|UserSoundoffs 23Album Ratings 361Objectivity 85%Last Active 12-19-19 9:56 pmJoined 10-02-11Forum Posts 12Review Comments 2,465
|My Existential Crisis|
This is me using Sputnik as a journal. I need to get my thoughts out on something, maybe to help myself. It has little to do with music but each of these albums have to do with a particular mood and feeling.
|1||The Gaslight Anthem|
The '59 Sound
so, when I was 11 I had a hard time grasping the concept of Heaven, and Christianity in general. I was raised Catholic, and I tried hard to hold onto those beliefs, but the concept of the afterlife didn’t sit right. An eternity of “paradise” seemed to be an unsatisfactory answer to all these questions tumbling around in my head. Every single night I’d cry and beg for answers, my mother bought me a book that says “what happens when I go to heaven” even, and it just did not help. I took anxiety pills every day for a while after that, and I think that anxiety turned into depression through my high school years. I couldn’t talk to many people and my curiosity persisted into high school. The days where the thought of an afterlife drifted into my mind lasted only that day, I could get over it fairly easily, because whatever happens happens, right?
I’ve become an agnostic from around age 17 and on, I realized that I just could not fall in line with Catholicism. I have strived to become a logical, science based thinker, as douchey as that seems. I was never exactly okay with the idea of non-existence, but I managed to accept it as a possibility, I thought I mostly got over this anxiety of death and the afterlife, but I seem to not be able to escape it.
|3||We Lost the Sea|
Nearly 2 months ago I was laying on the couch browsing reddit, when I read a simple comment: “Life is literally the longest thing you will ever experience”. For some reason it struck a chord with me and I kept thinking about that, at that moment I had a realization that I will die. Not just “we all die, that’s life”, but a horribly real realization of time and finality. This stupid comment that I have seen variations of many times before shook me to the core, and I found myself close to tears huddled on the couch trying to fall asleep so I didn’t have to endure the pain in my chest. When I woke up the thought immediately came back to me.
For the next couple of weeks I would sit at home and try to fight off the thoughts by hanging out, or playing Dark Souls, or listening to music. But the thought was constantly in the back of my mind, no matter what I was doing. A heavy weight on my chest and my mind was slightly spinning, I fell into a heavy depression that I haven’t endured since I was in the hospital two years ago. The thought of my father dying was heavily present; the thought of me dying and dealing with the fact that there could very possibly be nothing on the Otherside dominated everything.
Everything Goes Numb
Nothing. There could be nothing. This has always scared me, but I managed to block those thoughts and live my life, but not now. I realize that it would be a peaceful non-experience, I realize that there’s nothing we can do about it and I shouldn’t worry, I realize that whatever happens happens, and I realize that I should just deal with it. But I am a selfish man, and I cannot deal with this thought. I remember very clearly driving home from class and driving down a hill, I realized that at this moment I could very easily die, and I could realize that everything I know would just be over and I wouldn’t know it. My body wouldn’t care that I died, because I couldn’t think, it would be like before I was born. This terrified me.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
On December 30th my girlfriend was driving me home from the bar, and it all came out for the first real time. I said “I’m scared” and for the first time in what seems like a year I cried. I was sobbing uncontrollably, I just wanted things to be back to where they were just two weeks ago. I would have rather been depressed than deal with this anxiety. She told me that it wasn’t Nothing, and I wanted to believe her, but I didn’t know if I could, it was all so much to take in. I felt better letting it all out and hoped it would be the end of it. But it only got worse. After this moment I tried to confide in the people around me, who are mostly just spiritual rather than religious, and it was always crazy to me that they never really thought about it too much.
