Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Digging deep...

Fair warning, today's post is a more serious one. Sorry no laughs today. I just thought I would share this and maybe someone else who has ever felt this will no they aren't alone.
I have never discussed this in any of my posts. It's a very serious subject for me. Very upsetting topic but that's ok. I know the average person has a fear of death at some point in life, it's human instinct/survival to want to be alive and ticking but for me it's more serious than this. I have a literal phobia of death and aging. To explain where as the average joe thinks about these things every once in a while, I have constant streaming thoughts regarding my fears. I have been  plagued by them since I was a child.

My first memory of my phobia affecting my life is when I was about 8 years old. I used to sleep with my grandmother every night. I wasn't afraid of my room or anything but her and I would stay up watching movies together and I just stayed in there. I remember I would lay awake at night next to her in the dark and I would cry for hours and hours (sometimes all night) at the thought of losing her. I would make myself sick playing different scenarios in my head from finding her dead or her dying in the hospital or in an accident to having to say goodbye at the funeral. This was a regular thing. It got to the point where I would regularly break down behind closed doors just by looking at her because my fears would suffocate me. I have delt with this routine phobic thinking ever since. When I met my husband and we first started dating seriously I would lay on his chest and watch TV and here come my thoughts of losing him and I would be soooo overwhelmed that I would just break down and tears would pour out all over his shirt. It scared the hell out of him. Nothing consoles the feeling. I just live with it in constant fear. It happens with everything. I have had thoughts about Mary, my mother and siblings, my husband, my pets. It never stops. It happens alot with my dog, Fancy. I know some people don't attach to animals like I do and to me she is family, she is like my child. Sometimes I will play with her and then the thoughts break in through my happy moment and ruin it and I will burst into tears at the thought that one day I will come home from work and she won't be there anymore. It may be years to come or tomorrow but I can't shake the feeling. I think will she die at home of old age? Will she get sick? Will I have to take her to the vet and have her put down? And then it all boils down to I will lose her some day. I can hardly allow myself to focus on these thoughts about my husband now because I get so upset that I will become majorly depressed for days. I just have to cut it off midstream and stop. But the hurt I feel still sits in my chest. I just have to ignore it until I forget about it for a little while.

Now of course, if I fear losing those around me, I fear dying or even aging myself. I think about myself dying alot too. For instance, almost every day (unless I am distracted by the radio) when I drive I think of awful things that could happen. I imagine wrecks down to the very detail. Especially going over a bridge I almost always imagine going over the side and getting killed and how awful it would be. I imagine how I would feel if I went over. Would time slow down? Would I not no what hit me? Would I cry? Would I regret anything? What would Ryan do without me? Would Mary be alright? and this pattern just repeats over and over and over again in different situations. Sounds crazy, I know. Believe I hate that I can't stop thinking about it. It makes me not want to have children because I am terrified that my phobias will ruin my parenting. I will be too afraid to let my kid out of my sight. If I can get depressed over my pets then what how the hell would I survive this with my child running through my head every moment??? I imagine myself getting older. Getting feeble and unable to care for myself, having health issues, and finally I imagine how I might die. I have thought of all different ways but mostly I think about the "moment" that I am dying. The last few second of my life. I can't describe it really. I feel desperation, fear, disappointment that it's over. Here I am 23 years old and I am driving myself bonkers. These patterns have only gotten worse since my grandmother passed away in February. Mainly because she had been wanting to go to heaven every since her my great grandmother passed away 10 years ago. They were very close and when my Nanny died, my Granny wanted to go with her. So my mom and I would always joke and say that because my Granny wanted to go so badly that it would be her luck to be the last. So deep down I thought even through all of her sickness that she would be around for a years to come. And it didn't happen. It failed me and now one of my biggest fears has come true. She's gone. Losing her has only made my fears become that much more real to me. So my thoughts have intensified because I use the pain I feel from her being gone and it personifies the thoughts I have about everyone else in my life dying.

