Athazagoraphobia (say that 5 times fast)

I went to go see the movie Divergent with a friend the other day. I read the book when it first came out so I thought it was an alright adaptation. I felt things transferred well from book to screen. (Aside: Dauntless has the best outfits. Black is always very chic.) The scenes that stuck out the most was when Tris is tested with her worst fears and has to figure out how she will face them as well as also discovering what Four’s fears were. And it made me think about what I would be facing if I were to go through that test. (or God forbid a boggart)

I know I would probably see a bunch of Ronald McDonalds as well as dying by being crushed by a steamroller (thank you Who Framed Roger Rabbit for this fear). Perhaps being in complete darkness or rats with really long tails would show up too. But I know definitely what would be in that test would be the fear of being forgotten.

I don’t mean after I die if people forget about me. Hopefully I have a good legacy and I’ve made some impact on this world that I’m not completely wiped out from memory the moment I depart from this earth. No, that doesn’t bother me because I know where I’ll be after I die and what happens on earth after that will not be of concern to me.

No, what I’m afraid of is something happens to me RIGHT NOW and I died, and no one knew. For years. This is what happens when you’re single and read news reports of people dying and no one knowing they were missing.

Out of sight, out of mind.

When I read about how people accidentally die IN THEIR HOME and they aren’t found for months, even years that really scares me. Did not a single person think to go check up on them? Did these people not have friends? Did they not have family nearby? Did they have so little impact on this world that not a single person cared to see what happened to them?

I know I have this fear because I’m single. I don’t have anyone constantly keeping track of where I am. I could go on a drive and disappear and no one would know. I’ve been tempted to just stop posting on Facebook, Twitter, all the rest of my social media, not answer my phone,  and just disappear to see if anyone would notice. Part of me is terrified to do this because I’m afraid that no one would. The funny part is that I have had friends who have done this. They purposely wanted to disappear and when I did try to contact them, they actually got annoyed that I did because they wanted to be left alone. You just can’t win can you?

However, I realize that this is a completely selfish fear. I know this. And I know this because I think about this song.

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone

I don’t have to choose to isolate myself. As an extrovert, that would actually kill me faster to force myself to be alone all the time. Spiritually, I know I’m not alone. And physically, I can choose to not be a hermit. I mean, hopefully people would discover me after 5 days?

In the meantime, that’s also a good reminder for me to check in with other people. Just to see how they’re doing. Even if people are complete introverts and have horrible social anxiety, I would like to believe that one still wants to know that at least there is someone out there who cares to see how you’re doing. I just need to not fear.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)


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