Visions of The Country
Here is what I am comfortable with. I think there is a soul, and I think there is an afterlife. For the sake of convenience I’ll call it Heaven, but I do not believe it’s a Christian Heaven. I like to believe that when we die we can reconvene with the souls of the living that we had met in our previous lives. At this point we could either come back down to this universe to live another life time to gain a new experience, or we could stay in Heaven and be with the souls we met over various lifetimes, provided they decided to stay a while. If there is a God, he isn’t some man in the sky; he is more of an essence that surrounds everything. It created everything and let it be, its language is mathematics and is everything. It sounds crazy, but it’s something I am comfortable with this.
|8||Better Oblivion Community Center|
Better Oblivion Community Center
Shit we could all just be in a time loop, reliving the same life over and over again for all eternity. Maybe it’s just a reincarnation thing where we live over and over until we reach an enlightened plane. Or maybe it’s an eternity of non-existence…. I don’t have the answers, and that is what kills me. What if this is all just my mind trying to calm itself?
The week before College started back up, Thursday January 10th, I texted my sister and ask if I could come see her, she was worried and told me to come over. This was the beginning to one of the worst weekends of my life. I needed to be around people to try and quell my thoughts, and to be able to express them. I explained to my mother, sister, and brother in law how I see life, death, and the afterlife. I explained to them what makes logical sense and that I am struggling with trying to conceptualize the afterlife—an impossible task.
Painting of a Panic Attack
Friday I suffered a complete mental breakdown. I was on the verge of sleep while my brother in law played Destiny, and then like a switch I felt my head go completely dizzy. The thought of the inevitable death struck me again, but with the added realization that every single life is separate from mine, but just as lucid. Everyone has a life of experiences, and every single an entire life—an entire world—dies.
I went to my sisters room and I told her that I didn’t feel well and my world was spinning.
Have you ever been driving and you pass someone on the highway and you think “that person has an entire life I will never know” and you get that little head rush that is a little uncomfortable? What I experienced was similar to that. And eventual it transformed into what I can only describe as what a religious experience, I was laying on the bed and I could feel energy radiate off of my body, I could feel things not attached to my body; I did not feel connected to reality or my body. I realize it was a panic attack, but I felt like I could feel other people’s souls in the spaces in between. When I moved my head I felt like something was lagging behind and it hurt terribly.
|12||Rahsaan Roland Kirk|
I Talk with the Spirits
In this moment I felt every single religion connecting to each other, I understood true nihilism, I understood that Nothing could very well be Heaven—after all it’s being free of want, isn’t it? I understood why religion existed, and it was because of this feeling, this enlightenment. It was horrible. I laid there babbling about how nihilism makes total sense, about how I felt all the religions connect through this feeling, and talking about the conservation of energy. I knew that I sounded like a crazy person; I knew I WAS a crazy person. The feeling subsided after a couple of hours, but I still felt that continuous head rush and realization of separate consciousness from my own.
All Things Must Pass
Reflecting back on this experience is incredibly strange, I can barely get myself back into that headspace, or try to understand what I felt in that moment. I did some reading and I think it may have been an ego death, or something that monks meditate for. God knows why, I couldn’t image being in that state for a continuous amount of time.
|14||Thao And The Get Down Stay Down|
A Man Alive
The next day I was brought to the mall for some fucking reason. I looked like a mess, and I did not handle it well; every person I passed I realized that they’re world is completely separate from my own and one day will just end. I passed a sign for a type of food, and I wondered if the inventor knows that their influence is felt today, and whether or not it mattered that they had this legacy. I was having another panic attack in the Mall of America, surrounded by thousands of people. And I tried to keep it together for an hour until I was sweating uncontrollably and found my brother in law so I could tell him that I couldn’t handle it. He brought my back to their house and I told my sister I couldn’t do it anymore, we then headed to the emergency room.
|15||The Twilight Sad|
It Won/t Be Like This All the Time
This was the second time I have been in the ER for a mental illness, but it couldn’t be more opposite, I no longer wanted to die. The people I spoke too were kind of taken aback, as they don’t really have to deal with someone talking in depth about their thoughts on life itself. There was a male nurse I talked to and he was amazing, an older gentleman, his presence eased my mind and soul. I felt calmer. Maybe I felt calmer because I knew that this would soon be ending. They eventually let me go with a prescription for Lorazepam, an anxiety drug.
