When I was in my late 20’s I began to have crippling, brain scrambling Panic Attacks.
I’m not sure what kicked them off into high gear but they always followed the same pattern: I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I was going to die and then after that thought took root I couldn’t breathe.
They were horrible. Even if I could get through the attack I was to scared to fall asleep. So on top of the attacks I began to suffer from the affects of lack of sleep- the worst one by far was depression.
So what did I do?
I read every book I could find about death.
I read books about forensics, I read about the process the body goes through after it dies and I also read medical articles about the process of death itself.
I even schooled myself on the customs and folklore concerning Death in cultures around the world.
This went on for a couple of years.
I understand now that this was a risky path- I could have easily taken what I was learning and topped myself off or it could help me overcome my fear of waking up in the middle of the night thinking I was going to die.
What I was doing was learning about the thing I perceived as my enemy so that I would know it for what it was if it did try to get me.
So did it work?
With what I learned I became a Mortician’s Apprentice, I write about death and ghosts with my own special twist. In fact, I think going down that path made me a better writer.
I also know it gave me a warped sense of humor and a lot of patience for the people in my life.
I also learned that Death wasn’t really my enemy.
It was the face I gave my fears and terrors- now I don’t jump from every shadow that falls my way. Now I can see them for what they are and deal with them.
So I can safely now say I learned a lot from The Grim Reaper and that he was one of the teachers in my life that I can look back on and say, ” Wow, did I learn a lot from that one! ”
The specifics beyond what I mentioned here are between me and my friend in Black. But. I’ll let you in on a secret- the other parts of those specifics are in what I write and in every single laugh and giggle and dream I have.
Daily Addiction Prompt: Cope