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Fear of getting old


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I Ihave become increasingly afraid of growing old. I’m not sure where this is coming from but it hasn’t been pleasant. I’ve spoken with my therapist about it but it hasn’t really helped. I only receive generic responses. 

Here’s why I’m down: time seems to go by too fast. There is so much left I need to do before dying. Speaking of which...DYING! How terrible is that to think about? I constantly fear that I could become terminally ill and die young. 

I am quite unhealthy for my age. I never exercise. and eat a lot of junk and low quality food and smoke a bunch of cigarettes everyday. I 

I’m sure many of you experienced this. My question is...how do you overcome it?

How can I stop being afraid of aging?

I'm 26 .I've been afraid of growing old since I was very young. Society places such value on the young, telling us these are the "best days of our lives", and it seems the message is "the older you get, the worse life is". The older you get, the more your body and your mind fail, and the more unattractive you get (by society's standards anyway; there's so much pressure to look young and skinny, it depresses me how many older people spend their time trying to recapture their younger looks and body). Despite my wish to not think this way, the mindset of not only disregarding, but having an aversion towards older people, has no doubt bled into my own methods of thinking and affected my perception of self and of the world. I often fear of my own decline, and this fear can be paralyzing. And, it's really messed up, but sometimes I have intrusive thoughts and I imagine myself at a much older age, gaining weight and, well, looking old and awful. 

In short, how can I stop being afraid of the inevitability of aging?

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1 hour ago, Someone here said:

I Ihave become increasingly afraid of growing old. I’m not sure where this is coming from but it hasn’t been pleasant. I’ve spoken with my therapist about it but it hasn’t really helped. I only receive generic responses. 

Here’s why I’m down: time seems to go by too fast. There is so much left I need to do before dying. Speaking of which...DYING! How terrible is that to think about? I constantly fear that I could become terminally ill and die young. 

I am quite unhealthy for my age. I never exercise. and eat a lot of junk and low quality food and smoke a bunch of cigarettes everyday. I 

I’m sure many of you experienced this.

My question is...how do you overcome it?

I didn’t overcome any of it really. I started exercising, meditating and looking into the truth. More & more it all actually made perfect sense. 

1 hour ago, Someone here said:

How can I stop being afraid of aging?

Go inward and you’ll realized you aren’t aging & there isn’t a self which is afraid. 

1 hour ago, Someone here said:

I'm 26 .I've been afraid of growing old since I was very young. Society places such value on the young, telling us these are the "best days of our lives", and it seems the message is "the older you get, the worse life is". The older you get, the more your body and your mind fail, and the more unattractive you get (by society's standards anyway; there's so much pressure to look young and skinny, it depresses me how many older people spend their time trying to recapture their younger looks and body). Despite my wish to not think this way, the mindset of not only disregarding, but having an aversion towards older people, has no doubt bled into my own methods of thinking and affected my perception of self and of the world. I often fear of my own decline, and this fear can be paralyzing. And, it's really messed up, but sometimes I have intrusive thoughts and I imagine myself at a much older age, gaining weight and, well, looking old and awful. 

In short, how can I stop being afraid of the inevitability of aging?

First accept that not only are you going to die, but you’re going to lose everyone you love too. 

 

Much more so though, focus on what you want. That’s what all of this is really about. What you actually want is feeling amazing, but you can’t overcome to get there. It’s uncovered, not overcome, and that’s where all of the answers to these things come from. 

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Look for older people you truly admire/ ie truly admire older people. They are amaaaazing. Seriously.

 

Start caring about your health and loving the skin your in. Spend time in nature, it has an old soul quality to it, yet is utterly innocent to the presumed "superiority of youth" or of fear of aging.

 

This is one of my favorite photos ever, I just love everything about it, especially because she's doing what she loves, and it's like her skin echoes the texture of the ocean. You truly are your environment, and you are both ancient, timeless and wild. Ain't nothing really dying here. Observing my Grandmother and my husband's Grandmother transition was a display of some of the most beautiful strength and grace I've ever seen. Getting old is pretty bad ass. What's not to like? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, fopylo said:

Like, if this was a man version I would certainly not want to aspire to look like that when I'm old.


