I was watching an episode of “Black Mirror” today (Season 3, episode 2, to be exact) and it was intense. It got me thinking about my mortality. (FYI, in my opinion, that show is all about getting the viewers thinking). Afterward, I was freaked out. And scared.
My tongue has been hurting for the last few days and I happened to look at it in the mirror and thought, Oh my God?! What is that? It’s swollen and there are red bumps on the side. Wait, was it always black looking underneath my tongue too? OH MY GOD. Do I have cancer? My whole body has been kind of weird and I’ve been tired a lot. And so, it continued from there.
So, I had a 45 mins nap before working again. That helped. I think sometimes there are things that trigger our imaginations (and mine is already quite active) and sometimes, what works best for me is to either sleep or meditate. Breathe through the anxiety that came up watching the episode, which I then extrapolated to my tongue and how I’m feeling.
I have a a hypothesis that the anxiety is sparked by caffeine. When I drink coffee, my body gets really buzzed and then kind of crashes…I feel tired and end up sweating quite a bit. It’s interesting, the reaction my body has. Every now and then I drink it anyway, because I like the taste, but more and more, I’m thinking it’s not worth it.
This feeling has extended to riding in airplanes. I use to have no problem riding in airplanes and when there was turbulence, I actually liked it! I thought it was a fun feeling. In the last year, for some reason, I’ve gotten really nervous on planes with turbulence. My whole body starts reacting the same way it did watching that TV episode today or how it gets when I drink regular coffee sometimes. I’ve been on a lot of flights, so why all of a sudden am I feeling anxious now?
I think it’s because I’m getting older and feeling my mortality. I’ve been aware of my mortality since I was little…like 8. In fact, I use to have this scenario that I’d play in my head where I’d picture myself dying and then an image of the world spinning and spinning and spinning and having the knowledge that, “I’m never coming back. Once I die, that’s it. The world will go on and on and on. But, I’m done. Forever.” Even typing this, I have that familiar little fear lump in my sternum.
The thought of myself dying freaks me out. I don’t like it. I don’t want my family or friends to do either. Admittedly, I’ve been pretty lucky with that so far: the only person that was kind of close to me was an uncle who died suddenly when I was 18.
The thing is: my logical brain says, Well…I can’t control dying or not. That is a part of this whole process of life. Why not, instead of focusing and fearing dying, focus on living!! And living fully! Taking care of my body as best as I can and enjoying every minute of the life I have?!
Ideally, that’s what I’d be doing. Exercising. Eating well. And less worrying. Exercise can really help with anxiety and I really think that’s a big cause of why I’m worried like that…I am not moving my body enough, so the feeling sits stagnant.
For myself, I hope to bit-by-bit focus on LIFE! Focus on the wonder that is being a human being on this planet Earth. And breathe. It is amazing how much the breath helps…through pain, through anxiety, through fear and anger.
As Anna Nalick sings, “Breatheeeee….juuuuust breathe”. xo
PS I don’t recommend Google Imaging “Death”. There are some pretty creepy images.