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So I am old now and I’m lactose intolerant, like more than I was, but I love Salmon Dip (made with cream cheese and sour cream). I’m apparently dumb as well and not just for ignoring dairy issues, but I absent-mindedly added too much red pepper flake to my dip. As such I am discovering I’m now also that age where I am susceptible to spicy food digestion issues.

Anyway, I’m having these issues in private and on the throne as they say, really the only place you want to be when nature calls. My wife apparently heard me grimace and so she asked via text, “Anything I can get or do for you?” I replied to her text with this text, “Just Thor guys and prayers.” People, listen, it’s really difficult to laugh at auto-correct while your gut and butt feel like Mustafar.

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Literally everything I eat, or don't eat, gives me heartburn. Or would, I've been taking omeprazole every other day for years and most of the time, it's enough. Sucks, though.

I've recently discovered I can't eat bananas anymore, which is sad. But it's better than being constipated all the time.

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I am becoming terrified of death and passing of time.  Not invasive thoughts such as, "I am afraid to go on a plane/ go skiing/ or whatever because I will die".  Rather, the idea of non-existence in itself scares me...the when and how doesn't really matter.  This is only getting worse with age.  Any timer I set, like the microwave, prompts me to think, "that is just 2 minutes of my life gone".  

I am 41 and have two young children.  I always think to myself that when they are my age, I will be pushing 80.  Will I have any sort of impacting relationship with my grandkids?  I have been posting here for 21 years...OVER half my life and it just seems like yesterday when I started posting.  21 years from now I will be 62 and I am sure those years will go even faster.  I contemplate all of the time if I will have the guts to kill myself when I get too run down so I don't want to be a burden on my boys when they might be having families of their own.  I am almost as scared of withering away in a nursing home than I am of death...almost.

Aging itself sucks.  I would say overall I am in good health and my body is holding up well, but I am on auto-subscribe to eye and face wrinkle cream and Rogain.  Any little sign of aging gives me anxiety and can trigger a panic attack.  I know people make fun of Kenny Rogers and all these celebrities that get all these plastic surgeries, but I get it.  I will probably be in the same boat.  I know there are people that embrace aging and the changes in their bodies with grace.  That is awesome.  But these changes make me reflect on my own impending mortality.  I get anxiety thinking I die just before technology allows us to import our brains into a computer ala San Junipero in Black Mirror.  

I wish I wasn't an atheist.  I wish I did believe in an afterlife.  I wish that I could believe that when I died I will see my grandfather and pets that have passed on and see my boys a bit down the road.  I wish that this was some advanced virtual reality and my body is just an avatar of the real me ready to jump into another body when this one goes down.  But I know it's not no matter how hard I want to believe.  I wish that this life is just one way to observe time and when we die we will see time in its true form rather than this linear cause and effect world we are living in.  In the end, everything will decay into photons randomly wandering the emptiness that was the universe so what is the point anyways?

Watch this timelapse video of a journey to the end of time.  I watch it a few times a month usually while drinking alone.

But on the otherhand, ski season is here and I looking forward to taking my 4-year-old up (he is taking indoor lessons now) and I am pretty excited for my new ski goggles.  

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That’s a lot, Hobbes, but I can sympathize.

I have let go of the concerns of religions, but I do have faith in there being something. I dunno what it is, how it relates to the stories that have shaped human cultures, but I believe there is something else. Ultimately however I just remind myself that in this form of existence I will never know one way or another. The only thing I do know is that I have no control over the finality of the whatever this existence is. I do my best to learn, to listen, and to embrace ridiculousness. I do my best to make as many good choices as I can, to be a pebble thrown into still water, to find fulfillment in service, and to facilitate a peaceful environment for my family so that they can come to terms with whatever all this is to them.

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EDIT: This was mostly in response to Hobbes post but also Spider Man but I also thought they were one-in the same in this thread. So I guess my post is just directed at anyone who finds it relevant. END EDIT

First of all, you're only 41 and are therefore primed for the beginning of the ol Midlife crisis. So pretty sure these thoughts are super normal for a geezer of your age.

