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Paralyzing Fear

 I have been close to death a few times in my life, as I have struggled with an eating disorder for many years.   At times I thought I wanted death.  The only thing that stopped me at the time was my strict Catholic upbringing that said any form of suicide would lead to purgatory or hell, whichever it was.  Now, though, I have lost my faith, and I am so terrified of what comes after.  I stay awake nights fearing the day when I don't have a conscious life anymore.  I don't want there to be nothing afterward, but I fear that that's what happens.  I'm afraid about when it will happen, and where.  Every time I leave to go driving, or get on a plane, I wonder if something is going to happen, that today will be the day someone hits me and I'm gone.  There are so many pointless deaths that happen everywhere, young adults like me and younger who die for idiotic reasons.  What if I'm one of those?  What if I never get to get married and raise kids?  The idea horrifies me to the point where I've had multiple anxiety attacks.  If anyone has any kind words, I'd appreciate it. 

jesterlover16 jesterlover16 22-25 3 Responses Aug 10, 2009

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I know the paralyzing fear of which you speak,<br />
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i find it interesting that those who feel connected to family, and friends, they seem to have an easier time dying but this could just be that they never faced their fear?<br />
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how we handle death in our culture is terrible.<br />
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i wonder how much of that is the collective fear of all of us?<br />
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i was raised mormon, so i know about the fear of hell, but seeing through it, it leaves room, for what is out there...?<br />
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i am curious where you are now in your exploration?<br />
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ben

I went through a patch where I feared death ... some time after I lost any faith I had ... <br />
Being a nurse at the time I had the opportunity to talk to the odd post-op patient who'd been clinically dead or had been resuscitated ... I asked them what it was like .. and every-one I spoke to said the same thing ... wasn't like anything it was like being asleep. They had no awareness, no sensation, big black nothing.<br />
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Ever fallen asleep not dreamt and then woke up .. that bit in the middle wasnt anything not painful not frightening, not boring thats my take on it.<br />
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I was with my father when he died and as he took his last breaths his face showed no ex<x>pression except maybe relaxation. Certainly nothing negative or frightening ... I'm no longer scared about death I've seen enough to know there is obviously nothing to fear.

I have been afraid of death for the last 14 years of my life. but now, I realized that that fear was just a necessary step in order to understand why I am here. <br />
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In my opinion, it is a good thing you have lost your faith. The reason to be alive is not the fear of hell. <br />
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We humans are just like any other animal, and death is a natural part of the process. What process? Evolution. We are not isolated minds, we are part of a species that is evolving same way several cells are part of a body that is growing. The only reason we are here is to make sure the next generation of humans is better, and will continue getting better. This is hard to accept, but your life including your job, the books you've read, the relationships you've had... is completely irrelevant. And so is mine. That of course doesn't mean we can not enjoy them, but we also have to be conscious of our purpose here. <br />
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If you are afraid of death is maybe because you feel you haven't done anything important. Not to worry. There are several things you can do to help your species. But the fear of death is something we have to overcome. It WILL happen. You WILL die someday. Make sure that your life worth it.