I’ve died more times than I can count
I visualize death constantly. I can’t help it. Continuous contemplation of death is a natural stoic practice that has always been a part of my life. To see my death and accept it daily and sometimes hourly has given meaning to life.
Imminent death haunts me every time I get behind the wheel. If I make a turn that’s less than ideal, the first thing I think is “I could have died”. If I lose focus for a moment and the car in front of me breaks and I have to slam on the breaks myself I think, “that was it. I could have died right there.” There is another universe where that was the end of me. I died today. And it’s ok.
When I was first experimenting with drugs I was in college. I was never in real danger. But there was the illusion of danger. My anxious mind saw death everywhere. Lying in bed after a night of smoking and drinking. My heart pounding in my chest. “Is it supposed to feel like this?” I check my pulse. It feels fast to me even though I have no frame of reference. My chest tightens as I begin to worry. “Is this it? Did I overdo it?”. I lay there wondering if I should find a way to get myself to the hospital. All this time my heart is beating louder and harder. Slower then faster. Which is better? I can’t decide. After what seems like hours paralyzed by the fear of death I embrace it. The darkness that comes on the other side. I’m sorry to my parents for hurting them by accidentally killing myself but the damage is done. The drugs have been taken and I’m at the end of the ride. There is no saving me. I close my eyes and embrace the possibility that I might not wake up. I take a deep breath and let go. This is the end and I had a good life.
The next day I remember how far out I went. I remember that I accepted death. I remember that I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t relax until I accepted death. Death is the point. Your body is only a tool. Let go and you will be free
- Pondathan Lakeoff
Special thanks to Zahr Gould for the proofread and edits