Secondly, you were born and raised in a society and a cultural system that venerates youth and equates youthfulness with beauty, vitality and worth. It also happens to be absolute bullshit. We lock our elders away in old folks homes, ignore their infinite wisdom and life experience and write them off as *silly grandpa*. There was a time when the experience of our elders was valued and they had high status amongst the people. Your fears of rotting away in an old folks home is warranted, because how we treat the elderly (generally speaking) is shameful. But it doesn't have to be and not everyone's latter life care is a horror story.

Thirdly, you're only 41 FFS. Go buy a fast car and dye your hair.

Fourthly, fear of death and how we go out is also pretty normal in that it's not a conversation many people are comfortable having. But I think it's an important conversation to have. Death is one of the few aspects of our lives we have the potential to be able to have a say or some kind of control over but we can't because talking about death and the practicalities and being pragmatic about it is still taboo. So your fears here are kind of normal too. I think if it bothers you a lot you should probably talk about it with your wife and eventually your kids when they are ready or old enough to process the thought of their dad dying. But again, the problem here isn't you. It's how we are trained to think about things and how we have been conditioned to not talk about these things which makes them big and scary and unknown.l

Fifth, aging is beautiful. There is wisdom in wrinkles and an abundance of life experience within frailty and there is absolute beauty in the fragility of old age. That said, getting old doesn't mean you need to become decrepit and incapacitated when you're 70 or even 80. Your physical health is in your own hands and you have the ability to look after your body and yourself or negelct it as you choose. Sure some things are out of our control but generally speaking your body will respond well to maintenance and care through eating well, exercises and all that. 

So I dunno if any of that resonates or helps but. 

Maybe reconsider the atheism thing. Certainty in the finite has got to be one of the most retarded concepts man has come up with. How can we be certain of fucking anything really? Hubris. 

 

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Also don’t get me wrong about my outlook I wrote up there to Hobbes. That’s the plan I go into each moment with. I still often end up feeling like Michael Keaton in Mr.Mom, sitting on the couch with a beer and accompanying beer belly, just barely breathing as I gaze off into the aether. Of course in these modern times my watch breaks the moment when it reminds me to breathe.

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I think the worst part of getting old for me is how hard cold affects me. Sit in one place under the air conditioner for a while and get up and it's like I can't even move. Or how I don't remember being this affected by seasonal allergies.

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5 hours ago, Odine said:

EDIT: This was mostly in response to Hobbes post but also Spider Man but I also thought they were one-in the same in this thread. So I guess my post is just directed at anyone who finds it relevant. END EDIT

First of all, you're only 41 and are therefore primed for the beginning of the ol Midlife crisis. So pretty sure these thoughts are super normal for a geezer of your age.

Secondly, you were born and raised in a society and a cultural system that venerates youth and equates youthfulness with beauty, vitality and worth. It also happens to be absolute bullshit. We lock our elders away in old folks homes, ignore their infinite wisdom and life experience and write them off as *silly grandpa*. There was a time when the experience of our elders was valued and they had high status amongst the people. Your fears of rotting away in an old folks home is warranted, because how we treat the elderly (generally speaking) is shameful. But it doesn't have to be and not everyone's latter life care is a horror story.

Thirdly, you're only 41 FFS. Go buy a fast car and dye your hair.

Fourthly, fear of death and how we go out is also pretty normal in that it's not a conversation many people are comfortable having. But I think it's an important conversation to have. Death is one of the few aspects of our lives we have the potential to be able to have a say or some kind of control over but we can't because talking about death and the practicalities and being pragmatic about it is still taboo. So your fears here are kind of normal too. I think if it bothers you a lot you should probably talk about it with your wife and eventually your kids when they are ready or old enough to process the thought of their dad dying. But again, the problem here isn't you. It's how we are trained to think about things and how we have been conditioned to not talk about these things which makes them big and scary and unknown.l

Fifth, aging is beautiful. There is wisdom in wrinkles and an abundance of life experience within frailty and there is absolute beauty in the fragility of old age. That said, getting old doesn't mean you need to become decrepit and incapacitated when you're 70 or even 80. Your physical health is in your own hands and you have the ability to look after your body and yourself or negelct it as you choose. Sure some things are out of our control but generally speaking your body will respond well to maintenance and care through eating well, exercises and all that. 

So I dunno if any of that resonates or helps but. 

