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WARNING: Posts may contain offensive content and red wine
09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"My family is more important than my party." - Zell Miller


so I havn't started therapy yet and I keep tyring to look at these thigns to cope with death and I'm increasingly irritated that my aunt and the res tof my family are jsut resigning themselves to th is jus tbecuas ethe y beleiv ein some magic manint he sky and honestly I"m becoming increaisngly afraid of the deaths of eveyroen around me and my own death because I can't seem to find any solace or comfort i n anything I'm not convinced of an afterlife and every argument I hear on the Atheistic side ust makes me feel worse the "befor eyouw ere born" garbage doesn't work for me because I absolutely donot want to go back to that the "what you leave be hind" doesn't help because I honeslty don't care about any legacy because if I die then it hoenslty makes no differenc eot me what happens to the world or what anyone thinks of my legacy I just cna't deal with this right now.

Sir, just suppose... suppose if I had a cat, what would you do with Frankenstein?
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There are 20 Replies

Death doesn't have to be a scary thing, whether it's because you believe in an afterlife or you conceptualize it differently.

Personally, I like focusing on the fact that I'll be going back into the earth, reconsumed by the world and given new life.

That being said sometimes I do think about it and I feel scared, especially when I go back home from being gone for a year or more and see all my family are aging and I know I'll have to cope with their dying and then their deaths some day. So I can understand how you're feeling by what's happening with your aunt and that you have to confront this reality.

Posted June 7th by Agis
Agis
 

Personally, I like focusing on the fact that I'll be going back into the earth, reconsumed by the world and given new life.

And here I am insisting on cremation to ensure that no one (or no thing) gets anything out of me once I'm gone. I figure if I'm really lucky some byproduct of my combustion will make it into the atmosphere and I'll be able to call that transcendence, in it's own way. Whatever works, I guess.

I honeslty don't care about any legacy because if I die then it hoenslty makes no differenc eot me what happens to the world or what anyone thinks of my legacy I just cna't deal with this right now.

Despite what you say, you obviously do care about your legacy. To that end most people don't end up curing cancer, so you don't have to worry about setting your standards beyond the realm of the possible. Give yourself reasonable goals, and start small first, but if after half a century you haven't accomplished these things you can at least say that you tried. Trying really is good enough. Nevertheless, I suspect that you will find successes here and there. Maybe you'll get a job you don't hate. Maybe you'll start a family. Reproducing is the most valuable thing most people end up doing anyway. Failing that, maybe you'll find companionship in cats or accomplishment from a lego fortress. All I know is that finding something to strive towards is generally the best antidote for assorted existential crises, and whatever your situation there are undoubtedly things you are able to do. So find something and do it.

Setting all this aside, you will have an impact on the various people in your life, and those that do outlive you will miss you once you're gone. That is something of a legacy all on its own, regardless of anything else.

Posted June 7th by Famov
Famov

Honestly if you can come to terms with the idea of nonexistence after death then it pretty much radically changes your relationship with your life. Not saying I fully buy into it, but by accepting the possibility I gain:

  • Trying to accomplish things before you die (because you want to die with those things done) is an absolutely pointless endeavor. So you can relax things like that, accept the fact that you can't do everything in your life, and instead focus on the things that make you happy.

  • Similarly, leaving behind legacies is pointless (you've figured this out too). Not just in the fact that you'll be dead but in the fact that over time your contributions to humanity will be diluted, remembered badly, or forgotten.

  • However your *actions* will have a great long-term impact. If you're old enough you can look back and see how your actions 10 years ago have affected your life today, as well as the lives of the people around you. You can't leave behind a personal ego-fulfilling legacy but you can totally change the world, especially if you do things that are rare or new.

    Furthermore, instead of seeing yourself as a soul that's subjected to outside forces you're instead like a seed of changes that might grow and might not. Lots of people could have changed things for the better, but instead got overwhelmed by the negativity and just became what the world wanted them to become. You don't have to go that route.

    If you make the changes you want to make, I guarantee you'll feel better. *Especially* if there's absolutely no reason to make those changes anymore. That's your way of affirming that you exist, by doing things that don't mesh with how the world works. If you're not doing things like that then you're going to feel dead and think about actual death.

