I am fearful of death but enamored with it at the same time. My lust towards my own eventual demise is heightened, of course, during the throes of Bipolar depression, but I find that I am constantly dipping my toes into the grave just to get a taste of the nonexistence that will eventually be mine. I do not wish to grow old; I have enough problems accepting the toll that hard living and time have on me as it is. Every aggravation of a past back injury, every cough brought on by years of cigarette smoking, and every hair that turns gray are reminders that my best years are behind me. Who would want to see themselves decay? Why do we champion longevity at all costs? I don’t want it.
Readers familiar with a certain not-so-well-received Metallica album may remember the lyric:
My lifestyle determines my deathstyle
Mortality has been on my mind a lot lately as I home in on my 30th birthday in a couple of months. I’ve escaped death countless times and will undoubtedly do the same in the future until I am no longer adept at dodging it. I’m not thrilled about the idea of death, but I am not delusional enough to believe that I will escape its grasp. So, with that in mind, it is my goal to make death as comforting as possible. However, that lyric – and the teaching of my therapist – remind me that in order to die well, one must live well. Death is a reflection of life and if I continue to live poorly, I will die poorly.
Therapy took an unexpected turn last evening as we turned toward the topic of mortality. For various reasons and with various addictions, I do not take care of myself to the extent I should. I smoke, I don’t exercise as much as I should, and I suffer from various eating disorders. Yet, in spite of all of this, I am still alive and not too unwell. I tend not to be grateful for the luck in my life. I’m bipolar, often with severe and life-threatening depression, but I have access to mental health care. I’m alone yet I’ve built an online empire. One day I will die though, and I suspect my life expectancy would place my death in my 40s with the way I live this life, but for now I am vibrant. Just because I am alive and well does not mean that everyone else is, however, and last night I found out that my therapist could be taken from me by the same force of Chance that keeps me alive somehow. The loss may or may not come and it may or may not be imminent, but it is eerie to be placed in a position that I never thought possible: a state of concern and worry regarding another human life.
Earlier this evening, a grandmother figure in my life passed away. When I was younger, my mother and father would often take my brother and I to visit her. She was always kind and welcoming and was extremely sharp for her elder age. This relative is one of the few that I do not have anything ill to say about.
The news broke while I was in therapy; I received a text message from my brother letting me know that the relative had died a few hours earlier. As a result, my therapist was able to see my raw, unmasked reaction. What she saw was a picture of pure indifference.
I’ve been posing a question to other ASPD and/or sociopathic individuals as of late, asking what purpose we can ascertain for our lives. Given that we are, generally, unable to stick to – or even make – long-term goals, what is there to truly live – or die – for?
It is not just an inability to realize long-term goals, but the fact that any goal requiring interpersonal contact is deadened and dull. It seems that most of us simply cannot connect with other humans on anything but a superficial level. When you lack empathy and see others as tools, what deeper level can be had?