Existential Crisis
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02-03-2015, 02:15 AM
Existential Crisis
I started thinking the other day about my life. About the things taking place within it. The things I've done. The things I plan to do. The people I've known. The people I'll one day know. Apparently I started thinking a little too deeply, though, because I ended up thinking my way into the bowels of an existential crisis from which I've yet to fully recovery.

I'm moving soon. There's been a minor setback regarding my medical issues, and I've obviously missed my deadline of March 1st. I've got an appointment for an endoscopy on the 13th, and whatever happens after that will be determined by the test results. As it stands, though, I have no idea when I'll be leaving for Washington. All I can say is that it'll be "soon."

That works out, though, because in the meantime, I've found someone (fuck, Miso, again???) and she and I have been spending a lot of time together. Real, quality time that we won't have once I leave. Thing is...I really click with this woman - in a way that I've only ever clicked with one other person...some of you know that person - and moving would really put a damper on the whole thing. It figures that I'd find someone like her as soon as I'm set to wash my hands of this place. Dodgy But, that's how it seems to have worked out, and she and I are doing everything we can to see where things can go, even with the big move looming just overhead. She's got two small children, and her family ties here are the only thing standing in the way of her coming with me. She wants to. Desperately. She understands what this move means to me and that it's a huge step toward reaching out and grasping the rest of my life, and she wants in on the action. She wants to experience this with me and start her own clean slate while she's at it. But she doesn't want to take the kids from their father, so for now, my medical shit is providing a convenient excuse for me to stick around while she figures things out.

The move, the girl, the kids, and anything else that's been going on in my life caused me to sit down and really focus on my existence. I thought about her. I thought about what it would mean to leave without her. I can't just not move. Not now. Not at this point. I've invested far too much in this and now, not moving to Seattle isn't even a viable option for me. It doesn't stand in my mind as a tangible possibility. I can't not move. Moving is happening. There is no other option. But at the same time, if she can't come with me for circumstantial reasons...I don't know if I can just leave her behind. I'm an incredibly understanding person. That's part of why she loves me. I want nothing more than what is best for her and her kids. But the idea of leaving without her...It's just too much to bear right now. Yeah, in time I'd get over it, but this isn't "in time." This is now, and as understanding and accepting as I am (I told her I would accept any decision that she made), I truly think I'll end up banging on her door in the middle of the night, in the rain, begging her to come with me.

But, if she chooses to stay, I have to accept that. And that would mean setting off into my future without her. Sure, I was upset about that prospect when it had to do with the mistress. I was uneasy about "every mile and state line taking me further and further away from her." But what needs to be understood is that it's different with this chick. She and I click. She's not just an awesome bedmate; she's a friend. A buddy. She's an atheist; she hates dogs; she has a particular taste for my favorite beer; she shares my sense of humor without even thinking about it; we click sexually on every single level; she makes me feel more comfortable than I've ever felt with a woman and, for the first time in my life, she makes me forget that I'm an alcoholic. That was a big one for me. I decided some time ago that I would stop trying to make a checklist of all the qualities I want in a partner and settle on only one standard: She has to make me feel like I don't need to drink. Somehow, this chick has done that. What's more...she, too, is a recovering alcoholic. We help each other. We make each other better, happier people.

So, the very real prospect of leaving without her has been weighing heavily on me. That prospect, in turn, has made me turn my focus to everyone else in my life as well. To my friends and acquaintances. To people I know and people I'd like to know. And all of that has made me take a step back and look at life in general. What I saw terrified me.

The following is an excerpt from my personal journal. I use it as reference only because it illustrates exactly what I've been thinking and feeling; written as it was all unfolding in my mind. I channeled my train of thought into written form, and this is what came out. Names have been changed or redacted for privacy reasons.

I’m finding life endlessly fascinating lately. It amazes me to no end how things evolve and progress. For example, when I first met Hannah and listened to her talk to Grammie about her son and about massage therapy and Netflix, I would have never imagined that, just a few months later, she and I would be escaping into the middle of nowhere to make out against my car. [REDACTED] When I first entered the smoky, music-filled basement at [REDACTED] house and saw Robert in his hipster garb lining up a shot on the pool table, I never imagined he and I would one day be getting an apartment together in Seattle. And when he first pointed Kristina out to me at [REDACTED] and told me that she wanted him, I would never have imagined that she and I would be together in the situation we’re in now.

