So it’s been awhile since I’ve done this blogging malarky, so bear with me.
Does anyone even read/visit this thing anymore? I don’t know, I’m not the world megastar I used to be. But never the less I’ve been wanting to get back into it for awhile but I sit in front of a computer all day at work; struggling with the desire to just stand up and yell “FUCK THIS” and walk out. So by the time I get home all I want to do is curl up into a ball and hide until I’m demanded to show my face again.
The other day a friend asked me what I fear the most; not the sort of fear you’d grant spiders or giant moths, but what really scares me. The thing that’s constantly in the back of my mind.
Too be honest, I’m pretty thick skinned and I rarely show my true emotions so I don’t often share a great deal with many people.
But I will tell you the one thing that’s constantly at the back of my mind, the one thing that worries me on a daily basis, the thing that fills my mind when I shut my eyes. For many people the one thing that they fear the most is death; that not knowing what lies beyond your final breath; for many they believe in a religion and it helps them day in and day out; believing that what you do when you’re alive will decide your ultimate fate whether it be heaven, hell or even reincarnation, but I personally believe that after we close our eyes for the last time what lies beyond is nothingness.
Do you remember what life was like before you were born? No of course you don’t because you didn’t exist and I think that after we die we’ll simply cease to exist again. No heaven, no hell, no reincarnation, we get our years on this Earth and when your time comes that’s it; you’ll just be no more.
So no death does not scare me, because once you’re dead you’ll feel no more pain, physical or mental and believe me I’ve had my fair share of both over my three decades on this planet.
So what really frightens me to my very core then? Quite simply, old age.
When I was younger I gave this notion very little thought, I didn’t have to worry or care about any sort of pension plan with whatever company I was working with.The first 16 years of my life were spent just waiting to leave school, I hated school. I got into a lot of trouble in school, no doubt you won’t find it hard to believe that I was in fact a little shit; always cheeky to teachers, consistantly getting into fights; suspension, expulsion, rejection, depression and a hell of a lot of unappreciation of others.
They told me constantly that school will be the best years of my life and in some ways they were because I had no responsibilities. Would I want to be back there? God no. Once I left school, the next 14 years of my life involved a lot of alcohol. All that mattered was smashing birds and drinking fizzy booze. Following a trend I got into a lot of fights, this time in the real world, usually not ones I started but ones I definitely finished. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun from my late teens to late twenties. I met some of the best people of my life, people who I would always want to be there for the rest of my life. I had more jobs than I can count on both hands; the thing is all through my life I never knew what I wanted to do and to some extent I still don’t, what I wanted to ultimately achieve. I excelled at every job I’ve ever had but I got bored easily, when I get bored I piss around, get myself into trouble which ultimately leads to me finding new work. I hated the fact that I always felt like I was letting my parents down; my family, my friends.
But then it finally happened; something I had dreaded for a long time, I hit 30 years old. People harp on about how being 30 is nothing; life begins at 40 and all of that crap but for me it’s a sign of getting older, having to grow up. Be responsible. All of that is just a sign of you getting older.
You see I’ve witnessed what happens to old people; whether you get cancer like my grandfather did and waste away until there’s nothing else for cancer to take; or you get something like Alzheimer’s like my grandmother and you lose everything that makes you you. I still remember the moment I was told my Grandad and Gran had died, both times I was out in some God awful club in Chesterfield, half way through ruining my liver when my mum texted me and told me he had gone and I remember breaking down into tears at the bar looking like an absolute idiot.
When my Gran was well into her alzheimer’s a few years later, I visited her when I went to Scotland to stay with my cousin; she didn’t recognize me, she couldn’t remember what she was doing, what she was saying, I often wondered if she remembered who she even was. She’s known me and my whole family for our entire lives; we had our ups and we certainly had our downs, we went through a lot but most importantly I loved her. Ultimately however, she didn’t recognize me, she didn’t even remember the name Peter. The disease had stripped her of these memories; to her at that moment I never existed and it was probably one of the most upsetting things to see in my life. She was just a shell of her former self and I knew at that moment that the Gran I had known since birth was already gone. I realised that this could one day be me and that is what frightens me more than anything else.
I’ve already started feeling it, aches, groans, illness, stuff that I never worried about when I was in my twenties. I haven’t admitted to many that I have in recent years begun forgetting things, I lose my train of thought when I’m speaking or doing things, constantly muddle up my words; it frustrates me because people will probably think that I’m an idiot who can’t speak properly and if this is how I feel now at only 30 years old, what will I be like in another 30-40 years?
In 40 years time will I end up in some horrific care home being looked after by people my age now who are disgusted by me because I can’t look after myself? Will I end up in the sort of care home my Gran was placed into not knowing who I or anyone else was? I always thought about how scared she must have been right up until her death, surrounded by people who she no longer remembered. I don’t want to end up like that but what scares me is I don’t have a choice in the matter. In one way or another I will inevitably end up in some sort of retirement/care home. (If I’m not taken before my time that is!)
Before that happens though I will have to watch as old age begins to take others that I love, my parents, I fear for the day when their eventual end date arrives, the same also goes for other members of my family and indeed my closest friends. I know I still have all of that pain to come and there is absolutely no way to prepare for it.
At 30 years old and still single I wonder if I’ll ever have a family of my own, I always thought you’d meet who you were meant to be with when you were younger in life; everywhere I look almost everyone who I went to school and college with are either married, have children or both. I envy them so much because their life has meaning. I worry if I’ll just grow old alone. I mean I don’t particularly feel lonely a great deal of the time but I in no way want to remain alone forever, I’m just tired of searching.
And when it eventually does happen to me, will I be alone? Or will I have people around that love me? Holding my hand into oblivion.