Fear- one of the strongest, or if not the strongest human emotion. A key to survival and the mother of anxiety.
Some fears are fast, unpredictable, like the fear of bees after being stung by one or a fear of dogs after being bitten by one. Some fears have a fucking good reason, like a fear of needles and injections. Some fears are completely irrational and no matter what you do if someone asks you “why are you afraid of bridges?” you just cannot find an answer- phobias. Some fears arise when you play games with your mind; and some when others do. These ones are menacingly slow in their development. These cause the most damage and the scars are so deep that even you won’t see them; that is until a counsellor points them out.
A heap load of glory is promised to the man who conquers his fear, although “conquering fear” is quite subjective. Our society sees “victims” of suicide as cowards, people who simply gave up. What you might not know is that we are all afraid of death. Somewhere deep down we all fear it. So why is welcoming it not an act of courage? No one chooses to die. They are forced to. People commit crime, and suicide is not a crime. It is a result of misdirected attention, if not just pure neglect and ignorance. But we can’t blame ourselves right? We are too caught up in our own lives, our own lives are fucked up. We have stories that we are desperate to share- no, not share because that would mean that you would listen to other peoples’ stories too. You might only be hearing it, but are you truly listening? It is actually quite therapeutic to have someone listen to your problems and how you became so damaged, but that bliss and a half an hour of breathing space ceases when you come to this sudden realisation that it’s only their job to listen. You see the problem with empathy is that sometimes you understand exactly why someone has done something to you, why they made you feel a certain way. And then you realise that you can’t really blame them. When you have no one else to blame, you blame yourself. These are the games you play with your mind.
I will be the first one to admit that I am afraid of a lot of things. I have a whole list written down.
#1: Death- Precisely why I am not suicidal. But believe it or not, when I think about death, I hardly ever think about mine.
#2: Love- Not loving enough or loving to deeply. Not being loved or being loved too much.
#3: Commitment- Missing out on other good things in life because you focus too much on one thing; or one person. Maybe, the grass is always greener on the other side. It always will be.
#4 Men- 16 December, 2012. A girl (Jyoti Singh) in New Delhi, India gets gang raped by six men in a bus. The menacingly slow fear that grows and feeds on every time someone told me that my skirt was too high, boys could see my legs, every time I was not allowed to wear a pair of trousers because boys could see the shape of my fucking ass, and every fucking time I hear someone ask, “Well, was she drunk?” “But wait, did she even say no?” “Why was she out so late at night?”
“Be a man, you probably enjoyed it”
“But, she was married”
I don’t blame anyone. I played tricks on my own mind, because that’s what a fear is, just tricks that lock you in your room and torture you until your room feels like a prison, and then your mind feels like a prison. I built a mountain out of a mole hill, the kind of mountain that is just so fucking weak that it requires just the slightest breeze to knock it down and come crashing into your head. The sad thing is, even in your room you are not safe.
So here it is, the words that I sell to a therapist. Here it is for free. One in five people suffer from a mental health condition. Someone close to you is screaming their lungs out, and I am sure you can hear it. But, are you listening? Will you give them a voice?
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light”- Plato.