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
3 thoughts on “All Who Enter Here”
Know Your Enemy… Sun Tzu’s was right! (The Art of War) Facing one’s fears at whatever level possible is always a good thing… I think? Enjoyed!! Thanks for participating in Daily Addictions.
I’m glad that you were able to conquer the panic attacks with your studies and further use them to become the distinctive, informative, and funny writer you are. And if you help other people be a little less afraid of death, even better.
I really do hate the idea of anyone being that afraid, sometimes all your need is a little light to find your way through the dark.