Maybe reconsider the atheism thing. Certainty in the finite has got to be one of the most retarded concepts man has come up with. How can we be certain of fucking anything really? Hubris. 

 

I am assuming positive intent that you are only meaning to help.  However, many of your comments are insensitive, dismissive, and potentially even dangerous.  

1.  First, you are assuming these thoughts are new.  I have always had these thoughts since I was a kid and yes, most people are afraid of death.  My issue is that it is an invasive thought that gets triggered throughout the day.  Most people can microwave popcorn or set a timer without causing at the very least a sense of anxiety or at the very worst a full-blown panic attack.

2. This has nothing to do with societies view of beauty.  Me getting wrinkles is just a reminder to me that I am going to die and thus a significant trigger for my anxiety.

3.  Saying "your only 41 FFS" is dismissive and potentially dangerous.  This, like most other mental health issues, has a physiological component and some of the issues are resolved through medication.  By saying, "your only 41" or "what you are feeling is common" discourages people from seeking out professional mental health support.  You don't know to what degree that individual is impacted.  This mentality is why mental health issues are so prevalent in our society.  For example, half of all lifelong mental health issues emerge before the age of 12 and nearly 90% emerge before the age of 18 but are dismissed through thinking just like this... "you are just a kid/ teen, what do you have to be depressed about?".  

4.  Again, by you saying, "this is normal" is dismissive.  You don't know how this impacts my life.  

5.  I am not scared of aging.  It is the dying thing.  Aging just reminds me of dying. 

Finally, if you are really here to help, you don't call someone's beliefs retarded.  Once again, you are dismissive of my life's experiences and spout off unqualified opinions rather than seeking to understand.  

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30 was better than 20, but not sure 40 is going to be better for me. I thought I was on target to be in the best shape of my life when I hit 40, but kid stress and now this pandemic has set me back. I generally am pretty fit the last few years, and I used to do stuff like dye my hair every 6 weeks to hide the gray. Haven't done that since February, but even then it was seeming kind of futile. I don't have time to have perfect hair and makeup, so I just kind of run around with scraggly hair and uneven skin tone.

I think I'd go for a tummy tuck if given charitably, but I know I would never spend money on that myself. I am tired of grinding at the gym, though. I enjoy exercise when I'm not stressed as hell, but after a few years of not being able to get rid of the mom tummy, I'm realizing that the gym isn't going to get rid of it. But I do it for me, at this point. But I also haven't really exercised since May, because I was just so freaking tired from holding it all together for everyone else in my family.

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I can't sleep for more than 6 hours without waking up feeling like I was hit by a truck. 

2 hours ago, Destiny Skywalker said:

30 was better than 20, but not sure 40 is going to be better for me. I thought I was on target to be in the best shape of my life when I hit 40, but kid stress and now this pandemic has set me back. I generally am pretty fit the last few years, and I used to do stuff like dye my hair every 6 weeks to hide the gray. Haven't done that since February, but even then it was seeming kind of futile. I don't have time to have perfect hair and makeup, so I just kind of run around with scraggly hair and uneven skin tone.

I think I'd go for a tummy tuck if given charitably, but I know I would never spend money on that myself. I am tired of grinding at the gym, though. I enjoy exercise when I'm not stressed as hell, but after a few years of not being able to get rid of the mom tummy, I'm realizing that the gym isn't going to get rid of it. But I do it for me, at this point. But I also haven't really exercised since May, because I was just so freaking tired from holding it all together for everyone else in my family.

I've completely given up on trying to look good. I actually need to throw out all of my current makeup because it's all expired at this point. I'm pretty sure the last pregnancy left me with diastasis recti, and at this point, it'll probably require surgery to fix. My abdomen between my ribs and bellybutton is rock hard and sticks out really oddly, especially if I flex. The rest of me is fat and jiggly. I do really need to be more active again, but that's actually harder with Luke (ironically). 

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6 hours ago, Hobbes said:

I am assuming positive intent that you are only meaning to help.  However, many of your comments are insensitive, dismissive, and potentially even dangerous.  

1.  First, you are assuming these thoughts are new.  I have always had these thoughts since I was a kid and yes, most people are afraid of death.  My issue is that it is an invasive thought that gets triggered throughout the day.  Most people can microwave popcorn or set a timer without causing at the very least a sense of anxiety or at the very worst a full-blown panic attack.