  • Posted June 7th by Xhin
    Xhin
     

    I find it incredibly difficult to deal with death too. I don't think there's anything wrong or abnormal about that. You're a human being.

    The thought of no longer existing is painful. Life is wonderful, and knowing that it is brief and will end one day is crushing.

    Best not to dwell on it, and keep busy.

    Posted June 7th by Smiling Apple
    Smiling Apple

    The thought of no longer existing is painful. Life is wonderful, and knowing that it is brief and will end one day is crushing.

    Best not to dwell on it, and keep busy.

    True. I liken worrying about the end of life to something I heard once:

    Worrying about your life coming to an end is like being at a party and worrying that it will eventually end rather than enjoying it now.

    Posted June 7th by Fox Forever
    Fox Forever

    Oddly I've never had a problem with nonexistence after death. The concept of complete oblivion doesn't bother me in the slightest. However I can see why it would for some. Darwinianly there's no reason why biological beings shouldn't hate dying in every way, and every reason why they should. Having the intelligence to be aware of our own doom also makes this existential crisis kind of a new conundrum to evolutionary instinct.

    But that should only be a passing anxiety thing. No more intense than worrying about your next car payment. If you're obsessing over it then there must be some other underlying problem.

    Still if anyone told you the realities of life would be nothing but sunshine and rainbows then, to borrow a line from The Princess Bride, they were selling something. Reality isn't always gonna be nice to us. It's completely neutral to human needs. So the best we can do is toughen up a little.

    For one less alcohol might do your mood some good. For another start your therapy.

    Posted June 7th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
    Louis De Pointe du Lac
    No love = No future

    For one less alcohol might do your mood some good.

    I don't drink.

    then there must be some other underlying problem.

    Why do tpeople ALWAYS sya this "You'r enot relaly b othered by that/shouldn't be bothere dby that and t hat mea ns you must actually be bothered by some other undelrying problem" Jus tbecause somethimg bot her sme that y ou see as trivial doens't mean ther ehas to be something It's beig used ot mask I"m scared of never being able to think or feel or observe ro communicate ever again that's what's both ering me I'ms cared of never seeing my aunt or my parnets or my loved ones ever again that's what's botheirng me it's not some "other undelrying problem"



    Posted June 7th by tnu
    tnu

    I don't drink.

    Sorry for the assumption. You're typing is just like drunk typing. No offense.

    Why do tpeople ALWAYS sya this

    Why don't you ever consider it?

    Jus tbecause somethimg bot her sme that y ou see as trivial doens't mean ther ehas to be something It's beig used ot mask I"m scared of never being able to think or feel or observe ro communicate ever again that's what's both ering me I'ms cared of never seeing my aunt or my parnets or my loved ones ever again that's what's botheirng me it's not some "other undelrying problem"

    There's always an underlying problem with obsession. For you death just happens to be the subject of the hour.

    Posted June 7th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
    Louis De Pointe du Lac
    No love = No future

    How many time do I hav eot tell peopole I"m visually impaired so piss off about my typing.

    and what the hell does "happens to be the subject ov the h our" even mean?

    Posted June 7th by tnu
    tnu

    How many time do I hav eot tell peopole I"m visually impaired so piss off about my typing.

    Yea why can't some people just politely read your mind?

    and what the hell does "happens to be the subject ov the h our" even mean?

    It means that if problems like yours were as simple as "death probably results in nothing" your therapist wouldn't need a college degree.

    Posted June 7th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
    Louis De Pointe du Lac
    No love = No future

    well I havn't started my sessions yet. I don't even nessecarily think that therapy will help but I"m tyring everything right now but i'm still unclear as to what that p hrse means.


    Sorry for lashign out at the toher thing I just figured most people had been here long enough to already know. what od I have to put a discliamer in my signature?

    Posted June 7th by tnu
    tnu

    what od I have to put a discliamer in my signature?

