugged me extra long that night. Almost as though she knew it was the last hug we would ever have before she passed on two years later.
Jeremy is now my only outlet for all the hugs I long to give the world, and he gets them throughout each day. He has long since stopped being surprised when I suddenly stop mid-stride and turn to hug him. I might hear a little complaint when I’ve been washing dishes and the hugging urge becomes incessant, wet hands and all, but even then the complaints are only because the best spot to dry hands quickly is usually on his posterior.
To the person reading this, right now I am sending you a GIANT WARREN OF BUNNY HUGS and a LITTER OF PUPPY AND KITTEN HUGS. Enjoy!