[Edited for content and relevance]

All of this has been making me think about life in its entirety. If I don’t end myself early, I picture myself an old, tired man sitting in his armchair in his living room. The old grandfather clock ticks away on the wall and old reruns of “The Walking Dead” are playing on the classic TV channel. The shelves are lined with those horrid fucking porcelain animals and dolls that my wife likes and the dog I never wanted sleeps soundly in his bed in the corner. As I look around at all of this, I find myself reflecting on the life I’ve lived. I think back to rolling around in the grass with Hannah and how impossibly long ago that was. I wonder where she is now. Maybe dead; maybe in a nursing home somewhere. I think back to Ben and how he made me laugh whenever he’d wink at me from behind the counter or when he opened the door of his car in the [REDACTED] parking lot and white smoke would roll out. Maybe he’s dead now too. Maybe he’s an old guy sitting in a chair just like me. Either way, I haven’t heard from him in decades. He probably doesn’t even remember me. Sasha too. [REDACTED] most certainly died of his HIV years ago. He’s long-since been mourned and moved on from. Those nights having beers and pizza at his place are just memories now. Mark is almost certainly dead; probably killed in a jailroom brawl or from putting a gun in his mouth years ago. What about Kristina? She and I always had so much fun together; I wonder if she’s still around.

These thoughts fucking terrify me in a way I struggle to express in mere words. And every time that I think about leaving without Kristina, I feel like I’m setting off into that exact future. Instead of seeing Seattle in my sights, I see beyond that into old age where nothing that I know or love exists anymore outside of fading memories. And I know that, unless I fucking kill myself before then, that is exactly what’s going to happen. It will happen to everyone. It’s inevitable. The cute, sexy, adorable little Sasha will one day be an old grandma resting in her chair while her grandkids play. And one day, she’ll go to sleep and not wake up again. With her will die any memory that she ever had of smiling at me when I walked into [REDACTED] or hugging me when I left. This will be the case for literally everyone that I know and who knows me. Stories will be passed on, sure - if they care enough to tell stories about me. Kristina might one day tell her grandkids about John and how she loved him in secret and how he would take her away to secret places and make love to her in the night. But that’s all they’ll be. Stories. The grandkids weren’t there. They didn’t feel the things she felt. Hear the things she heard. Love the things she loved. They’ll have retold knowledge of half-forgotten events, but any true meaning or emotion will die with her. They won’t know or feel that she left a bruise on my left tricep as she gripped me tightly in the heat of orgasm that night in the woods. They won’t know how she felt whenever I nibbled at the sensitive spot on her neck and made her tense up in sexual excitement. They won’t know what it meant to be kissed at just the right time when she felt that the entire world was crashing down around her. All of those fleeting, seconds-long memories will eventually fade and die with her. And after that happens, those grandkids will be off creating their own memories to later be half-forgotten and retold before they die.

Life is just one big, terrifying chain of intense value and subsequent loss. It’s easy to say and even know and accept that “nothing lasts forever” and that we’ll all just be memories one day, but when you really, really think about it, it’s fucking horrifying. Everything that we love and hold dear today will one day be completely gone. It will fade and die and evaporate and disappear forever. Never again will it exist. Never again will those exact loves be felt. There will come a day when I never hold Kristina again. There will come a day when her heart never flutters for me again. There will come a day when what is now a bright, open, exciting future in Washington will be a distant memory of my past.

That is why I’m killing myself one day. I refuse to live that existence. I can’t. I can’t just let these things fade. I can’t go quietly into that good night. It’s so fucking selfish and it hurts me more than words can express to know that there are those who love me who won’t kill themselves; who will one day be sitting in their rocking chairs thinking back with sorrow at the memory of John who removed himself from their lives long ago in some distant memory. Oh my fucking christ it’s horrible. All of it. The entire cycle of life is fucking awful. But I have to leave. I can’t descend into that existence. I can’t live to watch myself become an artifact. I just can’t. I can’t, and I won’t.

