anxiety · death · depression · introspection · mental darkness · self-awareness · survival · Uncategorized

Death and me

fann

When I was two, I told my parents that life wasn’t fun, because we were all going to die.

Later on, I would often find myself awake at night, on the edge of a panic attack, thinking of death. Not just mine or my family’s, but of the end of the universe.

When I was six, my dad asked me to throw away an empty bottle. It had the skull and crossbones on it. I was sure that just the mere fact of having touched it meant I was going to die. I laid down on the living room couch, looking out the window. ‘Goodbye sun’, I said to myself. ‘Goodbye trees, goodbye clouds…’

When I was seven, I came downstairs after bedtime to use the bathroom. On the television was a documentary about AIDS. Back then it was pretty much a death sentence. They were talking about seropositive people. My blood type is O+. I thought it was a zero. And zero and ‘’sero’’ sound very much alike. I was sick and I was going to die, and no one had told me…

When I was nine or ten, I started reading Stephen King books and crime novels. My fascination for horror, violence, paranormal and crime would go on for many many years. It was maybe a weird way to cope with the anxiety of death, but it was a strangely efficient one.

When I was eleven, I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist, or maybe a researcher. So other kids like my cousin wouldn’t have to die like he did.

When I was twelve, I started writing my own horror stories.

When I was thirteen, I wanted to grow up to become a famous author, but also a medical examiner.

When I was fifteen, my “History of the 20th century” paper was about serial killers, my chemistry paper was about cyanide.

When I was seventeen, something big happened. Someone threatened my life. And I was trapped. Nowhere to go or escape. And it lasted for a while, maybe hours. I was told that even if they didn’t get me that day, it would happen at some point later. That they weren’t making a threat, they were making a promise. I moved out the same day. For several months, I spent my time looking behind my back, wondering if every car following mine was someone trying to find where I live. I spent my time both scared that I’d get killed, and wishing to not be part of this world anymore. I started writing poetry and drawing about macabre and dark themes.

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When I was eighteen, that fear of being found went away, but it was replaced by a crippling depression and desire to die. It will never go completely away from this moment on. Unable to concentrate, I failed my science classes. I will not be going into medicine, after all.

When I was twenty, I decide that I will kill myself once I turn thirty. At this point, I reason, my friends won’t be needing me anymore, as they’ll have families and lives of their own. So it will be a good moment for me to go.

When I was twenty-seven, a combination of the antidepressants that I was taking to treat fibromyalgia and the death of a good friend gives me the strength to do some big changes in my life.

When I was thirty-one I gave birth to my son. Despite all the bad things that could happen with a pregnancy, I was not anxious. I was oddly serene about it all. As soon as he was born though, the anxiety came back. My heart is so full of love for him that I hurt thinking I could lose him.

Nowadays, I don’t like horror as much, it tends to make me too anxious. I still love crime things, but I feel much more horrified by it. I still love medical things, but I don’t think I’d ever be able to study in that field anymore. I still stay awake at night sometimes, thinking about my son or my husband dying. I don’t look at the stars very often, because then I will think about the universe dying. Sometimes I still wish I was not alive.

I wish I could say things got better. But they haven’t, not really. I wish I had faith in something so strong that I wouldn’t fear anymore. And even though I might believe there’s the possibility of something beyond death, it’s not strong enough to keep the anxiety at bay. So until then, I will try to keep taking it one day at a time, and not think of the future too much. And I will keep finding a strange comfort in the dark, in the macabre, in the uncanny and in the strange.

anxiety · art · depression · mental health · poem · self care · self expression

Self Care isn’t Pretty

Self Care Isn’t Pretty

Self care isn’t Insta-worthy pictures of fresh salads, fizzy bath bombs, and face masks.

Self care is sitting at the table for hours, tears and snot streaming down your face as you stare at the bare minimum of food you need to stay alive and will yourself to actually eat it.

Self care is painfully combing out weeks worth of tangles because it’s been too hard to get out of bed lately.

Self care is changing your smelly sheets and schlepping your laundry to the washer.

Self care is taking your meds when you want nothing more than to flush them down the toilet.

Self care is picking up the inches of debris off the floor so you can walk across your place without tripping.

Self care is sticking to your budget, not going out for lavish meals and manicures that you can’t afford.

Self care isn’t pretty. It’s survival.