I had a moment of existential anxiety panic the other evening.
I was watching a program about different religions (not purposefully, it was just on before I was heading to bed) and they began to talk about death and how each one sees it differently. I was not even really paying attention, I was probably scrolling through Reddit on my phone.
And then it hit me from nowhere.
I am going to die!
There will be a day when I am not here, I am not seeing this, thinking this, experiencing anything!
This won't last forever!
It totally spazzed my mind and I was suddenly trapped in an anxiety spiral. I sat up and literally whacked myself on the head a few times (hard) and had to walk around the room to break the spell.
My mind was thinking along the lines of:
All of this, everything I have and am will be gone.
What's the fucking point - why am I putting up with all the bad things - is this what my life will be?
I'm nearly 48! This is it!
It's not the first time I have had this panic about my death. I was once happily following a colleague at work back to her desk to fix her PC (she had come to ask me to take a look) chatting away and I had a random, sudden, out-of-the-blue realization that I would die.
It actually physically stopped me in my tracks whilst I was in mid-walk. Like being hit by a mental truck. I fumbled through fixing the issue and had to sit, trembling in the toilet cubicle until I was calm enough to go back to my desk.
I have had it occasionally over the years but the other evening was the first for a long time.
I guess it is not unusual to suddenly appreciate your own mortality and for some, it should act as the kick up the ass to get on with living your life to the fullest possible. Knowing that one day it will end should be a call to war, not a call to huddle in a ball and cry yourself to sleep.
But for me, it passed quite quickly. I was worried I was going to lay in bed thinking about how I could experience "nothing", wondering how the world and everyone and everything else around me will carry on once I am gone. And I did for a little while, but the panic had passed and some darker more sane thoughts took over.
Am I living the life I really want to?
Is this it?
What is the point...
There is a popular thought experiment where you imagine yourself on your deathbed, looking back over your life and examining if it was good or if there were regrets.
I worry about thinking about doing stuff like that - because I feel I would fall on the "regret" side more than the "good" side.
I am going to die.
What am I going to do about it?
How am I going to live my best life ever?
Am I just crazy?