A few days ago, I wrote an article about my fear of death for my other blog. I fear death for a lot of reasons, which the post explains in detail, but I think my biggest fear is the prospect of complete ego loss, which for me means dissociation which inevitably leads to panic.
But my fear has been getting out of hand lately, and becoming obsessive. Not to the point where I can’t function, but to the point where it interferes with my being able to enjoy life or even think for very long about anything else. So I’d say it’s a problem, or becoming one. It’s one thing that’s getting worse rather than better.
I talked about this tonight in session. It’s nothing new, but it’s been with me for a long time, always lurking in the back of my mind no matter what I’m doing. It’s so much a part of my reality that it never even occurred to me to bring it up before. But tonight I did because Prince’s death triggered me and now my obsessive fear is about 10x worse. If a healthy, fit 57 year old man could suddenly just die of a routine illness that hardly kills anyone (unless there was foul play involved, which I do suspect), then life is incredibly fragile and the same could suddenly happen to me. I fear what’s on the other side because it’s unknown.
In therapy, I suddenly drew a parallel. I’ve never really lived because of the emptiness at my core, which isn’t really empty at all but is full of the unseen and unknown. Chair Girl lives in the void, and she’s somewhat accessible to me now, but whatever else dwells in the rest of the void, which is vast like the universe, is very much hidden from my awareness. I often wake up with a feeling of terrible emptiness inside and am filled with overbearing dread, despair, and unbearable loneliness. The only way I can handle these “black mornings” is to get up (escape). I’ve compared the feeling before with what I imagine death to feel like.
As therapy progresses, I’m closer to unearthing the contents of the “emptiness” than ever before. An analogy can be drawn to death here. As I age, I’m closer to death and the revealing of what’s on the other side. But in my mind, I’m equating confronting what’s in my void with death and the unknown in general. My obsession with death is a way I try to “control” the uncontrollable. Of course that makes no sense logically, but it “felt right” to me that control is what’s behind the obsession. Of course in order to get well I have to surrender and relinquish control, just as I will have to do the same when I die.