Recently on a forum I frequent, a young man brought up death and how it scares him. Many posters responded that the older you get, the less afraid you become of the unavoidable, and that it is totally natural to be afraid of something so unknown and permanent when you are young. There was also a consensus that you start to appreciate life more as you age; you value your days more the older you become.
This made me think.................
THEN WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?
I am 32 years old.
Just typing that makes my skin crawl. I hate getting older, HATE IT.
I work for the University, so I am constantly surrounded by young, vibrant, energetic, hopeful, optimistic, 20 YEAR OLD, students. I watch them walk the halls, talking on their cell phones, laughing, smiling, planning........ I watch and my soul fills with envy and vileness... I feel like a Gollum.. Creeping in the dark corners of the college, observing, obsessing, coveting their youth and happiness..... I just want to jump on their childlike backs and suck out all of their joie de vivre, like some Dick Clark-esque, soul vampire.
I lay in bed at night, surrounded by quiet and stillness, gazing out of the window, at the moon and stars and their peaceful light............and I fret. I worry about wrinkles, thinning hair, fat asses, DYING........ Where do we go? Will I see my old dog again? If you get to the edge of the Universe, is there a sign? An Over-look? A camp ground or picnic area? Will Jesus really be a black man? Will there be snacks? What is holding the universe up? Was Clouds in My Coffee really about Warren Beatty?
I lay there, quietly in my bed, the soft touch of the down comforter, the comforting snore of my beloved by my side, and I obsess myself to sleep. When I finally succumb to slumber, I am assaulted via REM with dreams of doom and gloom, and life without Botox.
I know I am ridiculous. I am only 32. I am a young woman, still. I have my entire life ahead of me and I am wasting precious moments and time by obsessing over my own mortality.
I do try to stop, I do! I become very mindful of what I am doing and the self talk begins. ("Self Talk" is the term your therapist gives you to make it okay when you talk to yourself. When you are "Self Talking" and people look at you strangely, every therapist in America agrees that it is okay to tell them to go fuck a rusty nozzle.) So, as I self talk, I start to realize that I am spending precious moments of my life, wasting these moments, on lecturing myself to appreciate these moments more. It's my very own never ending cycle of ridiculousness. Try not to be too jealous.
I feel like I am slipping down a shame spiral, that my quest to be more appreciative and present, is really just a guise to trick myself into feeding my OCD. I have not been taking any medications for over a year now, and slowly I see myself slipping into these bad habits. It's hard to explain and hard for many to understand. When I tell the man who loves me that there was a point in my life, when I could not leave the house until I cleaned the entire house, including, but not limited to, behind every large appliance, window sill, woodwork, and bathroom tile crevices, he looks at me like "Hey, if you were still cray cray, our house would be a lot CLEANER."
Though he understands that I walk a thin line of being somewhat normal and becoming a prisoner to my neurosis, I don't think anyone can really understand what I am going through, unless they are as unfortunate as I am to be afflicted with this disease.
I hope one day, I will be able to not fret and obsess over things I can't control without the aid of medication. Until then, the only answer I can come up with about death is this: "I don't have time to fear dying, right now I am too busy fearing living to even care."