Peach pup small

Chipples

United States

A girl with lots of ideas, but not enough talent to express them. Not sure if I'll do much more than review.

Message to Readers

Honestly, just reading it's enough. If you relate, hey, even better. I wrote this entirely to calm myself down from a bad place, so keep in mind that what you're reading is... purely my own thoughts. A look inside a stranger on the internet's mind. Does that sound dramatic? Sorry.

My Struggle With Thanatophobia

April 19, 2016

PROMPT: Open Prompt

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I'm writing this because I'm panicking, and it's 11pm at night, I'm procrastinating, and this is the only feasible way to keep myself from running through my house screaming. I feel like only one person will ever read this (you know who you are), but in my panicked state, that's comforting.  (Is that the right use of the comma after the parenthesis? Whups.) (Am I being weird? I'm being weird. Forgive me. I'm not in a right state of mind.)

So, a bit of introduction: Thanatophobia is the fear of death. And let me tell you. It. Freakin'. Sucks. Bit of an understatement, actually. 

This all started for me when I was around 10, I think. I asked my mother what happens when we die. Specifically, I asked if time simply resets itself, if we go back to the caveman era. "No," she said simply, and left it at that.

What a mistake.

Being a 10-year-old with internet access, I began doing my own research. 

Being a 10-year-old with internet access, I knew where to begin looking. 

Next mistake.

Here, I found many articles debating what happens after death.

And I read the comment section.

I read the freakin' comment section.

And here, I discovered atheism. Many comments sections had numerous comments along the lines of "Nothing happens. It's exactly like before you were born. You're simply gone, forever."

And in my little 10 year old mind, I began envisioning forever. Sleeping. Forever. Eternity. Eternity. Eternity. Eternity is hard to envision. A billion years pass. And another billion. And another. And another. And another. Forever. Infinitely.

This, needless to say, terrified me to know end. I asked everywhere I could. I asked on a Neopets fansite discussion forum, same reply. What happens? Nothing. I asked on Transformice, a silly little game about a mouse collecting cheese. What happens? Nothing. 

It began to dawn on me that this was the truth. Well, there is no truth, per say, since nobody really knows. I realized it's the most logical answer. You were technically dead before you were born, so it'll be the same after. That makes the most sense, right? So I accepted it as fact.

And I began obsessing. I thought about it more and more, hoping to find a solution, an answer. Nope. More of the same.

It quickly began taking over my every thought. I look at my pet dog, a young, energetic little puppy. 

Gone. Gone. Going to die. Gone. Not right now, but one day. 

It became impossible for me to think, to look at anything without being reminded of my fear.

Parents. Parents are old. Father is 75. (Yes, I'm currently 14 with a 75 year old father. You see how this strengthened my fear, very very intensely.) Gone. Dead. He'll be gone, soon too. You don't even get the 50 years other kids get. 20, at most. Unfair. Unfair. Not FAIR. He'll be gone, unconscious forever. He's such a good man. He doesn't deserve it. Nobody deserves it. 

Outside. Sun. Sun. Sun. Sun will die. In a billion years, the sun will die. The sun will take Earth with it. I will be long gone. I will be nothing but dust. Recycled dust. Gone. Gone. Gone. I could die at any moment. I could have a stroke. Die. Die. Die. I wouldn't even know. I'd just be gone.  

That's right, folks. Sunlight is enough to trigger me. Sad, eh? 

It gets so hard to live with this. Every time I'm happy, the thought pops back up. Fun day at the zoo, eh? Too bad you're going to die. Too bad, too bad. You'll be dead. Everyone will be dead. What's the point?

What's the point? When you have such an intense fear of death. Nothing matters. Why do experiences matter, if I'll be completely gone and dead with no memory one day? Nothing matters. We are all waiting for the end. Why? Why? Why does it have to be like this? Why?

There is no good option. Even immortality through religion seems terrifying.  I don't want to be gone forever. But I don't want to live forever, either. Eternity. Forever and ever, never stopping, ever. It's terrifying, the thought of eternity. 

I think the worst part might be the... hopelessness. With depression or anxiety, at least you have the hope that you can be cured, or that things'll get better. With thanatophobia, not so much.

Speaking of depression, that coupled with fear of death is absolute torture. I am trapped. I want to kill myself, I'm worthless. Completely and utterly worthless. 

It feels like a punishment. Worthless. No aspirations. No purpose in life. 

But I can't kill myself. 

The one thing I could do to make myself useful, the one thing I could do to finally be done, I can't do it. Honestly, I want to. 

The strangest thing about the fear of death is that it truly makes you want to be dead. When you're at a point where you're constantly panicking, where one little thing can set you off, where you can go from completely calm to sobbing and screaming into your pillow, you lose your will to live. You don't want to. Excuse me if I sound dramatic, but thanatophobia is suffering. Pure and simple. Suppose it applies to any fear of the inevitable. 

I am afraid to die. I don't want to be dead. However, this is a fact of life. I will die. I will die. I will die. I. will. die. That's the type of thought that courses through my head, pretty much 24/7. 

It's impossible to live with this, honestly. I find myself thinking to myself, "You'll be gone. You're going to be gone. Forever. Forever. Forever." every time I have a moment of time to think for myself. Every free moment of time is a waste. I should be living. 

I wish it wasn't like this.

I wish I didn't have this.

I wish I could figure it out.

I wish there was a solution.

I wish I could turn back time, keep little me from asking that question to my mother, do everything in my power to stop this. 

But there isn't any way to fix it. I will die. I will suffer for the rest of my life with this engulfing fear.

It will only get worse.

This is a fact. 
I wrote this late at night, trying to cope with a bucketload of mental illness all at once. This is pretty much the only thing that kept me from doing something dramatic. I'm a little wary of posting it, honestly. It's an extremely personal piece. But hey. I might as well. 

Sorry if it sounds a little scattered. Even when I'm not in a anxious kind of state, I often think of new things to add and end up scrambling around and bringing up the same thing in different places. 

Gah, why am I writing like anyone's going to read this? 

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  • April 19, 2016 - 12:58am (Now Viewing)

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2 Comments
  • Kara Webber

    You wrote it like someone was going to read it because you knew I'd eventually find it, and of course I'd read it because I care so so so so much. I'm here, I promise. And you know what? Even though it's not to the same extreme, I completely get it. I really do. It's fucking terrifying. No one really knows how this thing ends. And I honestly, with everything I have, I believe the point of it all is to help other people. I don't know what happens when our hearts stop, and I certainly don't know what happens after. Hell, I don't even know why I'm convinced helping others is the point of life, other than the fact that it feels so right. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that everyone needs help in one form or another. So, I'm here to help you. I swear on my existence that I will do absolutely everything I can to help you with absolutely anything. I'm always here.


    over 2 years ago
  • Chipples

    I just added a bio and profile picture to my account, and I find it a little ironic that I changed my picture to a derpy little chihuahua after writing an extremely morbid piece about thanatophobia.


    over 2 years ago