Catharsis Part 1 – Living with Fear – Do you have a Choice?

At around 11 AM, Reema is sitting on the sofa in her drawing room, thinking that she can now relax for the rest of her day. Just then, her gaze falls on the curtain of the west facing window, overlooking the next high rise tower in the apartments complex. Reema feels the sudden sense of a strange fear, making her uncomfortable to the point that she finds herself on her feet the next moment and heads towards the window hastily. Next, she finds herself instinctively pulling the curtain rightwards, ensuring that the few inches of the window pane which got uncovered by the curtain due to some reason, gets covered. She feels comfortable once she made sure that the entire pane of this window is covered by curtain, not leaving even a few millimeter of the pane uncovered – as was the case with all other windows in her flat.



It was a regular weekday morning for the 34 year old homemaker, who had just finished her morning sprint of seeing off her 6 year old kid to school by 9 AM, followed by finding everything from clothes to the office laptop for her hubby, before the sole earning member of the family, the hubby, leaves for office by 11 AM. Reema would be alone at home till 3 PM when her son gets back from school and would be busy with the kid afterwards till the time her hubby returns from work by 10 PM.

Once back to sofa after mending the curtain, the thought of this familiar discomfort crosses her mind, though not for the first time, but more intensely. Why was it so important for me to mend the curtain so urgently? After all, it was just few inches off… and it is pretty normal for most people if the curtain is off, but not for me, why? Her mind now goes to the numerous instances in her life where she had to bear taunts from so many people about her being massively uncomfortable with curtains off. Unable to find an answer for her queries, she decides to leave it for now, but somewhere thinks she must do something.

Days and months pass by and Reema continues her search for a remedy for herself. She realizes how lonely she is in her quest for a remedy. Simply, she could never share this problem with anyone in her life, or if at all she did, people never took it seriously. It was too easy for anybody to label her problem as a habit and suggest to her that she should try to get accustomed to being in an open environment. Though, the advice was admittedly logical, but it was not something possible for Reema, who used to start having pangs of fear with any window, door open in the house if she is alone. The remedy has to come from somewhere beyond the limited realm of logic. With this premise, Reema determined that the remedy could come from subtler aspects – may be subconscious mind, energy, or soul. While not looking for someone actively, knowing fully well the high chances of bumping into some quacks, she started keeping her awareness open for crossing roads with some therapists, practitioners or other people who deal in such subtle subjects. She started utilizing her casual conversations with people to know more about them, their occupations, their hobbies, interests, and skills; and kept waiting for the moment when the life presents her the possibilities.

Several months of wait got her a few not so successful experiments, one with a stress management counselor, and another with a life skill trainer. She attended sessions, tried to follow the stipulated regimen, things improved in her life overall, but not in her sudden sense of fear on being alone at home. Dejected, she started somewhat believing that she will have to live the rest of her life with this fear. The thought that she has already lived over 30 years with this fear gave her a solace and she thought “afterall, I have no other choice but to live with my fear, have I?


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