WARNING! I’m writing about my death obsession, so if the word triggers you, please don’t read this post!
The death obsession is lifting. I have had it from the start of my CT. It was so bad in the beginning that every thought was about death. I am not exaggerating. It was awful. The moment I opened my eyes in the morning, my first thought was, “I have to die one day.” Terror swept through me. Not anxiety. Not panic. Terror. Something I had never felt before in my entire life. It was brutal. I couldn’t look at pregnant women or babies because I knew that one day, the baby would have to die. I was very disturbed by old people, for they were close to death. I hated for my parents to call me, even though I desperately wanted their support, but when they called, I would think, “They are going to die one day.” I spent many hours curled up in the fetal position on the floor or in bed, sobbing, over the fact that one day, I will die. I couldn’t weed my garden because I couldn’t bear to kill the plant.
I remember shopping at Whole Foods and being perplexed as to how everyone looked so happy, when they knew they were going to die one day. I would drive past the people milling about the bus stop and wonder why they weren’t scared because surely they knew they had to die one day. I watched video after video about dear death experiences. I mean, I obsessed. And felt terror. Daily. For a very, very, very, long time. One morning while doing the dishes, I tried to think about eternity. Just the thought of it sent terror racing up my spine. I was unable to think about God, for God was both the giver and taker of life. I was convinced God was coming to murder me. Yup, you read it right. Murder me. Not that I would die a normal death, but murder me. I spent hours trying to remember if I was like this pre benzo. I worried that this was just who I was unmedicated. Many day’s I wanted to drive to the ER and get a benzo, or commit myself. I felt totally deranged.
Some days the fear/anxiety/panic/terror was so hard to cope with, I prayed for the thing I was most afraid of. I prayed for death. Deep, aching, sobs tore through my chest as I begged God to end my life. I was exhausted from the torment and suffering.
The body symptoms were unimaginable too, Pain, burning, tingling, fatigue, weakness.., you know what I am talking about. As the months rolled by, then the years rolled by, I never thought I would get better.
But I am.
I can now think about death and not freak out. I don’t think about it all day. I can even pick up the dead birds Sam brings into the garden and give them a burial without falling apart. I always said my death obsession was my worst symptom and it is almost gone. It’s amazing. The intrusive thoughts and obsessions are really and truly 99% gone.
Today I volunteered in a local school garden. Before I got sick, I was a leading expert on raising teens, and a life coach for teens. It was wonderful to be surrounded by middle school students today. Absolutely wonderful. I am a bit weak at times and still muzzy headed, and in pain at times, but my mind is quiet. Calm.
The calm I feel now is the calm MadeinPa writes about. I understand now, something deeper and richer about life. I don’t know how to put it into words, but it is a peace in my heart that I have never felt before. I feel surrendered to life in a way that makes me happy. I truly believe in God, and God’s love for us all. I trust that God has a purpose and a plan for my life if I surrender it to him. I do that every morning now.
I don’t know how to put my feelings into words. But know this: on the other side of your suffering is an amazing richness to life. There is an understanding that falls into place. Calm rushes in. The unimportant things fall away. And guess what? 99% of life is made up of unimportant things.
Love is the important thing. Love for yourself, others and your creator. I finally love myself in a healthy way. The shame of my past has been washed away. I don’t regret the past, nor do I fear the future. I know that one day my remaining sx will go away or be so mild as to not bother me. The hope I lost a while back has returned.
Please keep fighting. Hang on. I know it is hard. Oh, my dear friends, I know how hard it is. I had a very traumatic withdrawal. But I am here to tell you that life gets good again. It gets very good.
I know a wave can come and topple me. I also know that if it does, it will pass.
I am SO grateful to be benzo free! I am so grateful for my healing.
Thank you for sharing this chapter in my life with me. I am grateful for you all.