We all stand on either side of life experiences that are thresholds. Once you've crossed the threshold, you can't go back, and you may see the world differently or be seen differently.
- bicycle fall
- incurable progressive disease
- necrotizing fasciitis
- insatiable hunger for human brains
That list is in no particular order. When it comes to certain negative experiences, the view from the inexperienced side can differ greatly from the view on the experienced side. The fear and stigma of the experience can actually far outweigh the actual cost of the experience. It's a sad thing for those that have crossed that threshold, realized that they've been through it, and have emerged affected, but basically the same person. We can serve as mentors and guides for others who see what path they're on, but are afraid to step through.
Time and time again, I've seen people on the inexperienced side invest far too much energy into anticipating and dreading crossing their threshold. It's tiring being on the other side, being able to walk them through it and to be analytical about it, only to be shunned. I'm still the same me. Yes, I went through it. That only means I've had the experience and can be more objective about it. I can be helpful. I have stories to share. Oh, the stories.
So please think twice next time you act like a vivist, all "Oh, I'm still alive, look at me, that makes me better than you: I don't have to shamble everywhere. La de da. I'm gonna kill zombies without getting to know them just because they're different and want to eat my brains."