Maybe what I'm about to say makes me a huge hypocrite. But isn't that what being honest with yourself is all about-- admitting your dishonesties as well? In this literature, I wrote that A-s wouldn't necessarily die alone. And when talking about all A-s, I'm going to stand by that, because I can't speak for anyone other than myself. If you asked me in person, I would also stand by that, because let's face it-- it's what I have to say. I'll say almost anything to convince you that this is my orientation and not a disorder. But "dying alone" is like the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone's heard about it, but how many of us really know what it is? That's what I'd like to talk about today.
Now, the more logical part of me thinks that "dying alone" is just a paranoia. That, like large spiders crawling over your face in the dark, it's a frightening possibility that really happens to very few of us. Some of my phobias include cults and falling into a porta-potty. Will I ever join a cult or fall into a porta-potty? Probably not, but whenever I use a porta-potty, or hear anyone talk about a certain fruity powdered beverage, I freak out a little.
"Dying alone" might be the same; just an apocryphal legend that, like so many other things, is designed to scare young people into marrying. Sometimes I have bad days and I feel, in some primal part of me, that "dying alone" is real and will happen. By being in the 1% club, I've already beaten the odds in a major way, and maybe, I think, it's just not possible to beat them again. But if I see "dying alone" as just a phobia and not an eventuality, I feel better. Hell, it's not even a cool phobia. Unlike my other phobias, which are truly terrifying things that I would be honored to be afraid of, "dying alone" seems impotent in comparison.
I'll leave you with a last example: I used to be really scared of dogs. So I decided to volunteer at an animal shelter and walk the dogs, mainly huge pit bulls, Rottweilers, or mixes of the two. In the beginning, I think everyone's a little scared of the pit bulls. But you find that most of them are actually very loving, gentle animals when they're not trained to disembowel people. So don't avoid the dogs (unless they're foaming at the mouth), and if you're scared of "dying alone", don't try to put it out of your mind. When we do that, I think it just gets even more embedded in our psyche. Let's bring it out into the light. Let's talk about this, because when we do, we diminish its power. Or, just ask someone: "I don't want to die alone. Will you die with me?" to see what a bizarre concept it truly is.