*Apologies in advance, this is a long post…but I promise I don’t use YOLO or #FBF anywhere in it.*
Of course, all of my best blog posts come to mind in the moments before I’m about to fall asleep…this is my feeble attempt to jot down my thoughts on a topic that passes through my mind quite often, probably more than most, but nonetheless something I think that’s important to bring up-death.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely never encountered this yourself (if you have, that’s miraculous you’re back, or you’re just a really literate ghost). In all seriousness though, death is something that I think about often for a variety of reason. The most obvious one of course is being chronically ill. I’ve had several close encounters with death, the scariest of which (recently, well, about a year ago), was when I switched birth control medications.
I was previously on the depo shot (so much easier to remember to have done compared to a daily pill). Even though it was super convenient, depo started to wear on my body after a number of years using it, to the point that it destroyed my uterine lining. The result was non-stop bleeding (aka a period that lasted WEEKS…aka the worst time of my life next to having a spinal time attempted four times (which was without anesthesia, by a doctor whom I swear needed glasses, but anywhoo, the point of this aside is to put this bleeding thing in context).
So, I’m bleeding bleeding bleeding…like 40 days and 40 nights, biblical shit. I finally go to get it checked out (see, super stubborn, ignores health, NOT the ideal patient at all). Turns out I had to switch medications immediately and get hospitalized on my birthday (YAY! This has happened several times because #spoonielife…my birthday isn’t a medical holiday haha). Luckily everything turned around after some serious medical interventions, but it was so scary, I actually filled out a tiny last will and testament in my hospital bed.
So, yeah. I’ve almost died, so I think about dying in that context because some days my health is as fragile as anything. Also, as a lovely byproduct of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and every other chemical imbalance in my head, I’ve thought about it in a self-harm way too (luckily I’m not in that place anymore, and haven’t been for a bit, but with chronic illness and traumatic events, I’ve learned it’s more common than not to wish you were elsewhere rather than dealing with shit head on). So there’s that.
I also have had this weird fear since I was small about the ones closest to me dying and leaving me all alone. I’d like to blame all of the Final Destinations and Twilight Zone episodes I’d obsess over as a child, but I know mortality and inexplicable fears are again more common than people make them out to be, a lot of people just don’t talk about them. So this is me trying to talk about something and normalize it for anyone who thinks they’re alone and weird, and maybe even extra stressing out because they think they’re alone and weird (did that make sense, if not, just go with me and keep reading).
This covers the mortality part. In terms of finality, I’ve never been able to come to terms with the finality of death. What happens after it happens? Do you suddenly live on as a butterfly? Will I become reincarnated as someone’s lovable puppy? Am I a pet rock in the next life? I guess you could say it depends on what you believe-religion, higher power, science, etc.
As a kid I learned about heaven and hell in a religious context, but as an adult I’ve yet to figure out exactly how that fits in my own narrative. If I roll a stop sign, am I going to hell? Or is that outcome only possible for actions that’re much, much worse? If so, what’s the line for this “much worse” scenario? I know I overthink too much-been told that a million times. But haven’t you ever wondered what happens when you don’t wake up one morning?
It freaks me the fuck out. Banality. Other than this word rhyming really well with the other two in the title of this post, I thought that it was fitting, because how unoriginal of me to talk about something so obvious and unimportant. I’m ranting about worries that may not ever come into fruition (what if I die before anyone else I know, then why should I be stressing about being the last woman standing), or at least not for a very long time?
When I was in college, I lost a grandparent who had just celebrated 50 years of marriage. To see my grandma in the months and years ensuing was beyond heartbreaking. She’d lost the partner with whom she’d raised four children with. The first person who kissed her good morning and the last one to wish her goodnight. After his death, my grandma wore his wedding ring like nothing had happened and talk about him as if he was still around. This freaked me out then and still does from time to time now.
The idea of loss and its monumental impact shakes me to my core and oftentimes makes me want to push the ones I love most the furthest away. I can’t be hurt by the loss of another if I’m all by myself. Again, not thinking logically at all, but sometimes all I’ve got are a bunch of disjointed emotions.
I guess another reason why I think about death and loss so often is because in this age of social media and exuberance over proposals, weddings, and this hyper-inflated state of love, I always worry that my own happiness with my significant other is but a fleeting state of joy. Again, irrational, because so many people truly do live out their happily ever afters. However, I was never the girl who planned on a happily ever after. Hypothetically, sure…but in reality, I was almost positive I’d end up alone.
I went from the shy girl in high school (not even a first kiss back then), to the one who dated all the wrong guys in college (heartbreak central), to finding a guy who I don’t even have words for how he makes me feel. My life, at the time I met this guy was so good-I was in the best shape of my life, juggling so many jobs and classes it was ridiculous, and overall just stoked on life. Then, a few months into us dating, a super traumatic series of events happened that shook my world and took so many good things away from me, the most obvious of which was my health.
Daily panic attacks became common place, the nightmares were unbearable, the symptoms go on and on. It was literally hell on earth for quite some time, and even now, there are periods of time where my mind bounces back to this dark period and it takes me quite a while to shake it. Through all of this, this guy stood by my side. Every late-night, tear-filled phone call, every random outburst of screaming or crying or both, every every thing.
This was almost four years ago to the day (give or take). I was at my absolute rock bottom. I’m sure I’ve talked through the details of those experiences somewhere in the last two years of this blog, but I’ll just say now that it’s been an uphill struggle since then to get back to school, to regain my health, and to readjust my perspective that happiness, love, and a positive outlook on life are possible.
Before I make anyone reading this more depressed, the point of this post is just me trying to tease out an anxious bundle of thoughts late on a Saturday night. I’ll set this post to go live in the morning, because I still think it’s something worthwhile someone out there in the big ‘ol world might find thought-provoking.
Maybe death doesn’t bother you that much and you’re able to live in the moment all of the time. That’s so cool and I hope I cross paths with you someday so that I might glean some of your contentment. Maybe death and worries attached to it do bother you more than most, like me, and I’d also hope that we cross paths, even if it’s just a message or a comment online.
2LWithIt is my attempt to reconnect with the world after a serious of traumas that inexplicably disconnected me from everything-friends, family, feelings, even fear. I was afraid of fucking everything. There was a period of time I stopped driving and didn’t even leave my house. I wasthat fucking scared…and then for whatever reason, one day, I decided that’s not how I wanted to live out whatever time I had left on this planet, so I drove around the block, bawled my fucking eyes out, and came home…but I left the house.
Today, I’m throwing a big middle finger to death and how much, at times, it cripples me with worry about “what if’s.” What’s your biggest fear? How do you cope when one part of your brain says, “chill the fuck out,” and the other part says, “worry, worry, worry!”
Spoonie Adventures in Books, Beauty, & Bullshit
I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.