Apeirophobia - Fear of eternity

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Sharp

Senior Member
May 5, 2009
2,552
7
38
#1
Hi friends

I'm not sure if I still count as a young adult at 31 years old, but I certainly hope so!

I've had a problem since I was about 10 or 11, which I've only recently discovered has a name - apeirophobia. I have an intense fear of the concept of eternity. It's so bad that I have to force myself not to think about it, by doing anything that will take my mind off it - the more distracting the better. Sometimes I lie in bed at night in mental agony with my heart beating fast, absolutely dreading the sheer amount of time that awaits me in the future. I have to get up out of bed and distract myself with something.

I don't know if many Christians give this topic much thought - most of our focus seems to be on matters relating to this life and just getting to heaven. I'm not afraid of heaven - I am afraid of existing forever. The enormity of existing on an unending basis is something that I think most people's minds don't comprehend very well. For me, I think about it every single day and wonder what activities could possibly occupy my time for an eternal amount of time.

I know what all of us know about heaven. It will be perfect. There will be no pain or sin. God will be there with us. But what will we be DOING? I feel guilty and sinful sometimes for being afraid of this. I of course want to be with God. I know that everyone lives forever - it's just that some people will live in heaven forever and some will live in hell forever. Sometimes I find myself wishing I was never born because of this issue. I wonder to myself whether never having being born would just be easier than living forever, and I find myself wishing that when I get to heaven I'll be able to just sleep after a while and not exist. How could we not get bored after a literally unlimited amount of existence? I hate to say it but I find myself not wanting to live forever.

I've heard it said that heaven exists outside of time so the passing of time as we know it on earth will not happen. I can't comprehend how this would work and I'd love it if someone could explain it to me.

If anyone else has been living with this problem I'd love to hear any advice, because there really isn't much on the internet about this, and I doubt that most Christian counselors would even know what the condition is.

Thank you
Sharp
 

Pipp

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2013
4,021
347
83
#2
I'm sorry to hear of your fear. I've often tried to wrap my head around eternity and I just cant... it's to big to completely comprehend. I don't think you'll ever run out of things to do...if we praised the Lord for every blessing he's given us it would take all of eternity. God bless you...I pray God comforts your heart and mind so you can rest.
 

Stranger36147

Senior Member
Jun 13, 2015
707
67
28
#3
I agree, Sharp. I try to keep my mind off it as well. I don't even like to say words such as 'forever' or 'eternal'. Those words scare me more than anything.
 

Sharp

Senior Member
May 5, 2009
2,552
7
38
#4
I agree, Sharp. I try to keep my mind off it as well. I don't even like to say words such as 'forever' or 'eternal'. Those words scare me more than anything.
So how do you cope with your fears?

Is there something wrong with people like us? Are we doing something wrong like thinking about this in the wrong way?
 

stillness

Senior Member
Jan 28, 2013
726
19
18
63
#5
So how do you cope with your fears?

Is there something wrong with people like us? Are we doing something wrong like thinking about this in the wrong way?
Very good question, the simplest answer, "Lean not on your own understanding but trust in the Lord." We do not know God in our understanding" but little by little, as we walk in Love. Jesus gave us a remedie for this, obeying His word. "Take no thought for tomorow, sufiscient to the day is it's sorrow." All we have is today, we dont have tomorow: getting up in the morning it's today. The conflict is not with you but between time and eternity. Your atempting to take eternity (God) in your hands. But thanks for pointing out the trouble of doing that, it ocurs that in tbe past i seemed to be cought in a seeming never ending midle of recovery: bearing the cross, rather than, "Now is the accepted time of renewal." "His mercy is new everymorning." Accep your limitations and dont take things in your hands again." The Lord bless you and keep you and give you His peace as wholeness.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
3,269
479
83
#6
Hi friends

I'm not sure if I still count as a young adult at 31 years old, but I certainly hope so!

I've had a problem since I was about 10 or 11, which I've only recently discovered has a name - apeirophobia. I have an intense fear of the concept of eternity. It's so bad that I have to force myself not to think about it, by doing anything that will take my mind off it - the more distracting the better. Sometimes I lie in bed at night in mental agony with my heart beating fast, absolutely dreading the sheer amount of time that awaits me in the future. I have to get up out of bed and distract myself with something.

