A Dream Gave Me Death Anxiety, Could Use Some Advice

Anonymous (@) 6 years, 9 months ago

Hopefully this isn’t too repetitive/similar to other posts, but for what its worth I did read through quite a few of them…  Mostly, I’m looking for advice, maybe from someone with a similar experience but maybe not.  Beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.  A little about me… I’ve struggled with severe depression for several years, and have spent enough time working with counselors and antidepressants to have decided that I needed to work things out on my own (for better or for worse).  One thing I managed to ‘work out’ was my fear of death (which developed after giving up religion.  I was raised Christian), which I learned to accept as uncontrollable and pointless to fear, since the dead aren’t aware.  About a week ago I had a very unsettling dream, or rather, a nightmare.  I haven’t had a nightmare in over 5 years, but I woke up from this one paralyzed with fear.  The dream went like this (I’ll try to keep it short)…

I had died.  The cause was unknown and unimportant, but I was still on earth, as a “ghost”.  Essentially I was still living, but no one could see or hear me (oddly enough I could still communicate via writing) but one man whom I had never met.  He told me I had been given an opportunity to fix things, right the wrongs, repair my regrets–that sort of thing– but I only had one week.  Suddenly I was filled with fear at my own impending (second) death, and was filled with despair.  All potential was gone, I had no more future and no more life, and it was too late for me to genuinely make everything right.  How could I possibly communicate my feelings to right the wrongs I had done to my family and friends?  Even if I could communicate words, there were no actions and no time and no weight or worth to anything I said, it was too late.  This was a form of hell… worse than if I had never been given the week of opportunity, and my fear of truly dying grew and grew.  And I was afraid, of what would happen to my family, my friends, of what I would never be able to experience again or at all, and of the people I’d be failing by not being there to help when I’m needed.

The last thing I remember is collapsing under the weight of these fears (and more), then I woke up so afraid I couldn’t move.  In that moment I was afraid to die, and I haven’t been able to calm myself down since.  It’s always lurking and it’s exhausting me mentally, and I simply don’t know what to do.  Not only that, but I’m now afraid of relationships.  Every relationship is another thing that could go wrong, another thing I can never fix, another person I’ll have failed again and again and then permanently, once I’m dead.  It’s making it harder for me to interact with my friends and family, because even though I don’t want to be alone, it will be easier and it won’t be filled with conflict.  I feel so lost, I’d really appreciate any advice, discussion, anecdotes or otherwise that you guys think might help, it’d really mean a lot.  Thanks for your time, and sorry for the long post.

November 18, 2015 at 8:06 am
mooncheez6 (0) (@mooncheez6) 6 years, 9 months ago ago

WARNING-possible cliches ahead

Fear of death is not only healthy and natural, but amazingly helpful and guiding. Fear is about impending danger, known or unknown. We know we are going to die, but we don’t know what death means besides not-living. I assume that we never will know what that means beyond the guidance of empirical evidence. And I use the word ‘guidance’ purposefully. Empirical/scientific evidence can only guide.

Regarding the uncertainty of the ontology of death. There is nothing you can do but let go. At least this is my opinion. Of course, you will reflect back on this several to countless times, but I have found that the wisest of humans concede that this uncertainty will never be actualized. What is certain is that we will die. So while we can’t be sure of death, we can be sure of life and that it has a time limit.

Here comes the cliches… Now is all we have. Death gives life to us, for mortality allows for beauty. Have you ever listened to a song that you liked but it went on for too long? Or maybe listened to a song that you liked over and over again until you no longer liked it? Have you ever had sex for too long and it got boring?  Maybe not, but maybe so. Maybe these are good analogies for something else in your life. Everything has its time limit, but that makes the act of doing something, the act of being something more meaningful. 

I could be dead by the time you finish reading this. I probably won’t be sad from that because I probably won’t have emotions, and those that are sad from that fact are only so because they were once happy by my existence. Still, I like to think that even when I have died, if there are those who will cry for me, they will also laugh and smile for memories past. I’ve lived so many great moments because I know that moments were the entirety of my universe. Whether good or bad, every second is a gift not truly given, but merely lent. So suck that nectar while you can. I hope this helped a little bit. I could extrapolate on several points throughout this, but thats my quick rundown.

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