2. This has nothing to do with societies view of beauty.  Me getting wrinkles is just a reminder to me that I am going to die and thus a significant trigger for my anxiety.

3.  Saying "your only 41 FFS" is dismissive and potentially dangerous.  This, like most other mental health issues, has a physiological component and some of the issues are resolved through medication.  By saying, "your only 41" or "what you are feeling is common" discourages people from seeking out professional mental health support.  You don't know to what degree that individual is impacted.  This mentality is why mental health issues are so prevalent in our society.  For example, half of all lifelong mental health issues emerge before the age of 12 and nearly 90% emerge before the age of 18 but are dismissed through thinking just like this... "you are just a kid/ teen, what do you have to be depressed about?".  

4.  Again, by you saying, "this is normal" is dismissive.  You don't know how this impacts my life.  

5.  I am not scared of aging.  It is the dying thing.  Aging just reminds me of dying. 

Finally, if you are really here to help, you don't call someone's beliefs retarded.  Once again, you are dismissive of my life's experiences and spout off unqualified opinions rather than seeking to understand.  

Look, I think you entirely missed the spirit in which I posted that. I am terribly sorry if I trivialised your anxiety which was not my intent. I was simply trying to re assure you that you are not alone. It is hard to grasp the gravity of someone's struggle or thoughts they casually put forth on a message board. So don't get pissy when someone unqualified responds to your thoughts in a manner you find insensitive when you put it all out there casually for unqualified people to respond to.

I personally think fear of death is utterly pointless as it is a concept life forced me to reconsile when I was eight. So we both have our life history feeding this conversation.

What you see as me being insensitive was me trying to bring some levity to a fairly heavy conversation, again I was unaware of the severity of your anxiety. You can blame people slinging the word *anxiety* around as a descripor for anything ranging from "that makes me uncomfortable" or "I get very midly stressed about .." to "I have panic attacks and crippling psychological trauma from anxiousness".  So it's pretty hard to know where one sits when they claim anxiety when we live in a world where everybody is claiming anxiety for every minor stress.

As for the atheism thing, well that's a whole nother topic for another day. I should clarify again that that was intended to be light hearted with some truth in it. But I stand by my belief that humanity's certainty about certain things (the non existence of the spiritual for example) is hubris. I'm no theist, and I'm not particularly down with the Big Man upstairs but I can't say for certain anything I've experienced or believe to be true is the gospel. Again, I'm not trying to shit on your beliefs but perhaps being open to the idea that things beyond our ken exisit, that there is a possibility our understanding of life and death is very limited in scope, and that there is a possibility that corporeal finality does not extend to the spirit MIGHT be ideas that one might find comforting if they are struggling with the idea of death. As apposed to being certain on the finality of everything.

 

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4 hours ago, Odine said:

Look, I think you entirely missed the spirit in which I posted that. I am terribly sorry if I trivialised your anxiety which was not my intent. I was simply trying to re assure you that you are not alone. It is hard to grasp the gravity of someone's struggle or thoughts they casually put forth on a message board. So don't get pissy when someone unqualified responds to your thoughts in a manner you find insensitive when you put it all out there casually for unqualified people to respond to.

I personally think fear of death is utterly pointless as it is a concept life forced me to reconsile when I was eight. So we both have our life history feeding this conversation.

What you see as me being insensitive was me trying to bring some levity to a fairly heavy conversation, again I was unaware of the severity of your anxiety. You can blame people slinging the word *anxiety* around as a descripor for anything ranging from "that makes me uncomfortable" or "I get very midly stressed about .." to "I have panic attacks and crippling psychological trauma from anxiousness".  So it's pretty hard to know where one sits when they claim anxiety when we live in a world where everybody is claiming anxiety for every minor stress.