I just hope - truly, truly hope - that anyone who loves me at that time will understand. I’m not strong enough to face that prospect. It scares me more than I can say, and I’m not even close to seeing it yet. Not even close. But I know it’s coming some day, and that undeniable fact fills me with fear and dread.

That is why I want things to work out with Kristina. It’s why I wanted things to work out with Hannah. Even if they ultimately fall apart and I’m left with the bitter pain of a broken relationship, I want these things to be lived now. I want to taste fully and breathe deeply and experience everything that I possibly can while I’m here. I want Kristina to make bad decisions with me by leaving and being by my side. I want to hug [REDACTED] more tightly than I ever have the next time I see her. I want to ignore the bullshit that Hannah has put me through and just fuck her and fuck her until we’re both collapsed against each other in exhaustion. I want to open my mouth to a pitcher of the finest, most crisp and refreshing beer that’s ever been brewed and drown in it until sight is no longer a meaningful concept and I puke all over a busy sidewalk. I want to experience everything that I can right now, because one day, it’s all going to be nothing. Nothing but a distant, faded, half-remembered story told to someone’s grandkids about a time long-since passed - the way we in 2015 think of the 1930s as distant. That’s all it’ll be. And then, not long after that, it will pass from existence entirely; never to be felt or remembered again.

We’re living the greatest moments that we will ever experience right here, right now, and we have no fucking idea. This literally brings me to tears.



So...I've felt these things before. Come to these realizations at other times and for other reasons. But this time was different. Before, it was all just a curious contemplation of life and existence that I could venture away from and think about other things. But, I guess because of everything that's been going on (things that I've not illustrated here), I haven't been able to shake it this time. I feel scared. Truly, genuinely scared. Of life. Of living. Of the future. A religious person might feel comfort in the belief that they don't have to descend into nothingness one day while anything and everything they've ever loved fades slowly with the passage of time. Ignorance truly is bliss. But I accept the nature of reality (should I say: actuality) and understand that these things really will fade. Every moment, every love, every smile...All dissipated into the ether. Years will pass between hot-boxing the car with friends and old age. The best moments of our lives happen and then they're gone, and one day, it'll be as though it never happened at all. I'm not worried about death. I've always said that "I have no reason to fear that which I will never consciously experience." Dying is ok with me. It's just the knowledge that all of this will be gone that's weighing on me. And the fact that we're all on this train we call "life" with no way of stopping ourselves from barreling toward our ultimate destination makes it all the more terrifying. I want to stop the train and get off for a bit. Enjoy the sights. Postpone the inevitable. But I can't. We're all just on this same track headed in the same direction and we've got no choice but to live each moment as the miles of track fly past us.

This just scares the hell out of me, and I can't seem to stop thinking about it this time. In a way, it's kind of good. I did hug my client(s) harder than I ever have before. I've drawn closer to people I knew and cared about, but wasn't really close to before. I've sent emotional emails/texts to people with whom I've had rocky relationships so that the air could be cleared. I even opened a line of communication with my dad again. The other day, I walked into a favorite restaurant and saw one of the waitresses with whom I'm decent friends. She and I have never been "close," but after chatting lightly with her for a bit, I stood up and hugged her and thanked her for being a part of my life. When she's a little old lady sitting in her rocking chair, I want her to remember that. I want her to remember that she meant something to someone that one time long ago.

But then, I don't want her to have to be a little old lady in her rocking chair. I don't want these times to end. I don't want to stop partying with awesome people. I don't want to stop fighting with jealous husbands when they find out about secret affairs. I don't want to stop loving Kris and taking her and her kids out to the mall. And because it's part of my present-day, I don't even want to stop experiencing the struggles that I've been going through. I know there will be new loves and new struggles and new experiences to come, but that just means that the rest of this slips into the past. I don't want all of what is "here and now" to fade with time.

