There is anxiety. There is death. And there is the anxiety of impending death.
For the last 14 months or so, since the pandemic hit worldwide, I have been holding strong—feeling positive, taking precautions, and doing my bit.
There have been moments of anxiousness, I do not deny those, but they were only moments. They were not in any way controlling my emotions and reactions and, in particular, my day.
I would normally take a deep breath and carry on, surrendering in part to the unknown and in part to my utter belief that things are going to be alright. It has to be. There is no other way. In the long run, things always work out. Most of the time, we suffer because we are not able to see things clearly in the long run.
But not today. Today was different, difficult, and tedious. Today, I was exhausted from all the positivity and mindfulness. It felt fake and made-up. I wanted to address what was happening inside me. The surge of emotions was too great to ignore and bury inside.
In my journey of self-love, I have learnt that, however much we want to be happy and joyous all the time, it’s not possible. Sometimes, it’s better to surrender to those feelings of anxiety and helplessness. The ruse that I follow is, I do not stay there for long. But, today was not supposed to be that day.
I wanted to cry, and I did cry—for a long, long time, sobbing into my pillow, letting those feelings of despondency and dejection awash me in the form of tears. I laid in my bed for what seemed like an infinitude, staring at the ceiling blankly, looking for some sign of life. I could only feel my eyes hurting and burning, dried sticky tears on my cheeks, and ants crawling under my skin.
The world, as I write, is coming to an end. It’s hard, and it’s hitting even harder. I felt my vulnerability and utter powerlessness standing stark naked in front of me. I could not move a limb or even bat an eyelid.
I have no problem with Death; it’s a daily reminder to live my life fully; it is the only eternal constant. I have no problem with anxiety, too. It’s manageable with all the help.
What I did not know was how to deal with an imminent death. How to wait patiently for the time to come—when you can’t say goodbye or hold a hand or kiss them farewell.
How do you say goodbye on FaceTime?
How do you deal with the news that the patient died waiting for his turn to get a bed in hospital just outside in an ambulance?
Has the universe decided to play some twisted trick on us like “Thanos click?” Ironically enough, the name “Thanos” is derived from the Greek, masculine, given-name, “Athanasius.” It means: immortal. The character made famous as a supervillain in Marvel’s cinematic universe.
The questions are innumerable and definitely disfigured by the moral compass of humans. Did we bring this upon ourselves—overpopulation, climate damage, extinction of species?
The list of havoc we’ve created is endless. All in the name of development? On the other hand, even if all this is true, how do we justify the loss of human life at such magnitude? Loss of even single life cannot be validated.
Would we better off at the end of all of this?
What is the cost of that?
I do not have answers to any of this. Neither am I able to learn any lessons (whatsoever they may be). My intellect and mind are not sharp enough to put it all into a larger perspective right now. It’s too overwhelming. Any rationalization is not working.
Today, with all my humility, I surrender.
Anyone out there who is feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and weighed down, know that you are not alone in this.
May we all heal!