As for the atheism thing, well that's a whole nother topic for another day. I should clarify again that that was intended to be light hearted with some truth in it. But I stand by my belief that humanity's certainty about certain things (the non existence of the spiritual for example) is hubris. I'm no theist, and I'm not particularly down with the Big Man upstairs but I can't say for certain anything I've experienced or believe to be true is the gospel. Again, I'm not trying to shit on your beliefs but perhaps being open to the idea that things beyond our ken exisit, that there is a possibility our understanding of life and death is very limited in scope, and that there is a possibility that corporeal finality does not extend to the spirit MIGHT be ideas that one might find comforting if they are struggling with the idea of death. As apposed to being certain on the finality of everything.

 

I know what you meant well, that is why I intentionally started with, "I know you mean well".  I appreciate your apology and I know your intent was not to trivialize anything. 

By saying, "a lot of people have that same fear" is something called psychological invalidation and it is something that a lot of well-meaning people do that causes significant, long-term harm in children and is a contributing cause to adult depression and suicide.  To quote one of the articles, "Reasons Why People Invalidate: Unfortunately, often people are unaware that their words or behaviours are invalidating. Instances of invalidation may be perceived by the invalidator as an attempt to help a person move on from a difficult emotion or experience..."

It seems you had a tough experience when you were eight.  Let's say you lost your mom in a car accident.  You come to me and explain what happened.  If I say to you, "everyone loses a parent" or "some people have lost both parents", although my intent is positive, it does little to make you feel better and will often make you feel worse possibly leading to larger mental health concerns.  I know this is an extreme example, but it doesn't matter if it is the death of a loved one, your child upset about losing a friend because you had to switch his daycare, or your friend is upset that the ice cream machine was broken at McDonalds.  The fact that the ice cream machine breaks down a lot doesn't help me with the fact that I am pissed about not getting my Oreo McFlurry.  

I understand you are not a mental health professional, but that makes this all the more important.  So to tie this to the thread, as people get older, we tend to do this causing withdrawal, loneliness, anger, depression and often suicide.  

 

 

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Again, I made an assumption that because this was a topic open for discussion in a casual thread in a message board that any anxiety around the issue was not significantly acute/severe. Like I said, people claim * anxiety* around all sorts of things these days. I've had coworkers claim dishes and washing up causes them anxiety and therefore they should be exempt. So forgive my cavaliere approach. Were this an easier to read scenario, such as face to face I would have been far more accomodating. 

I should clarify that I don't believe I was dismissive of your anxiety, just that the cause of it (fear of non existence?) is pretty rational and common. From my experience I have felt comfort from knowing others experience the same thoughts, mental states etc. But I concede that everyone is different. I also made an assumption that aging was a source of irritation to you not the trigger of severe anxiety. So that is why I may have been insensitive.

Also, statements like aging sucks piss me off. Because it's not the process of aging that sucks, it's how people deal (or don't deal) with shit that does.

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5 hours ago, Odine said:

Again, I made an assumption that because this was a topic open for discussion in a casual thread in a message board that any anxiety around the issue was not significantly acute/severe. Like I said, people claim * anxiety* around all sorts of things these days. I've had coworkers claim dishes and washing up causes them anxiety and therefore they should be exempt. So forgive my cavaliere approach. Were this an easier to read scenario, such as face to face I would have been far more accomodating. 

I should clarify that I don't believe I was dismissive of your anxiety, just that the cause of it (fear of non existence?) is pretty rational and common. From my experience I have felt comfort from knowing others experience the same thoughts, mental states etc. But I concede that everyone is different. I also made an assumption that aging was a source of irritation to you not the trigger of severe anxiety. So that is why I may have been insensitive.

Also, statements like aging sucks piss me off. Because it's not the process of aging that sucks, it's how people deal (or don't deal) with shit that does.

It is all good man.  You are right, sometimes it is hard to read here. 

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I just wanted to come in here and say I feel freaking great!  

Ok ok, maybe not all the time....I have more anxiety than I use to have.  In fact, in my younger days, I had no anxiety at all.  I've got arthritis in my hands and fingers,  my feet and ankles swell to the size of softballs when I'm on them too long.  

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For me, aging is only a bother because of the things I can't do like I did when I was in my 20s, like drink. It takes much longer to get a buzz and by the time i do, I'm ready to pass out. And a really good time takes more than 2 days of active care to recover. SO not worth it .

 

And time goes faster the older you get. The 90s seem like they just happened MAYBE 10 years ago to me. I feel 40 something, not 62. I LOOK 89.

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