A few years ago I was obsessed with death. Not in a goth kid or sadistic sense. I was just suddenly fearful of my own mortality. Before anyone starts worrying, it was not suicidal thoughts in any way. Much the opposite. There’s so much left I want to do and I was frightened about the prospect of everything suddenly ending.
This wasn’t occasional thoughts. It became a nightly occurrence. Nearly every time I tried to sleep I would think about what would happen if I didn’t wake up. Would I no longer be conscious of anything? Do we move on? Does everything just stop? I became incredibly aware of each heartbeat, trying to figure out if there was something irregular as I tried to settle myself down for the night. I worried about brain aneurysms and blood clots. This was quite a scary feeling considering I normally look forward to sleeping, not only for the dreams, but to fast-forward to the next day. Again, this was just at night. I wasn’t overly cautious and paranoid during the day and certainly didn't avoid the shark filled oceans and deadly golf ball filled courses of Hawaii.
It wasn't depression (or at least, I don't think it was). It only happened prior to sleep and there wasn't really anything wrong in my life. I had no reason to even think that I was going to die and I was relatively happy and healthy. No signifigant money problems and I had sufficient friends and a family.
Religion wasn't much of an option. I was raised Catholic, but hadn't practiced in years and I’m really more of an Agnostic at the moment. (I don’t want to get in a debate. I do believe there’s something greater than us out there and I believe in an afterlife of some sort, I’m just not convinced it’s as simple as heaven and hell. This actually would be a good future blog subject).
It went on for months. I tried to alleviate my worries but doing what always used to work; write about it. I came up with the gem of an idea for a book and/or screenplay that explored theories of afterlife (I’m still working on it). This helped for a little bit, but eventually those dark thoughts returned night after night.
This continued for almost a year, then they suddenly stopped. I actually hadn’t noticed that they stopped until I reflected on it a few months ago. I traced it back and realized the last time I can remember thinking about it was almost the same time I met a friend who changed my life.
I apologize in advance, but I’m not going to expand much on that last sentence. I can hear you groaning as I write this. One day I’ll find a way to tell that story, but I can say that this person completely and utterly affected my view of the world. It was almost as if we were supposed to find each other and they are the primary source of my soulmates post. (Don’t read too much into this. I’m still divorced and very single, so it’s not what you think).
To be fair, it’s possible that something else could have eased my mind. A lot of major changes happened around the same time I met that person. All I know is we’re incredible friends and it’s brought me peace since we met. Whether you believe in God or not, I’ve seen evidence that there’s some unknown force providing opportunities. It’s no mere coincidence our paths crossed.
I guess what moral you can get from this post is that funks end, and the clouds eventually clear. Sometimes on their own, or sometimes someone guides you out. Good things can happen at any moment. It just may come from an unexpected source, or an unexpected person.
**I’ve never told the person this story. I could never find an opportune time to do it ("hey, did I ever tell you the time I was obsessed with death?"), but I wanted to thank them. It should have been in person, but I think writing it down is a more fitting tribute.