With this post I wanted to add a more personal level to help share how we can understand death and its role.
I remember being maybe 16 or 17, and I began to question what death was all about. It had never really come up in my thoughts before this and I had never really been bothered by the idea of it. I remember the moment I had realized death was going to be a big issue for me.
I began to have an anxiety attack while driving one day. I had felt as though I could not control my breathing and the feeling I was having. I remember clearly feeling like I had no control over my life and when it could end and at that moment I thought about death and its inevitability that I was not at peace with.
From that point forward every time I would think about death, which was mostly in bed at night, I would go through the same spiral of thoughts in my head. “I’m going to die one day” next “This bed, this is the bed I have right now and one day I will be gone and it could still be here and I will never ever come back.” Next “darkness for the rest of my “life,” it’s not life, cause I’m dead. BUT DARKNESS.” Next “I’m freaking out!! I need to get up and run.” This same sequence would happen over and over for years. I knew that no one knew what happens when we die but I had always felt that if the “darkness” scenario was a possibility then I would be scared for the rest of my life.
I started to talk to many people about my problem. I wasn’t ashamed of it I just wanted it to get fixed so I wouldn’t have to keep living this nightmare. To quickly explain the nightmare, play out this scenario. Imagine you are in a dream and it’s the moment before you figure out it’s just a dream. Something terrible is happening and you are in a state of complete terror and you can’t take it, you are staring at your worst nightmare. Your heart is pounding and your stomach is in knots, you will do anything for it to stop, but then it hits you, “it’s just a dream.” You begin to feel better and you come down to the moment, the now, you are completely at ease and happy you are safe. This was my experience, only, there was no realizing it’s a dream, that part never comes… ever. Replay the scenario now without the happy ending.
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