Today school started an hour later than usual, so I was going to sleep in a little. I hadn’t turned my alarm off, though, and woke up at seven anyways. Since I knew a few of my friends would still be online at that time, I went on skype instead of going back to sleep.
After that, I just kept watching the clock. And before I even knew it, almost all the time had passed. I stayed in bed though. I couldn’t find the will to get up. And slowly, my geers in my mind started turning.
By then, I was trying hard not to break down and have a complete panic attack. Because that’s what was going on; my mind started thinking about time, how it moved too fast, how I had no control, how I just wanted it to stop, stop, stop!
… In the end, I stayed home from school since I was already that late and I only had one class.
But several times today, the panic returned. Over and over, and I have to distract my mind to the point of exhaustion to not give in and just… freak out. But it never goes away, ever. No matter how much you don’t think about it, it’s still there. So long as the concept of time exists, the fear will be there.
It never goes away.
That’s why chronophobia, the fear of time, is so horrible. You can’t run from it, you can’t hide from it. You’re trapped in a box, stuck with a constant ticking sound of a clock. Time keeps chasing, and you can’t run. You can’t stop it. You can’t slow it down. You can’t do anything. You have to learn to live with it. You have to accept that you will always, now and probably forever, be afraid, panic and freak out if you so much as think about it. And NOT thinking about it takes effort, which leaves you tense and on edge. It’s awful.
I’d much rather have an extreme fear of spiders instead……
I think I have Chronophobia. Or some sort of medical condition about time. I can’t think about time. The time I have, the time I don’t have, what time it is, what time it was when this or that happened–it all sends me into a constant state of worry. The due dates on homework assignments, I can’t fathom them. The dates of important events like concerts or plays, I don’t keep track of. I don’t own even own a calendar to track the things I have coming up; I just use dateless task managers and check them off as I go along. Even when I started my first year of high school, all I thought of was how fast the next 4 years are going to pass by. I hate missing oppertunities. The people around me who say “oh it happens every year, just do it next time!” make me want to strangle them. I always want to live my life to the fullest, live every day like it was my last. But I’m afraid I don’t have enough time to do that.
I took a memoir writing class in college once where I was taught to collect the interesting and defining events of my life and translate them to a cohesive story. Lucky for me, since the fifth grade I have recorded my thoughts on daily life in unique journals and diaries. Yet, for some intrinsic reason, I have never actually sat down to reread these archives. Until this class.
On my dorm room floor I paged through my own young, illegible handwriting. That was when I discovered a particular moment in the sixth grade when I realize that I was running out of time in my life.
Chronophobia is the fear of time. Pamela Lee defined it as “an experience of unease and anxiety about time, a feeling that events are moving too fast and are thus hard to make sense of.” Let’s face it, everyone in this modern microwave-society feels like there is not enough time in the day. But at age 10, I experienced an existential enlightenment moment where I realized that I would NEVER have enough time.
I was about to go to Jr. High and my best friend was moving to another state. Soon I would no longer have recess or the freedom to play elaborate roleplaying games complete with invisible talking animals. Some unrelenting force called Time would march on, aging me, moving me from one comfortable stage of life to another unknown “next step.”
I felt like Nick Carraway in the Great Gatsby when he said: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Fast-forward fourteen years. I am older but the age-old fear is still there (no pun intended). I find myself making a mental list of things I must do before they are socially unacceptable for my age. I fear missing out on anything. I tell myself, these are the best years of my life and I must enjoy them with white knuckled intensity. I must sprint through every hour of every day with wide eyes and a crazed smile so that I can experience and enjoy my life before it is too late.
Truth is, I spend my days more stressed than satisfied. The answer is not in the experience but in the acceptance. It is impossible to spend my precious time in continual contentment. C.S. Lewis once said that we are eternal creatures and we are made for eternity. So until I reach this eternal land beyond the horizon of time, lets strap in and just enjoy the ride.
I felt the ‘color’ took away from my lineart (cuz I spent hours on that lineart. guh, there’s gotta be an easier way to do that), so I’m gonna put up both the colored version and just the lineart. Couldn’t do a fully detailed color job cuz I gotta head to bed, but if anyone wants to color it, just ask! You’ll prolly do a better job, haha.
Anyway, I have been meaning to do a picture based on rebornica‘s Night Terror stuff for a while, and when I saw Chronophobia I couldn’t resist. Hope I got the details right!
His scythe is a bitch to draw. The design is awesome, though.
See more of my art here. Do not remove my comments!