It doesn’t matter what you aspire to look like. Getting old ain’t optional. All your aspirations will be swallowed up by the inevitability of the passage of time. Your desperate attempts to cling to youth will all be proven futile. Your destiny is coming for you and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. So embrace all the wrinkles, and skin folds right now! It’s all coming for you! 😁

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Being old sounds beautiful. 

 

Can you imagine sitting down alone watching a sunset, having a whole library of memories to love and appreciate, giving guidance to everyone who will live on, seeing all the younger people like your own younger siblings?

 

Old people existing is enough to inspire hopefulness, they're proof that you can make it through all the confusion of the world.

🌞🌚

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6 hours ago, Someone here said:

Despite my wish to not think this way, the mindset of not only disregarding, but having an aversion towards older people

Oh my word, lol. Well, seeing how I might be one of the oldest, if not the oldest member here (I'm 52 and proud of it honey) you will probably just disregard anything I have to say. Your "aversion", as you say,  may be so strong that you won't even read this post once you see my age? 

 

Anyways, I learned in my early twenties that age will not protect you from illness, nor death. No siree, it certainly will not! So, to think being youthful is a shield from it is just an illusion. I've got many examples, but no need to rattle them off here. 

 

A lot of what you say comes from your ego programming that is fear based, so you really can't help it, but I hope you decide to work through it. So, you don't have these burdens all your life. That being said I do remember my very first wrinkle, lol, I was 35 and in nursing school it was a little crease between my brows. I pointed it out to ppl and said "look what nursing school has done. I got my first wrinkle!" Lol 😂 

 

The good news is...you aren't the "apparent" person anyways. So relax and enjoy the ride. 😎

 

 

 

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Im still young and immature. ..and I'm not experiencing any negative effects of my bad habits yet ..but I know once I get a little bit older..things will start to take a toll on me .

I can't help it when I see an old person passing by ..that I one day I will be in his condition. 

I know this probably sounds really stupid, but it's a fear I've had for years, since I was about 16. I'm 26years old now, and my fear of getting old is getting worse as the years go by. But... I'm not afraid of death. I actually prefer the thought of dying than being old, ugly, sick and irrelevant. I think about myself being 40-50-60 and then 70+ and I feel sick to my stomach. What makes it even more horrifying is that time will fly by, one day I'll be an old vegetable in a nursing home. 

I've suffered from anxiety, and to me I'd like to die before I leave my twenties. At least people will actually care when you die young, as opposed to just counting you as another statistic when you drop dead in yours 80s. I'm 26now, so I've got about 5-10 more years before the ravages of aging start to take place, but I'd like to go before it even happens. I see people in their 40s and higher, and I see what my parents lives are like, and it just looks awful... 

Eventually my crippling fear of getting old will just ruin my life and suck all the enjoyment out of it, so I'd rather just die and spare myself the misery. 

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5 minutes ago, Mandy said:

@Someone here Why do people enjoy horror movies? 

Idk maybe because  Horror movies are a lot like roller coasters. They offer you the chance to get a thrill that ramps up your heart rate without any of the danger that usually goes with the adrenaline response. They can be a good way to release tension, 

 

 

P.S sorry if I'm rambling negativity on this forum constantly . I should probably start a journal and express the hell outta myself . But I don't know how to structure a journal. Could you please help me out in this thing .I think you are a great writer .

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10 minutes ago, Someone here said:

Idk maybe because  Horror movies are a lot like roller coasters. They offer you the chance to get a thrill that ramps up your heart rate without any of the danger that usually goes with the adrenaline response. 

So it's like nothing actual is really at stake? 

 

How do you think Harry Potter feels when he is facing Voldemort? How do you think JK Rowling feels when she is writing the scene? What is the reality of Harry Potter and Voldemort both?  

10 minutes ago, Someone here said:

P.S sorry if I'm rambling negativity on this forum constantly . I should probably start a journal and express the hell outta myself . But I don't know how to structure a journal. Could you please help me out in this thing .I think you are a great writer .