I knew that the reason I felt this way was because I strive for validation from others, I need to know the truth, it’s like a cycle, just this time it has been stuck on something bigger than love or bigger than how I look. No one could tell me what happens, so my mind kept on this cycle trying to figure it out logically. The thing about death is that it is not logical; logical would imply that it is comprehensible to human minds, but death is something a human will never understand. There is no understanding what happens when we die, there is not understanding what non-existence is like, there is no understanding what Heaven will be like, because a human has never experienced anything like it, it is unfathomable.
|17||Amigo the Devil|
Everything Is Fine
Weeks later I still have some triggers that cause me to dwell on death, but I’m doing better. I have been put on some medication to try and help regulate my mood, and I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of school. I’m writing this now in the middle of a slight anxiety attack, and a desire to just log this event in my life. I came back from this a bit more spiritual than I have ever been. All the time passing by me still scares me, and makes me wonder if this physics career path is really worth it, if it’s all for nothing, but I am going to try to persevere. I need to experience all I can experience if not to enrich my soul and leave this Earth better than when I arrived.
You Can't Stay Here
Thank you all for reading and responding, it means a lot to me.
|Do you find the idea that you might never answer your burning questions insufferable?|
|I've read through the whole thing and first of all let me start saying that I hope you feel better soon and that you find a way to deal with these thoughts. In my case, I've gone through this myself, a lot of people do, but rarely talk about it. My father was 43 when he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He didn't die but he was finished after spending 2 weeks in coma. He was a surgeon, he loved his job and suddenly he woke up and he couldn't do it anymore. I am 41 and I think about this every single night. And like you, I feel the pressure on my chest, like something is stealing the air from me and I can't breathe.|
There's no way around it man, sadly, it's just you vs. the universe. But you can definitely find acceptance in the fact that no one really knows what happens "next". So why worrying about it, right? Just try to make the best out of every day and those around that care about you. There's really not much more to life, believe me.
|It's a massive prospect to absorb-that every individual has at least a certain level of complexities and nuances and that they feel in a similar way to you and I, but perhaps that can be seen in a way that is beautiful, and not so frightening and alienating. And yes, of course they will die, as will both you and I, but once you start to dwell on it it becones that tumultuous cycle of fear and bewilderment, so even for the sake of your own happiness I think it's a stone best left completely unturned. Thats all that matters, right? Your happiness?|
|@DamnVanne In the moment it was certainly insufferable. Still kind of is, but it's just morphed into just comprehending it all.|
@Dewinged Thank you, I appreciate this--Really. I couldn't imagine the position you are in, and although there's an odd sense of relief for myself, I hope that one day that pressure is gone for you as well. I'm in the process of recovering and trying to get back to my "live every day" mentality. It was part of the reason I spent a few hours on this. It's a process, but I'm getting there. Thank you.
@Dedes it is insane. It's a state of uncomfortable enlightenment. Like it's certainly beautiful in it's own way, but all too much. What matters is my happiness, you're right, and I need to break out of that cycle of thinking that I find myself deeply ingrained in.
Seriously, thank you guys.
|maybe read some camus lol.|
anyway, the whole thing is a paradox: your perseverating over the finitude of your existence makes you feel as though you have some semblance of mental control over it, as if you keeping it at a rolling boil in your mind affords you clarity, and yet, the more you dwell on it the less control you end up realizing you have, over not only death but of the life you should be living had you not been pining over non-existence. take solace in the absurdity of it all -- that you can't know death until you're dead, and even then you can no longer self-reflect on the knowing. nor will you know when it's coming. just live your life and bask in its absurdity.
|shit, that's beautiful.|
|When you die your being is totally annihilated. To ask what death is like is basically like asking about nothing. You can't experience "nothing" because you simply just cease to exist. Since you cannot experience "nothing" you will always experience "something" and therefore you will instantly find yourself right back into existence (obviously I am using the term "yourself" very loosely here, it's not *you* in the person sense, just in the sense that it is another conscious presence) whether it be in another time, another body, another universe, whatever. There is no "afterlife" in the sense that the "afterlife" is just life. It's continuous and neverending. Think about how you came into being in this life, you simply found yourself here, like waking up after a night of sleep, you simply find yourself into being.|
I once struggled with questions like this but I'm mostly happy with the answers I reached. If you're interested in some material to help, I found the movie "The Fountain" by Aronofsky to be immensely helpful. I wouldn't recommend marijuana in your mental state, but if you smoke and watch that movie you may have a spiritual experience that will help you get over your current problems. Just my two cents.
