Thwarting A Useless Obsession With Death

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I can say that it’s not healthy for me to think about my own mortality for very long. Even with medication and therapy, my mind doesn’t always stray far from self-loathing. It’s a constant job to stay neutral (let alone positive). Happy thoughts do not come easy, and so I have to practice dealing with how negative my thoughts can become. That’s where this blog comes in; it’s the only place I have to write out what goes on between my ears.

Reading back over some of my earlier stuff, I find that sometimes it seems like I’m railing against this or that (especially Christianity, but there are reasons for that). I don’t particularly care about proving someone wrong or changing hearts and minds to conform to my worldview. The tirades I sometimes go on are the product of a mind that spirals out of control and obsesses over things to an unhealthy degree. Part of me is trying to throw it out onto the Internet in the hopes it never comes back again.

The res gestae of all of this – the thing from which it all arises – is an unhealthy way I learned to cope with life’s anxieties. Now, this wasn’t intentional. Nobody sat down and said, “You’re going to learn how to get frustrated at things and then hate yourself as a result, eventually building it up to the point where you will want to permanently fix that anger.” Because it was invisible, nobody saw it develop and could do anything to stop it. Blaming people or things doesn’t help either, because a whole series of events combined with brain chemistry led to all of this.

That said, it does sound like I just want to blame some things in my life, to treat it like a villain in the story of how I’m existing on this globe. I know that it is too easy a thing to do; it’s one failed coping strategy that I’ve tried in the past. All it did was delude me into thinking that I had this whole depression problem licked, and that it would never rear its ugly head again. Such a mistake almost killed me.

When I do mention things that get my mind going to bad places, I’m trying to examine them under a clinical scrutiny. So many things exist which try to undo that scrutiny, simply because that is the nature of those things. Consequently, this is why religion gathers most of my attention; I am constantly bombarded with messages about stuff that might happen after I die. The goal is simple: to convince me to adopt a certain set of beliefs. Unfortunately, this won’t end my misery, because I’ll just go back to another obsession with death.

Sometimes I wonder what my life might have been like if I hadn’t grown up being reminded about death, dying, and resurrection every seven days. Would I have developed my self-hatred as keenly as I did? Would I have actually learned to believe in myself to the point of having a basic level of self-confidence? Would I have stayed away from thinking about death almost all the time in my formative years?

I also have to admit that I do occasionally get a little bitter thinking about this stuff. The so-called knowledge of my former faith has almost no utility in my life. The benefits it promises only might occur after my life is over. Anything I learn then is impossible to convey to people who I might care about. On top of that, I have to constantly think about the end of my life to make sure things are favorable to the unknown outcome I might not even get.

Getting past the bitterness, I realize it’s all the same trap of being told to consider what might be rather than what actually is. My old religion kept me thinking about possibilities and dreams which could never reach fruition in my lifetime. I ended up treating my life as worthless as a result, ignoring what I can do right now to live a full life.

Rather than falling into the trap again, I want to sit back and go do something spontaneous. I could go pull weeds in the berry patches, or go for a walk. I could try to spend time with the people around me. I could write something that might brighten someone else’s day or make them feel something profound. Life doesn’t stop because my view is skewed. Obsessing over things I can’t do anything about won’t change them.

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6 thoughts on “Thwarting A Useless Obsession With Death

  1. Or. .. you could put a hilarious meme on your site to brighten others’ day. .. I love your sense of humour. I have said this before, but a man who makes me laugh is worth his weight in gold as far as I’m concerned.
    And then there’s your keen intelligence, your unique perception and profundity, your ability to analyze and your overall good sense. So yes, do go for a walk. (leave those heels home, though- Christ!) 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello S.B. I have a question if it won’t aggravate your condition. You use distraction to pull your mind away from thoughts that cause you problems, that take you to places you don’t want to go. I was wondering if it worked most of the time for you? Also what you do when it doesn’t work and you are in that place you did not want to go to and need to get out? The reason I ask is I also have a problem with my mind going to thoughts / memories I do not want to have, and when it happens it is almost impossible to pull out of the memories. Thanks. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Distractions for me are a learned behavior that don’t wholly deal with the problem. They’re actually not healthy; they’re just how my brain deals with being overloaded by fear. In therapy, I’ve been learning to dissociate the cascade of thoughts from initial trigger to depressive mood.

      For me, I can only get out when the episode is over. There are things that I do to minimize the time (like recognizing and accepting that the episode happens). If I could describe it, it’s like trying to form a scar over the wounding thought. So far, it’s taken the edge off, but it doesn’t make anything go away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah. FOr me it is a mind killing vortex. A funnel cloud of cascading bad memories and the associated memories. I have learned to form handles in my mind that give me an emotional grip to hold me from falling fully in. IF I do fall in to the funnel of emotion then I lose time, control, I end up a crying ball of raw emotional pain. For me the thing I have been trying to learn is the trigger feeling so I can back out before the cloud forms. I hope you have success. I am 54 and it seems to have take most of my adult life to get this far. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

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