I think that a journal is a fantastic idea. Thanks, but my best advice is to go with absolutely no structure, let it form itself if it wants to. The most important thing is the intention to see through suffering, let go of discord, and to let clarity and insight fill in. Just come up with a title that makes you laugh or reflects your intention and let go. Bring along some good music and a ridiculous sense of humor and imagination, check your bags of beliefs on the table right before the x ray machine. There's likely some stuff in there that won't be allowed to come with you to where it is you want to go. 

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4 minutes ago, Mandy said:

So it's like nothing actual is really at stake? 

 

How do you think Harry Potter feels when he is facing Voldemort? How do you think JK Rowling feels when she is writing the scene? What is the reality of Harry Potter and Voldemort both?  

I think HP was originally intended to be a children's story, so JKR likely made a clear villain for people to hate. She did the same thing to Slytherin house. If this was a work of complex fantasy novels for adults, she would've included more depth into the magic itself. She also would've put a different spin on the development of her characters.

Things changed a bit with Prisoner of Azkaban, when the series became more dark. And about Voldemort, things changed with Half Blood Prince, when we have learn more about him and his life.

HP and Voldemort were representing the fight between good and evil.  They were both fictional characters that the author intended to deliver a message behind.  I didn't watch the entire series though (only the first 4 parts ) so I think my knowledge on it is limited. 

9 minutes ago, Mandy said:

My best advice is to go with absolutely no structure, let it form itself if it wants to. The most important thing is the intention to see through suffering, let go of discord, and to let clarity and insight fill in. Just come up with a title that makes you laugh or reflects your intention and let go. Bring along some good music and a ridiculous sense of humor and imagination, check your bags of beliefs on the table right before the x ray machine. There's might be some stuff in there that won't be allowed to come with you. 

So I should write completely off the cuff ..not caring that people will read it? Because that's what stressed me out in my few Journals that I had in the actualized forum ..is I wasn't satisfied with my style of writing..and the fact that its a public journal and people will read it made me nervous and not write smoothly. So I stopped and gave up really early. 

 

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@Someone here I mean the Harry Potter example as an existential metaphor, Harry potter isn't real, Voldemort isn't real, death has no sting for the Author. Your true identity is not of the character, not of the body, not of the mind, but of the Author/Source/God/Nothingness/Whateverfloatsyourboat. 

29 minutes ago, Someone here said:

So I should write completely off the cuff ..not caring that people will read it? Because that's what stressed me out in my few Journals that I had in the actualized forum ..is I wasn't satisfied with my style of writing..and the fact that its a public journal and people will read it made me nervous and not write smoothly. So I stopped and gave up really early. 

Absolutely, don't care. Watch the thoughts come up that are blocking you from writing, and let them go. I suggest that you actually write them out. I often write especially discordant thoughts that break my flow of writing in parentheses. (What will people think?) Treat the journal like a piece of scrap paper you could care less about. Rather than honoring what you are producing, honor the way you feel. Ironically that's the only way "good writing" will happen, and even then, people generally have varying and very polarized opinions about the most renowned works out there. So why give a damn what anyone thinks? Give a damn about what YOU think, and most importantly about how those thoughts feel. Express, see and let go the discordant ones. See what fills in.  

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@Faith

 Because He was the epitome of not giving up.

Despite a crippling disease and doctors telling him that he would live just into his 20’s, he lived to ripe old age of 76.

Despite his condition, he made important breakthrough’s in our understanding of the universe, of black holes and of time in general.

And he did all this while sitting in a chair and speaking through a computerized voice.

You only die when your passion dies.😎

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1 hour ago, Someone here said:

Because He was the epitome of not giving up.

Yet, you want to die young, so that other ppl care?- (See quote below)

 

4 hours ago, Someone here said:

I'd like to die before I leave my twenties. At least people will actually care when you die young,

 

So, if I were you I'd research "irrational thinking" and ways to overcome it. Your therapist should be using cognitive behavioral therapy regarding this fear. 

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