The true significance of my denial wasn’t made clear to me, however, until I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). The anxiety that began to envelop me at that point was of an entirely different order than I’d ever experienced before. It began to interfere with my ability to function, which made plain to me that what my brush with death-twice-had taken from me was my ability to believe I would never die. Knowing intellectually that death awaits us is quite clearly a different thing from believing it, much in the same way knowing intellectually gravity will make you fall. Ultimately, being ill brought me to the realization that there was nothing special about me at all. Like everyone else, I was only a piece of meat that would eventually spoil.

I should point out-PTSD results when a person

has their deluded belief

that they’re going to live

forever stripped away

from them. —