But I know it will. It will, and there is literally nothing I or anyone else can possibly do but watch it happen. I feel so powerless. I feel so helpless. So fucking scared. I can live more fully because of this knowledge, but the very knowledge itself weighs on me with such intensity that I'm finding it difficult to function. Maybe it, too, will fade with time, but for the past few days, I've been in a fucked up place, and I can't seem to escape it.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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02-03-2015, 04:04 AM
RE: Existential Crisis
So, how long have you known Kristina?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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02-03-2015, 08:41 PM
RE: Existential Crisis
(02-03-2015 04:04 AM)Dom Wrote:  So, how long have you known Kristina?

I've known her for a while, but we only really became close friends (and then some) in the past two months or so.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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02-03-2015, 09:54 PM
RE: Existential Crisis
Heart

I wish I had words to adequately convey all I wish to express.

Hug

You can't wrap up your whole happiness on someone else. That pedestal is too high for anyone, and when they fall it from it, it just hurts.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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02-03-2015, 10:45 PM
RE: Existential Crisis
(02-03-2015 09:54 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Heart

I wish I had words to adequately convey all I wish to express.

Hug

You can't wrap up your whole happiness on someone else. That pedestal is too high for anyone, and when they fall it from it, it just hurts.

True, but, it's not just her. I only included the story with her because it helped set the stage for the real issue at hand.

I'm scared of existence. It sounds so stupid, but I am. That it'll all end one day...it just gets to me. I feel like nothing will ever be as great as the here and now. I always knew that everything would one day end, but it's just really hitting me how real that fact is. Whether it has to do with girlfriends or anything else in my life.

It sucks because I've been on top of the world lately. With moving, with Kristina, with everything. This feels like a huge setback. Things are still progressing, but I'm scared of the fact that they're progressing. If that makes sense. I just don't know how to deal with it right now. I feel like I'm being both irrational and perfectly rational. Rationally irrational, I guess. It's just messing with my head.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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03-03-2015, 04:19 AM
RE: Existential Crisis
You have cold feet about moving.

You are using Kristina - and what mom said.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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03-03-2015, 07:23 AM (This post was last modified: 03-03-2015 10:11 AM by Bows and Arrows.)
RE: Existential Crisis
its called anxiety.
moving across the country is exciting and stress producing.
big changes always bring a round of questioning.

sometimes those big decisions come easy, sometimes there are loose ends that make you 2nd guess or are difficult to wrap up. Add some medical stress to the mix and voila.


On a personal note, if I was dating someone for awhile and set on moving and knowing they had children that couldnt move - I would break it off before it goes further. Keeping it going will only make a giant mess in the end.....if she stays you have invested more time and more emotions and will have more heartbreak -- if she goes you just robbed two kids of their mom.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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03-03-2015, 08:33 AM
RE: Existential Crisis
Hmm, you're all about the here and now and the present and I'm forever stuck in the future - looking forward to the next thing, and then when it gets here, the next thing, and so on and so forth, to where sometimes it feels I am incapable of living in the moment.

Just an observation that I found interesting for some reason. Blush

I wouldn't word it quite the same way as Dom, as in I wouldn't say you're using Kristina (at least, not in a cruel or manipulative way) but if she simply meant that you're using your relationship with her as an excuse to back out of a move that you're understandably nervous about, then I can get behind that. I say, just jump out there and do it. Go on this adventure. I think maybe you'd regret it if you backed out of it now.

Good luck. Big Grin

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03-03-2015, 08:47 AM
RE: Existential Crisis
The only thing i know to say is this : stop thinking about the future so much, don't look ahead to much and live in the here and now.
To take a quote from dr lawrence krauss and take it a little out of context :


We need to walk into the future, no matter how unnerving, with open eyes

Live in the now its all you have !
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04-03-2015, 09:36 PM
RE: Existential Crisis
Well I tried to explain it... Dodgy

It's fine; I've been occupying my mind with other things. Mostly writing. That's another good thing that's come of this whole incident: I'm a lot more focused on my writing. I feel like, if I can put myself out there in literary form, then in a way...I won't disappear. At least, not entirely. Like I said, I'm not scared of death, but I'm scared of everything disappearing. If my ideas and stories can continue after I'm gone, in a way, I feel like maybe that makes it ok - even if it's not forever.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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