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February 22, 2017 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

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y friend Eli
Chanoff once
that everyone

in the world would benefit
from drinking a tall glass of
water right now. I think this
is probably true. It is certainly
true for me. Out of the set of
emotional and physical states
a person can be in — of which
there are many, maybe infinite
— dehydrated is the one I most
commonly exist in.

I notice, most acutely, the

symptoms of my dehydration
when I’m in class. The corners
of my eyes get a little blurry,
as if someone put tiny drops
of water in them. Sometimes I
feel like I’m drifting away from
my body. I’ll lean back into my
chair and most of me will be
caught by the back of the chair
but part of me will keep tilting
back, back and out of my body.
I’m equal parts familiar with
the sensation and insanely
freaked out by it. I panic until
something snaps me back into
my own body and I resolve to
hydrate more the next day.

The problem is, I forget to


I wake up the next morning

and forget to drink water, I
forget that yesterday I spent
class swirling in my body
instead of paying attention. I
choose instead to recycle my
saliva for 30 minutes until I
down a $3 coffee. I tell myself

coffee is made from water so it’s
hydrating me in some way.

I generally believe that the

reason anybody is anything is
extremely complicated.

I like to believe that I am

dehydrated because of a set
of small, seemingly unrelated
factors that subtly pushed
me toward dehydration and
continue to push me away
from hydration. What if I never
got into the habit of carrying
around a reusable water bottle
because my mother liked the
ease and aesthetic of red Solo
cups? What if that has made
me subconsciously undervalue
backpacks with exterior water
bottle pockets? What if, before
all of that, Ralph Nader diluted
some percentage of Gore’s
votes in Florida and maybe,
just maybe, if Gore had won he
would have enacted some set of
policies that inspired a young
Harry Krinsky to stop drinking
out of red Solo cups and start
drinking out of Nalgenes, BPA
or no BPA? Of course, owning
a reusable water bottle does not
guarantee perpetual hydration,
but the point is most mornings
I wake up with the implicit goal
of hydrating myself, and almost
every night, I go to bed with a
dry mouth and yellow pee.

The alternative, of course, is

that I am dehydrated because
I choose not to drink enough
water — I am to blame. I’m not
sure where I stand on why I am

dehydrated. Something worth
exploring, though, is where
agency begins and ends in all of
this, and getting to the bottom
of how and where I actually
control any individual habit in
my life is a thought experiment
worth doing.

As a middle schooler dealing

with anxiety, I developed this
ritual where I would imagine
all of the bad thoughts swirling
in my head as urine in my
bladder, and when I peed, I’d
imagine pumping the half-
conceptualized anxieties out
of my brain, into my bladder
and out of my body. Water

dehydration, so bear with me.

This was a strange habit,

and Freud would have had
something to say about it,
and my therapist certainly
had something to say about it.
He told me it wasn’t a useful
technique because repelling
anxieties only make them more
real. The analogy of choice is
playing baseball with a ball that
is attached to a long elastic rope
that is also attached to your bat.
If you hit a home run, the ball
will fly far, far away over the
fence and into the toilet bowl.
It will, however — as most
things attached to long elastic
strings — eventually come
back. It won’t just come back,
it will shoot back, powered by
whatever really basic physics
concept explains what I’m

talking about. The ball won’t
just come back, it will be
hurled back at you, smacking
you in the back or the gut or
the head. The solution: Bunt.
When translated to an 11-year-
old with anxiety, this means
keep your anxiety close to you
because, after all, a baseball
is a relatively small burden to
carry to first base. (The analogy
breaks down when we consider
what running to first base with
the ball in hand would look


enough, but bunting, just like
hydrating, is equal parts easy

to understand and difficult to
follow through on.

I try my best to bunt when

I can, but often I forget to
bunt or forget to remember
to bunt or forget to drink
water or forget to care about
school or forget to watch
“An Inconvenient Truth.”
I think about pee so much
because I’m dehydrated and
maybe I don’t think about
education enough because
I am educated. I think
about habits because I had
a therapist when I was 11
and I bunt when I can, but I
sometimes forget to.


Managaing Editor:

Lara Moehlman

Deputy Editors:

Yoshiko Iwai

Brian Kuang

Photo Editor:

Alexis Rankin

Editor in Chief:

Emma Kinery

Managing Editor:

Rebecca Lerner

Copy Editors:

Danielle Jackson

Taylor Grandinetti

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 // The Statement

Golden State Worrier: Life Dehydrated





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