It is a sad but true fact that I am functionally illiterate when stressed. This is, doctors tell me, because stress aggravates my latent clausophobia: while I retain the knowledge of how to read and write, an acute anxiety of any text that begins to approach a complete sentence keeps me from exercising that knowledge whenever my clausophobia becomes active.
This is less crippling than you might imagine. Despite my studies in English, I seldom make it all the way through a book in any case, so I really don't miss books. I also find that my few weeks away from the news seldom change anything: the world is reliably dysfunctional whenever I come back. The hardest part of my periods of active clausophobia, in fact, are the blogging losses. It's strange to think that because of my condition, for three weeks my digital self did not exist!
I still have to count my blessings, however. If I had periodic lexiphobia instead of clausophobia, I would have to hide from things like stop signs and billboards when sick. As it was, I spent a full week of my three weeks of digital nonexistence in California, completely unperturbed by road signs which content themselves with one-word utterances.
Recently, thanks to end-of-the-semester grading and an impending (29 April) thesis defense, my levels of stress have risen to the point of the delightful delirium I typically exist within, and my clausophobia is once again latent. Hopefully, it will remain so long enough for me to tell you about all the books I didn't read while actively clausophobic.
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