I am sure you are wondering what is the point of all this rambling? Where there is a point I promise. Have you ever felt like it's too late to get thin? (I don't mean do you allow it to hinder your weight loss) Just have you ever felt it? It's hard for me to explain this because it's all in my head but sometimes I feel like I have wasted so many years being overweight that it's too late. I feel like I have ruined my entire life because I didn't "start out" right. It's probably my OCD speaking but as I have said before I am a perfectionist at most things and an "all or nothing" type of person. Like if I don't start my day eating right then I most likely won't eat right for the rest of the day because that day is shot since I started out bad. So in a bigger picture, like my life, I feel the same sometimes. Like because I messed up the last 15 years of my life by being fat that it will never be as good as it could have been had I started out skinny and just stayed skinny this whole time. I think about all the things that would have been different if I had been skinny. All the things I wouldn't do because I felt fat and insecure I could have done if I were thin back then. It messes with my head alot. Does that make sense??? Please don't let my rambling discourage anyone. I know that some of you ladies are older than me and I don't want you to think that I am saying "hey, it's too late, give up!" Because I am not saying that at all. I would firmly love to believe for myself that it's never too late. It's just my journey has this issue because it's in my head. Will I ever get there?

Anyway I have pretty much written a small novel here. Thanks if you are still reading this. I promise my next post won't be so heavy.


  1. I am so sorry for your struggles. In the last 8 years or so ( since my mom died ) I too have been anxious about death. Not to the extreme that you are, but I am a worry wart. I worry about my kids, grand kids and my wonderful husband. It is not an easy thing to deal with but I know you just have to trust God. Put yourself in his hands. That is what I do with my family. We just don't know what is around the corner but I try not to make myself sick worrying. Have you thought about going for some counseling? I have, and it really does help. XOXO

  2. I'm afraid that I don't have much to offer outside of support. I second the suggestion of counseling. It sounds like you have a true phobia and oftentimes, therapy can help you cope, if not overcome, your fears. I think everyone fears death to some extent, that's normal. I never think of myself dying but am much more aware of mortality now that I have chidren and I worry what would happen to them if something happened to me or my husband. Again, these fears are normal. Obsessing over them may not be. I hope you can find a peace with this.

  3. I believe that God has placed a desire for eternal life in each one of us because he wants us to seek him. So it is normal to worry about death and think about it.

    However I agree that you sound really overwelmed by these fears and it would probably help to talk them over with a professional and/or your pastor, rabbi, iman, etc. Imagine if you lived your whole life so scared of death that you practically forgot to live. When you talk about not having kids because of this fear, that makes me think that you may be letting these fears go too far. Also your elaborate fantasies about accidents and such - I used to have those kind of thoughts too, but I started telling myself each time that I couldn't think about those things. Instead I re-focus my thoughts on something else. I don't let myself go there.

  4. I think everyone is afraid of death, but you do sound like your situation is a little different. Have you thought about counseling? I'm not being smart ass, but there may be something that you can work through with some help. I knew someone who lost their son to cancer, and I cried after I took my kids to the doctor for their check up at the same age as their son was diagnosed. It was irrational but I was afraid. I can't really say much but I don't think you're crazy or weird, I just think that maybe talking to a professional may help.

  5. Oh Jess, you break my heart. I really wanted to e-mail you but you don't have a link. Anyway, about thinking it is too late to lose weight. Well here I am at 56 and I am just starting out with the band. I have struggled with this weight for 45 years but I would never have not gone through those years. In its own twisted way it made me the person I am today. I joke to everyone that I will be 96 and still be dieting. And sweet little girl, you are still truly upset about your granny dying in February. Will you do me a favor and see a counsellor. I know it will help you. I want the next 73 years of your life to be the best. And when you reach 96, you will say, it was a good life. E-mail me if you like (it's in my profile) as I will always listen.

  6. Hi Jess,

    Another option would be hypnotherapy, our subconscious can rule our lives sometimes, but I do believe that we can talk to it through a good hypnotherapy session. I had a couple of sessions to help with stress and I found it really helped unlock some stuff I was carrying around. Our subconscious doesn't always listen to logic. We can know somethings true, but our subc just doesn't seem to go along with it!

    I also have a tendency to imagine all sorts of disasters befalling my loved ones, especially my children, or of something happening to me...not because I'm scared of dying, but because i'm scared of not being around to bring up my boys. But like some of the others, I have to make that conscious decision to stop that thought process cause it's going nowhere good!

    Thanks for sharing your inner thoughts and I hope you can make peace with your demons.


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