Random Saturdays – Blue Monday

When I got to work one Monday, I heard that a coworker had passed away over the weekend.  We worked at the same place, but due to the nature of my work, I talked to this guy alot via email and IM, but not much in person.  It wasn’t until the coworker who told me the bad news showed me a picture of this guy that I realized that I had talked to him quite a bit in the break room.  I also learned that this guy was only my age.  After a couple of conversations with a few people over the course of the day, I learned that it seems that the guy had been having some health problems.  The police or whoever had to bust down the guy’s door and found him dead in his bed.

I don’t deal well with death.  I mean, nobody does, really, but every time a loved one has died, I spiraled quickly into depression.  If I was already in the midst of depression, I would just dive further into it.  Because I wasn’t very close to this coworker who passed away, I didn’t immediately start snot crying and I don’t anticipate the depression that I finally made progress on last month springing back up to haunt me.  I’ve also been so busy at work and home that I haven’t had much time to think about anything other than work and my moving To Do List this week.  Whenever I do get a few slow minutes, though, I start thinking about this guy’s death.

I often joke that I’m going to die alone and firemen will burst down my door to find my cat eating my face, but only after the neighbors complain about the smell.  It’s a sick and morbid joke, but I really do worry about it.  The thing is, I love living alone.  Besides doing what I want when I want and how I want to do it, I like being alone because being around people exhausts me.  I’m an emotional sponge.  I’m not a mirror, so I don’t reflect it back; I just absorb it all.  Even if the emotions are positive and happy, I still end up feeling exhausted after all of the smiling and hugging and excitement and laughter.  Last month’s insights that helped me get a grip on my most recent bout of depression kept telling me that I need to be around people in order to get more familiar with dealing with the emotions so that I can understand and process them better.  This is probably true, but it’s also alot of work that I just don’t feel like doing right now (or ever).

This brings me back to my point (I do have one!)  I like being alone.  I like living alone.  I do not fear death.  I fear dying alone.  I’ve heard it said that nobody dies alone.  I’ve also heard that everybody dies alone.  I get the thought processes behind both of those statements, but my fear doesn’t have much to do with either of those things.

I worry on a very superficial level about humiliation — What if I slip in the shower (which I do all the time), but I don’t catch myself and I bust my head open on the bathtub, and when the neighbors complain about the smell, the police bust down my door to find me naked and decomposing, just a stinky blob of hair and cellulite???  I mean, that’s me now, minus the decomposition and with more clothing, but still, I worry.

My fears are a nice combo of superficial and deep — What if I die alone, and the authorities find me days later after busting down my door (again with the smell), and because my parents are dead and I have no children and I never got married and I don’t have even have a boyfriend and all of my friends are either dead, in retirement homes, or don’t care about/don’t remember me, there is nobody to notify???  Then, they have to pay some company to come and clean out my apartment, and whatever cat or dog I have at the time gets put into a shelter where he or she is euthanized after a couple of weeks because I usually adopt crazy pets that nobody else will take.  Then, bills and credit card companies or whoever start being like, “Hey!  Why doesn’t this old lady care about paying these bills?!  She pays every thing off every month for 80 years and suddenly stops.  What kind of crazy person lets her credit rating go to hell suddenly?!”  And there’s nobody to tell the dumbasses that I’m dead.

How sad is it when the only people who will eventually care that you are dead are debt collection agencies?

I play this scenario out in my head again and again.  I think about all the terrible things, wonderful things, and mundane things I’ve done and will do.  I think about how much I love/have loved so many people, places, and things.  I think about all the efforts I’ve tried to make towards my spiritual growth.  Then, I think about how seconds after my death, none of that will matter to anyone.  I will only matter to anyone again in a few months when my bills become delinquent.  I think about how these will be the last thoughts that run through my mind before I die.  Sad.  Scary.

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7 thoughts on “Random Saturdays – Blue Monday

  1. well, if you listen to suze orman and set up a will/trust, you can probably leave your pets to heather or me. i don’t have any advice for the rest of it, though 😦

    • If Elska is still alive when I die, Amanda wants her. Elska loves Amanda almost as much as me. She even knows the sound of her car and door knock and dorsn’t run and hide when Amanda comes over. If I have any other animal, I’ll check to make sure you or Heather will take it before updating my will & trust 😉 I wrote this post a couple weeks ago, so I’m in a better mindset now.

  2. Do you struggle with depression? Maybe I’m reading too much into this post, but it reminds me of some of my own depressed thoughts and fears about growing old alone and/or dying alone, though mine are certainly not as well-thought through and descriptive! Please just ignore me if I am off base. But if I’m on target, and you are feeling depressed, I wanted to share that I try to balance out the fears I have like this, to recognize them as the distortions of reality that they are – born and fed by depression. If I step back from thoughts like these for some alternative perspective, it usually helps. Aha, it was just the depression tryin’ to drag me down again! So, instead, I can then use the fear to motivate me to enjoy and do something daily that will foster the meaningful connections I already have in my life, or develop new ones in whatever small or large way that I can. An investment in my future deathbed scenario, surrounded by at least some of the people I’ve tried to love and be good to over time!!

    • Yes, I’ve struggled with depression for over 20 years, at this point. I appreciate your compassionate advice 🙂 You are absolutely right – keeping things in perspective is an important tool for depression. Crappy perspective gets me depressed and healthy perspective helps pull me back to the world outside of my depressed mind. It’s a constant battle, but a good reminder. Thanks!

      • I understand! Depression has sucked the life out of me at times! I do anything I can to fight it, as I feel I deserve more from my life! It’s the only one I’ve got to live, so I’m trying to live it well, in spite of the challenges!! Hang in there. I hope you’ll keep leaning into your positive coping skills and hope itself!! w/ care, M.

  3. I’m not sure what’s more morbid: Reading the scenarios you’ve obviously plotted out in your head over the course of years and years …or… me, being equally as morbid-thinking, clicking on the like button cuz I also found it a fun read (especially with the police breaking down the door on countless occasions and dealing with the smell). I think I may be more morbid.

    “I’m an emotional sponge. I’m not a mirror, so I don’t reflect it back; I just absorb it all.” This statement is oh, so telling. You know more about yourself than most who think they know themselves but only have an inkling of an idea measured by the tip of their pinky. And recognizing this, you live your life appropriately. To me, there’s nothing wrong with that!

    Anyway, just thought you should know not very many people know themselves as much as you know yourself. It’s a good thing, trust me!

    • I meant the post to be mostly reflective (no way of avoiding the morbid feeling), but also a little funny. Leave it to The Zombie King to pick up on both! I worry that I know myself too well – ignorance is bliss and all that. Thanks for the reassurance that it’s okay 🙂

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