|someone been sneaking crack in your coffee pal?|
fr tho I understand you and have had similar experiences myself. just recently i was talking to some dudes on discord about how easy it would be to just disappear and run away and not bee found. there's so many people in the world, so many people who you've never met and they don't know you, you could just disappear in them. the few people whose lives somewhat intertwine with yours have a really small chance of finding you if you don't wanna be found. i allowed this intrusive thought (induced by reading about missing people and disappearances in a sleep-deprived state probably) to kinda take control of me for a couple of hours, and in that I developed a really horrible urge to just run away from everything and start anew, free from any stress.
i don't think there's anything wrong with having these intrusive thoughts, it's an intrinsic part of human curiosity, it's natural to question yourself, your surroundings, your own position in the scale of the world and time, and time itself. but the way I broke out of that train of thought, as I have done before in similar situations, is to realise that there are a lot of uncomfortable realities out there in the world, many of which we have little to no control over, and becoming absorbed with these realities and the way they affect us is sometimes better for us to avoid. there are other more comfortable realities that your mind can focus on - the ability to analyse and philosophise on existential concepts being one of them, but also the way in which through effort the human condition can be used to fight against elements of the natural order other species cannot .
i'm rambling at this point, but in my opinion the way to look at it is that humans have a burden of the capacity to think beyond basic naturally coded functions. it can make us aware of things that can harm our psyche. but it also allows us to focus on that which brings all the goodness and meaningfulness to our lives. it's healthy to question that burden on occasion, but when your life has focus and meaning and goodness, you won't notice that burden half as much. find your meaning, your focus, your drive and that ability transforms from a burden into a tool.
|Also, there is no God, there is no soul, and (tl;dr of my earlier post) death can't just be "nothing" because there is no being to experience that "nothing".|
|You’re overthinking it mate.|
Doesn’t matter how disconnected you feel, somebody loves you. And that one person who loves you no matter who it may be connects you to life and by extension the entire universe.
|@Trophycase Oh, I totally get you. I understand that there is a non-experience. As I said if it were to be Nothing, I would not care, because I would not know. It would be like before I was born. I understand as much as a human being can understand about that outcome. It boils down to human selfishness at that point, which I totally recognize. That being said, I can't say for certain what happens, but I do know that I still need to see The Fountain|
@Sinternet lol yeah I know right. But really, beautifully stated.
@Zakalwe I feel like that's something I've been slowly approaching through all of this.
|Demon of the Fall|
|I keep wanting to reply to this without really knowing what to say, it would probably be easier if I hadn't experienced some similar things. Hope you find whatever answers you're looking for, or perhaps (more realistically) come to terms with never truly finding those answers.|
It's probably a lot more common than most people realise, just that no-one ever talks about it. I've only very fleetingly discussed it with my wife (and I tell her everything). The fact I'm aware it's not something she deals with herself on a regular basis prevents me from bringing it up. I don't want to add to her anxieties.
|I think it has something to do with the fact that it’s an unpleasant reality, and in the end it sort of pointless to discuss and obsess over. Further I think it can be dangerous to obsess over it to the level that I have, and probably many others suffering in secrecy. Thank you though, I appreciate the words. You may not know what to say, but if you ever need to vent about this you are more than welcome, if you can find the words.|
|Demon of the Fall|
|Thanks. Hmm, I'll try (a little, probably rambling but here goes)...|
My background is a little different as I've not been brought up in a religious environment but perhaps that's also where some of my issues come from. The simple fact is that I cannot believe in anything that seems illogical. Now, although dismissing things outside of one's own experiences is ignorant, this is something I cannot reconcile with myself. I wouldn't even describe myself as agnostic and struggle to believe anything even vaguely supernatural. This doesn't mean I believe nothing happens necessarily, just that I have no idea what it could possibly be and that it surely doesn't involve any high beings or organised 'special place' (whatever that entails).
