Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easier Said Than Done

Life is so strange, isn’t it? Life is so short and sometimes way too long. We’re told to live our lives as though it were our last, as if we’d all go out and start bungee jumping off a random cliff somewhere. Fact is, most of us would be home eating our favorite meal, drinking our favorite cocktails along with our favorite people. Nothing more, nothing less. Some would definitely be a bit more adventurous, so I guess I can only talk about myself and those I know who would do the same. I know for myself, if I were to ever win the lotto, it would be to buy “time” - buy more time with my wife, buy more time with my family and loved ones. But how much time do we really have? I see a lot of my Christian friends writing on Facebook about the “time” is near - that Jesus is coming back. Some say they know when, but in the Bible, it clearly states that no one knows the day nor hour. They base theirs solely on Revelations. Yes, it gives clues but why ignore the other scripture? Why are we so concerned about when Jesus will come back? We should be ready now. We “should”. Are any of us ready?

Put religion aside for a moment though. A friend of mine came over, sat down, had a cup of coffee with me the other day and looked a bit melancholy. I asked her what was wrong. She explained that she had just gotten back from a friend’s wake. Her friend was 75 years old. Immediately, I gave my condolences and automatically thought she must have had a stroke or heart attack or just wasn’t in good shape due to her age. Then my friend said, “Unbelievable, Deb. She was driving in a nearby town got into a head on collision and killed a man who was 85 years old. I didn’t know what to say. How tragic! How tragic that you live to be that age and you don’t die from natural causes or an illness of some sort. (All are tragic, but you get what I’m saying.) You go along life every single day doing the same thing, driving to different places not even realizing how much at risk you really are - at any. given. age. It blows me away to hear about elderly people dying in tragic deaths. There’s no logic reasoning for it either. Some believe in fate and destiny, while others believe that life is all about chance.

For the last couple of days, I have had this feeling of impending doom, like something bad’s gonna happen. Every single pain I get means death. Every single ‘bad feeling’ or emotional outburst means it’s all over. People with anxiety disorder usually get that feeling of doom after heightened anxiety. You feel like you’re dying. And it’s strange, because if I get chest pains or some allergic reaction, I immediately want to go to the ER. Lately, I don’t because usually I check out with a clean bill of health and thrown a couple of Benadryls, and when it's chest pains, I'm told it’s costochondritis - another word for the doctors to say, “I have no idea what’s wrong you nutcase!” But one evening, I felt pain in my jaw that radiated down into my shoulder, into my arms and my chest felt like it was crushing. This was different (so I thought). I headed straight for the ER to be told, “Hi again, Deb. Your EKG was fine and x-rays look good.” My therapist said to me, “Next to time you get chest pains or think you’re having anaphylactic shock, ‘turn up the radio’.” ---Meaning ignore it. So the other night, my lips and tongue started to swell after eating. I looked at Mad and just said, “Turning up the radio now.” I looked over at my EpiPen and Benadryl as a safety mechanism. I kept saying, “Turn up the radio” - and finally, through my own battle in my mind, I ended up calling the ER for advice which of course, they cannot give. My throat then began to feel as though it was closing...or was it because I was hyperventilating because of anxiety? I went into the other room and did some deep breathing exercises, and voila - the symptoms and the ‘throat closing’ soon dissipated. The next couple of days, I felt a sense of doom.

I was asked, “If you have so much faith in God, why are you afraid of dying?” I guess it’s pretty much human nature. I guess even with faith, the unknown can be anxiety-provoking. I guess...I’m neurotic. We all die, but I will put any amount of money down to prove someone wrong if they say they aren’t afraid of dying. Whenever I hear people say, “I’m not afraid to die” - and say minutes later, they’re faced with death - at least 90% of people would have some sort of fear of the unknown that cannot be explained. Even with faith in a particular religion, even extremist Muslims who do suicide bombings - they are all scared moments before their mission. And did you know that almost all people who have had failed suicide attempts all had one last thought: “I don’t wanna die.” It really makes you want to reevaluate your faith in whatever and whoever you worship to, or perhaps, reevaluate your level of fear and anxiety. Since we’re all so vulnerable, they say it’s best to live life without fear - without it preventing you to do some incredible things in life, but sometimes it’s much easier said than done.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com