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Existential Awareness and How I Handled it
By Novni Community Member
In 2016, I was severely overcome with depression. I had just finished performing in Marie Antoinette, which is a dark show, so my mind was already pretty shadowed. The show does a pretty awesome job of focusing on the aspect and politics of death, showing how every character reacts around it, what it means, and how it affects the show in the long run. Sometime between the rehearsal process and the actual show date, it became incredibly clear to me that I was going to die someday.
Let me be clear. I’ve always known I’m going to die. I know through TV, movies, video games, hell even my own family and friends. Death is such a natural end to life and trust me I was fully aware that eventually my time will come, but for some reason the thought was incredibly clear that my life would be over. While we have no solid idea about what happens after we pass, we do know that physically, on earth at least, our body rots, our hearts stop beating, and our brains stop sending transmissions to our body.
Who we are as humans living on earth will no longer exist. And that terrified me. Even now as I type this with shaky fingers and tears in my eyes it horrifies me, but last year it was different. My body shut down. I quit school. I quit theater and acting. I broke up with my girlfriend and I lost a lot of friends because of my fear of death. I felt like what’s the point? Everything’s just so relative anyway. None of it will matter in the end. And for the rest of the year that’s how I felt.
Here we are a little more than a year later, and honestly I can say things are different. I came here today because I wanted to say a few things that helped me accept death and put me back on my feet when I was honestly on the edge of killing myself just to bring the inevitable closer.
1.) We all die. There’s no way around it. We are born, we live, we breed again, and we move on for the next generation to rinse and repeat. Fully accepting and realizing this will take some time, but it definitely gets easier as it goes. Hang in there.
2.) Live every day to the fullest. I know it’s a very cheesy and overused saying. I’m tired of hearing it too, but it’s the best possible advice out there. Life’s too short to spend days, weeks, months, or years doing anything that makes you unhappy.
3.) It’s all about living in the moment. Start thinking about your immediate surroundings and stop worrying about the future. The inevitable is coming, so why stress over it?
4.) Lastly, bucket lists. It’s never too early to start a bucket list. What do you want to do before you die? On your death bed, what would help you leave this world with a smile on your face?
There are days when it hits and when it hits it hits hard, but I hope something I said can help ease the stress so you can spend more time enjoying your life instead of thinking about its eventual ending. Good luck friends!