I struggle to understand the world existing without my own consciousness, not in an arrogant way but in a way where it's all I've ever known (obviously) and how can that just cease to happen? You can't actually imagine losing your consciousness, it's an absence of feeling and completely impossible, yet somehow I try and I find it incredibly disturbing and upsetting.
Yeah, this makes very little sense, haha.
|No, that makes perfect sense, that's exactly where I was at during all of this for most of it. I've always been a skeptic, but I've come to the realization that no matter what happens to us after we die, it will be illogical to the human mind. Non-existence sounds certainly logical, but at the same time it is illogical as there is no way for one to fully wrap their minds around it. Obviously I have turned more towards the idea that something happens, but in the end I do not know, and really there is no way for the human mind to comprehend what happens. If that makes sense... The after life, no matter what it be, is unfathomable. This is why I do not subscribe to religions, because they give human characteristics to something that cannot possibly be human. Now I feel like I'm not making sense. |
The point is that this is what terrified me completely, it is disturbing because you do not understand it, and when it all happens it won't matter anymore regardless. Even knowing that, it's hard to come to grips with it.
|i have experienced much of what you described here. i think you would get a LOT of use out of The Power of Now. that book changed my life and started me on the path to inner peace and personal growth. i dont feel like the same person i was 7 months ago when i first read it. other people have even told me they've noticed a difference in me. it takes major cues from Taoism and Buddhism. if you do read it, i would recommend taking notes on it and actively putting the teachings into practice. personal growth takes a lot of work, patience, and perseverance. it's not something that happens over night.|
also just a side note, maybe they already told you but i cant believe how many people arent informed of this when they're prescribed something like lorazepam: use it as sparingly as possible. use it too much and you can take on a dependency, which will only make your anxiety worse.
|Wow deep stuff dude. I'd like to say you've got the whole Sputnik crew here for you whenever you need to continue to vent. Hope all is well.|
|@Adolf I'll for sure put that in my amazon cart and check it out. It sounds promising. And yeah, I was only told by my sister's fiance afterwards that the withdrawals for it are agonizing mentally. Luckily I only had one fill and used that up before switching meds.|
@Strike Thanks man, I really appreciate it. I appreciate pretty much everyone's input. I felt embarrassed posting it, but I felt that I needed to get it out somewhere.
|when i'm on my death bed i'm going to blast the super mario invincibility star music. that way, i'll never die. checkmate atheists|
|that Amigo the Devil album needs a review bad.|
|I wish I was good at reviews, then I would do it.|
It's pretty damn good.
|maybe read some camus|
|fr though camus and maybe kierkegaard if you want a theistic bent. they have a weird way of soothing existential dread |
|I looked up a bit of Camus last night, I'm gonna probably get one of his books. I'll check out the other person as well. If anything it would be nice to gain perspective of others on this subject.|
|Dude, everybody deals with death everyday, I dont get the people who dont put any real thought into it, I am actually jealous of those people, but whatever, I fear death everyday, actually makes me appreciate what is going on now better|
|I think it's really important to talk and to get things out, so that we don't have to deal with them on our own and in our own heads, where things can get distorted or start to spiral. I'm proud of you for making this list and posting, just that alone takes a lot of bravery. It's hard to go it alone, and it's good to let others in and open up discussion in order to move forwards and to heal (as hard as that may be as well). |
I can 100% relate, and I know you can pull through this stronger than you were before. Life is a weird and wild ride, but you don't have to go it alone. :)
|@wham I am pretty jealous too man. I feel it.|
@Taroar thank you c:
|I feel, that. I obviously haven't been as affected as you, but I can say that it feels like my life caved in a bit. I hope you that you find solace and we can both make our minds realize that it will all be fine.|