Cherophobia

A piece by Triste


"I'm afraid."

We all are. Some express it, some don't. What IS Cherophobia? The fear of happiness. How does an oxymoron like that work, exactly? Ask those who go through it every instant, every moment, every single breath.

Man strives for happiness, for contentment. But what if one's own goals were to become his shackles, his nightmares? What if the calamity keeping him up at night were to be the very thing he's always strived to achieve? What if every single moment you felt joy instilled a deep fear in you, hit you with a sudden realization that euphoria is forever transient, never permanent. In words of a lay man, you could call it a "curse" perhaps.

When joy creeps on your soul and your constant laughter radiates nothing but rapture, your voice eventually cracks. Your pure giggles cough up this huge lump, in an epiphany that all this glee will come to an end sooner or later leaving nothing but a void deep inside. 
Somewhere out with your loved ones you're enjoying as part of the group when out of the blue a realization hits you. A realization that your absence might very well not be noted in "Your" circle. The basis of this fear may or may not be real, but the weight this thought bears on your soul is in every sense of the word, real. It's as if every incident in your life were like a long-awaited concert, eventually hyping you up - crescendo. Then leaving you physically and mentally exhausted in the end; decrescendo.

Visualising this abstract concept might help empathise with those living at it's mercy. It's like a bee too afraid to sting, because of it's own impending fatality. Or you could compare man to Icarus of the Greek mythology. When excitement, thrill, and even some degree of transient joy gets the better of you, you find yourself too close to the sun, losing your wings and along with them, your flight. "Happiness" is the sun to a man's Icarus. That is the lesson we've been taught, one that Icarus had to learn the hard way, and also the concept that continues to confine Cherophobics even to this day. The fear of seeing heights of success, only to find yourself at rock bottom a moment after.

From a religious viewpoint, Cherophobia signifies ungratefulness which is a sin. But our elders already established that we don't choose who we fall in love with, so why should it be any different for what we fear? The "what" here being happiness itself. If love can keep us up at night, why not fear? Why limit our fear to only creatures and apparitions?

To conclude this piece I'd chalk up my own personal experiences too, as catharsis. But I'm afraid. Afraid of my own inadequacy. Happy when I laugh, sad when I cry, incapable of unsullied bliss, even though I try. Because amidst it all, I'm afraid.

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