I don't know if many Christians give this topic much thought - most of our focus seems to be on matters relating to this life and just getting to heaven. I'm not afraid of heaven - I am afraid of existing forever. The enormity of existing on an unending basis is something that I think most people's minds don't comprehend very well. For me, I think about it every single day and wonder what activities could possibly occupy my time for an eternal amount of time.

I know what all of us know about heaven. It will be perfect. There will be no pain or sin. God will be there with us. But what will we be DOING? I feel guilty and sinful sometimes for being afraid of this. I of course want to be with God. I know that everyone lives forever - it's just that some people will live in heaven forever and some will live in hell forever. Sometimes I find myself wishing I was never born because of this issue. I wonder to myself whether never having being born would just be easier than living forever, and I find myself wishing that when I get to heaven I'll be able to just sleep after a while and not exist. How could we not get bored after a literally unlimited amount of existence? I hate to say it but I find myself not wanting to live forever.

I've heard it said that heaven exists outside of time so the passing of time as we know it on earth will not happen. I can't comprehend how this would work and I'd love it if someone could explain it to me.

If anyone else has been living with this problem I'd love to hear any advice, because there really isn't much on the internet about this, and I doubt that most Christian counselors would even know what the condition is.

Thank you
Sharp
I think quite a bit about Eternity.. Wondering what we will be doing.. But i have never feared it because i know that upon the resurrection i will be transformed into a perfect eternal being.. I will be a different type of being to what i am today..

I think your fear might be based on the fact that you in your current state of existence ( carnal flesh imperfect state ) are imagining yourself being in eternity existing in your current state of being.. Now if you read and believe the Message of God you will believe that you will be transformed into an eternal perfect being.. Maybe try to imagine yourself as being an awesome glorious eternal perfect being and then maybe Eternity will not be something that you will fear..

But the problem is being that we are carnal flesh imperfect beings our best imaginings cannot do out eternal selves justice.. So while we can day dream about how perfect our eternity will be we will not be able to imagine how awesome it will actually be.. Our minds just cannot comprehend such awesomeness,,
 

Sharp

Senior Member
May 5, 2009
2,552
7
38
#7
I think quite a bit about Eternity.. Wondering what we will be doing.. But i have never feared it because i know that upon the resurrection i will be transformed into a perfect eternal being.. I will be a different type of being to what i am today..

I think your fear might be based on the fact that you in your current state of existence ( carnal flesh imperfect state ) are imagining yourself being in eternity existing in your current state of being.. Now if you read and believe the Message of God you will believe that you will be transformed into an eternal perfect being.. Maybe try to imagine yourself as being an awesome glorious eternal perfect being and then maybe Eternity will not be something that you will fear..

But the problem is being that we are carnal flesh imperfect beings our best imaginings cannot do out eternal selves justice.. So while we can day dream about how perfect our eternity will be we will not be able to imagine how awesome it will actually be.. Our minds just cannot comprehend such awesomeness,,
It's still the sheer amount of "time" that eternity encompasses that I can't comprehend. I just don't know how I will fill my "days" with a never-ending amount of "time". I feel like I would just want to go to sleep and not be conscious. I feel like no matter how good it will be, I won't want to be doing it literally forever.
 

Sharp

Senior Member
May 5, 2009
2,552
7
38
#8
This issue is having a huge impact on my faith. Every time I think about something to do with God or the bible or anything remotely religious or spiritual, I get scared, and I force myself to stop thinking about it and stop engaging with my faith. It has got to the point now where I think I need to take action to do something about this. But I don't know what that should be. Is this the kind of thing that a Christian psychologist could deal with?
 
Apr 17, 2018
6
0
0
#9
Hi, Sharp!
Going to therapy will help you!
I became a Christian when I was a young girl of eight; however, I'm only just now beginning the true grace and love of Jesus. I went through a lot of medical trauma when I was younger and OCD came from it. It became really bad and I couldn't even read the Bible or pray. The OCD would get too loud.
You're definitely not alone in what you have been talking about. If you would like the number for the therapist I go to, pm me!
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#10
Hi friends

I'm not sure if I still count as a young adult at 31 years old, but I certainly hope so!