    You do what you want. Personally I wouldn't do that on general principle. But I also wouldn't hold it against people for not knowing. Although I do understand how always having to mention it could get really old really fast.

    but i'm still unclear as to what that p hrse means.

    Well it's not always thoughts that lead to feelings. Like you think of death therefore you feel afraid. Sometimes feelings lead to thoughts. Like if I'm having a shitty day my thoughts might wander to subjects like nuclear war or climate change. What I'm suggesting is that it's not impossible that the topic of death is just the face of your problem. Not the heart of it. Again if you knew the heart of it you wouldn't need a therapist.

    Posted June 7th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
    Louis De Pointe du Lac
    No love = No future

    I"m sitll not convinced that I do need one i'm just tyring every option I can think of.

    Posted June 7th by tnu
    tnu

    I"m sitll not convinced that I do need one i'm just tyring every option I can think of.

    Usually when therapy doesn't work it's because either people aren't going to the right kind of therapist (like there's abnormal, behavioral, cognitive, intrapsychic) or because they can't afford to stay with them for any lengthy period of time.

    If I were to throw out a suggestion I would try behavioral therapy first. They and cognitive tend to have the best track record for success. Whatever you do don't go to an intrapsychic (i.e. freudian) therapist. They're basically full of crap.

    Posted June 7th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
    Louis De Pointe du Lac
    No love = No future

    I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't care about death for me (I mean, hard to put too much thought into it since I'll be dead when it happens), but I care about people around me dying.

    I've never been on board with the idea of "legacy" or "accomplishment." I just think that's a strange way to go through life that puts unnecessary pressure on you. For me, given that all I can do is control myself, I just like to get through each day, week, month, or year doing whatever I can to be a positive factor on the lives of people around me. I'm going to die. They're going to die. No one's going to remember me, and it's not going to take that long before I and everyone connected to me is gone.

    So I just try to focus on *now.* I can do things to make other people happy now. I can do things to enjoy my life now. That's really all I can do.


    Good luck with therapy, if you go. I encourage you to keep at it and to genuinely try to be open. Remember that therapy is not a "quick fix" thing. In many cases, it's not even really a "fix" at all, but rather a tool to help you process things and keep you healthy and able to enjoy things. (I'm currently searching for a therapist. Have had no luck finding one. My schedule is wonky now that I work a second job, and others just haven't called me back, likely because they have too many patients already.)

    Posted June 7th by Jet Presto
    Jet Presto

    It might seem like a shitty platitude, but The Floyd understood things very well: all you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be.

    The fact that you exist at all is honestly astoundingly lucky; you're of the tiny percentage of intelligent organisms out of a tiny percentage of Things With Consciousnesses At All. You could have ended up a Boltzmann Brain or something, that would've sucked asshole. Probably.

    I realize that probably doesn't help all that much. Try to go into therapy with an open mind. I find that, generally, therapists are good for at telling you things you always sort of knew in a way that helps you actually believe them.

    Posted June 8th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
    Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

    I'm just scred. really scared. both of the fact that as long as I'm alive I'll never see m y aunt again and of the fact that I do n't know what will happen when I die

    Posted June 8th by tnu
    tnu

    It is a terrifying thought process. And I am deeply sorry about your aunt. As Cliche as it sounds all you can really do is live life to its fullest. Easier said than done.

    For me personally I am not afraid of my parents eventual death. (Lord knows I wont ever be truly prepared for when that day comes) Or even my own. What I am afraid of is seeing my parents slowly wither away with age. The process has now started and even though my parents are still relatively young (43, 55) I can see that they are no longer the "superman" or "wonderwoman" that I thought they were growing up.


    as far as legacy goes that depends on the individual. I would like my future grand kids and great grand kids to remember me/ know who I was. And I would like to contribute something to society.

    Posted June 8th by S.O.H.
    S.O.H.
     

    to be honest as awful as it soudns I'd throw socieyt udner the bus if it got me my aunt back. SOrry I'm angrry and scared.

    Edited June 9th by tnu
    tnu

    but yeah a legacy doesn't mean jack to me epsecially if I"m dead

    Edited Monday by tnu
    tnu
    Reply to: I feel broken

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