Anxiety on Wheels

Night terror: Existential dread

Trigger warning: Existentialism, death, panic attack, mortality, night terror

I woke up suddenly around 1:30am from a deep sleep in the absolute dread that one day I will no longer exist, everything that I am, everything that I’ve done, all of my memories and my story will end and be forgotten; as will everyone I know, everyone who has been, and everyone that will be will also cease to exist.

I ugly cried and grieved for awhile, Lo eventually helped me calm down and I went back to sleep.

I don’t enjoy sleeping more often than not. We stop experiencing existence and loose track of time. I liken it to death, it’s the same feeling if you were to stop and consider what it was like before you were born; nothingness. It’s incomprehensible.

The only real thought that has seemed to help in the past was choosing to perceive sleep as a greater surrender to the universe, our natural state.

Buddhism works as a sort of feedback loop. If you practice calming yourself, you’ll notice which activities create stress and which do not (this is insight). Ceasing to practice activities that create stress, you are more skilled at practicing calm, and can see more clearly the subtle activities that create stress.


Suicide may seem like an action that stops all actions, stress-producing or otherwise, but this view is only accurate if you posit a singular, essential self in the body, which ceases upon death. If you look for that singular self, that atom of you-ness that disappears when you die, you won’t find it. You’ll just find the actions of thought producing the idea, “I am the body, my stress will cease on death.” You do not know that to be true, therefore it is not wise to act on it. Instead act in ways that have been tested thoroughly to not cause stress. Follow the precepts, act with generosity, develop focus and skill. Don’t trust your views if they seem incomplete or questionable.

a_curious_koala

I feel like this may be the root of my anxiety and agoraphobia; I’ve had several near death experiences due to extreme childhood asthma and I’ve choked several on foreign objects growing up (I loved to put things in my mouth; rocks, quarters, hard candy).

I remember a recent, very specific time when I was driving back from my storage unit in Southport; back to the house I was moving out of and felt an overwhelming sense of tranquility and calm – I somehow managed to surrender control to the universe (an undefined higher power) and had a calm, collected experience in which I’ve yet to replicate outside of meditation. It felt unspeakably peaceful and nice, I want to be there all of the time. Fuck, I even stopped by some random person’s house and sold some solar panels downtown Indy.

Actually, I’m going to call my doctor and see if I can start taking Lexapro + Klonopin and see if that helps. Paxil was an absolute nightmare and I felt absolute rage quite often on the meds. I’m making progress and driving more, riding my bike further and further, but I really want to be able to go to my storage unit, go into stores, visit my partner’s house, and have dinners with Lo’s family.

I’m growing a bit each day; I just want faster results, I want to enjoy Fall and go camping, get out of the house.

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