I've had a problem since I was about 10 or 11, which I've only recently discovered has a name - apeirophobia. I have an intense fear of the concept of eternity. It's so bad that I have to force myself not to think about it, by doing anything that will take my mind off it - the more distracting the better. Sometimes I lie in bed at night in mental agony with my heart beating fast, absolutely dreading the sheer amount of time that awaits me in the future. I have to get up out of bed and distract myself with something.

I don't know if many Christians give this topic much thought - most of our focus seems to be on matters relating to this life and just getting to heaven. I'm not afraid of heaven - I am afraid of existing forever. The enormity of existing on an unending basis is something that I think most people's minds don't comprehend very well. For me, I think about it every single day and wonder what activities could possibly occupy my time for an eternal amount of time.

I know what all of us know about heaven. It will be perfect. There will be no pain or sin. God will be there with us. But what will we be DOING? I feel guilty and sinful sometimes for being afraid of this. I of course want to be with God. I know that everyone lives forever - it's just that some people will live in heaven forever and some will live in hell forever. Sometimes I find myself wishing I was never born because of this issue. I wonder to myself whether never having being born would just be easier than living forever, and I find myself wishing that when I get to heaven I'll be able to just sleep after a while and not exist. How could we not get bored after a literally unlimited amount of existence? I hate to say it but I find myself not wanting to live forever.

I've heard it said that heaven exists outside of time so the passing of time as we know it on earth will not happen. I can't comprehend how this would work and I'd love it if someone could explain it to me.

If anyone else has been living with this problem I'd love to hear any advice, because there really isn't much on the internet about this, and I doubt that most Christian counselors would even know what the condition is.

Thank you
Sharp
I admit my mind is blown with the same question. What do we do with all that time?

BUT, like you said, there probably isn't going to be time. Have you ever done something that was so much fun, you hated that that time ended? And you wonder, "Where did the time go?" Better yet, ever have that feeling after talking with someone? Just talking yet it doesn't seem like you had enough time with that person.

I picture it more like that.

And remember that the angels have been doing this for at least 6000 years that we know about. Are they outside time or in it? Whichever, they truly enjoy being with God.

And they aren't humans. What is that microbe right next to you doing right now? How about that sparrow not more than 200 yards from you right now? What's it doing with its time? Does it ever get upset it can't draw, or make cookies, or go to Sumatra? How does it live with such a short life and so limited with what it can and can't do? Because, honestly, we're speculating from lack-of-knowledge. We aren't what we will be in heaven. But we do know God isn't one for giving any of his creation nothing to do. Even that grain of sand on the beach is doing something. It's helping to make a beach.

I just go with God knows what he's doing and whatever his plans are we will have joy, not merely the absents of sorrow. We will have joy!

How can that go wrong when joy never ends?
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#11
So how do you cope with your fears?

Is there something wrong with people like us? Are we doing something wrong like thinking about this in the wrong way?
"Phobia." Says right there, "something is wrong." I don't have your phobia. I have bugphobia. I know it is "wrong," but so what? Not like that's the worst thing wrong with me. I consider it appropriate freak out. I freak out as needed, and do what is in my power to do to avoid bugs enough to have that freak out. (Insecticide is my friend. lol) And, when I see one anyway, (gardener, so going to see them), I withhold the fear until appropriate. (Wait for them to leave. If they head toward me, get away.) And freak when appropriate. (One lands on me with tickly little feet crawling on my skin.)

As for not doing stuff because you fear forever? How about doing stuff because the stuff to do is to be done now? Not in that forever-time-slot.

You do love the Lord, right? How about focusing on you do it for love?

Truthfully, I think too many do stuff for God for the eternal-vacation-plan. (Heaven.) You have one up on them. Not looking for that as a goal, so whatever you do, you do for the Lord. Not for self.

T'ain't a bad deal.

And, I suspect at the end of your life when you face the forever bit? It will be something like thinking your going to the dentist for multiple root canals, only to find out it's a surprise, your teeth are fine, so you're going to the ice cream parlor instead.

My surprise will be finding out the beauty of God when he teaches me the beauty of bugs. Right now? NO beauty in bugs! None! Zip! Useless, disgusting, gross, foul creatures. But he will convince me otherwise.