I’ve taken some time off this site, as I planned once I hit 100,000 words written. I want to rethink how this site is presented. While I do that, however, I feel the need to write about my current fixation, and how it is actually benefiting me.
I have recently become fixated on the concept of death. This is so totally part of the human condition, I know—it almost seems worthless to write about. You’ve been fixated on it at some point in your life for sure, we all have.
I must note, other than a family scare there is nothing in particular that has happened or seems like it could potentially happen to move my brain into this subject area as an every day—every hour, I should say—obsession. In fact, it came about while doing the most relaxing and routine thing I do: seek out factoids. I happened upon a great television show about how we think wrongly about a lot of things in our everyday sociopolitical lives. One episode was about death, and it was so very well encapsulated in terms of presentation that I was taken. Completely taken.
I haven’t dealt with death much in real life, other than my best friend’s death at age 40 instantly by a botched, simple medical procedure. A dental procedure at that. He died within less than a day. His death impacted me in the least philosophical and selfish way possible—I was deeply devastated that he was no longer part of my life. That was the extent of my grieving, which was itself a deeply painful thing… but it doe not rise to the area of making me think much at all about my own death. Which is odd, coming from someone who thinks of myself as much as I do, and thinks of all eventualities as much as my brain will allow1.
For some reason, this television show was followed by my random browsing of articles on the internet, upon which I found (not even researching the subject) two articles—one detailing with the final 48 hours of life, and one dealing with the final 30 minutes of life. Scientific articles.
Uplifting, I know.
But wait. The sarcasm is not warranted here. As I thought more about it I realized… it is uplifting! For myself and my brain, at least. This is a major breakthrough for me, as someone consumed with a mental disorder—life-encompassing uplifting concepts do not come often and are assimilated even less often. Death, now, is one of those rare things.
I immediately wrote on the chalkboard in my room, for me to see always:
I don’t need to remind myself it seems, removed now a week from absorbing this. I think about it all the time. I am going to die. There will be no light at the end of the tunnel guaranteed2. All that matters is what is happening in this life, and because that comes with no guarantee of time span—The Now can be truly imbibed through the wraith of death.
I am obsessed with money, but to what end? How much is enough? Does it matter? The answer to the third question there is… only as far as I am not killing myself to secure it. Oh, and I realize I am. That needs to be fixed.
I am obsessed with the way people see me. Does it matter? Same answer, same need to fix.
I am obsessed with things being right by my own definitions of “right.” How far should I take that obsession? You see, when I die—things will move on in quite the wrong fashion as I’d define it. As I try to wrestle control of “right” in my life right now, I must realize I certainly will not have any such opportunity for control of such after I die.
While such an omnipresent—though socially unacceptable—and obvious concept death is, for some reason I’ve finally grasped it in a way that is absolutely positive for me.
Death is freeing. Mentally, it is now a construct I can use in my thinking about quite everything, but only now that my brain has a full understanding of it within the architecture of my thoughts. That is to say, I am no expert on death—I just know it now in a way that works for me.
I do not wish to die. I don’t actually know if I fear death. But I know it will happen, and none of this will matter.
As someone with OCD, “mattering” and how such is prioritized is a problem. Everything matters too much. Now that I can reference death with most every thought—especially the unhealthy ones—I can think about things in a manner that is much more productive.
Productive? Yes. You see, OCD—when unchecked—keeps productivity in the mud. I have to walk with the weight of so many more thoughts than someone without OCD as I just try to live life. I can shed thoughts now. That is an enormous step, brought about by the concept of death.
I can say I truly love death. The idea that I am going to die. The fully imbibed idea that I am going to die. The absolute certainty that I am going to die.
How absolutely freeing!