#LEADER: What Was I Made For
You may have taken a gander at the cover, and considering the month, undoubtedly this issue’s topic is Halloween. But World Mental Health Day is also coming up in October, and if you’ve gotten a keen eye, you may have noticed the detail our wonderful illustrator put in the shadows. We’ve also talked to people, what scares them the most, and fear comes in so many forms, from something as simple as snakes and spiders, to existential troubles like existence who you are and what your purpose is. I think the most terrifying ones are the mental health fears, those which can wreak the most havoc, yet are the hardest dangers to spot.
I always thought my biggest fear was being stuck in a continuous sleeping paralysis (those months I had it every night was terrifying). However, the other day my mom called to me asking how it went. I told her how busy I was, lectures, my jobs, upcoming events, and all of that.
She told me she just looked forward to seeing me again, because she never did anymore due to all my obligations. She was afraid my niece and nephew would forget my face. I never thought about her unease in all of this, simply losing me to what she considers overwhelming responsibilities, that’s what she feared.
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And as I walked home from work that day, I stopped. I took a breath, felt the cool air grace every part of my skin, and took deep breaths feeling my lungs fill with air. And I cried. On the sidewalk, at 22:28 on a Monday evening.
Why did I cry? I thought about it, then some more, and then I didn’t want to anymore. Because I think all of us usually know the answers to many such questions, we just don’t want to face them. I was afraid that with every ounce of energy dedicated to making sure that people around me were happy, that they didn’t experience the desolation and loneliness I experienced, I was losing myself bit by bit. And was that really what I was made for, a vehicle for other’s satisfaction, yet my own family are not even part of my schedule? With every passing day that question gnaws at me, what was I made for?
Fear comes in many forms, to some, it could be birds or insects, to others, it could be rejection or isolation. Either we find a way to face them, or we succumb to them. But at least, there is consolation in that you’re never alone in your fears.