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What are you afraid of ? Do you ever have strange dreams? We had the weirdest dream the other day. Do you want to hear about it? It was kind of scary.

We were trapped in a small glass elevator that was perched precariously atop a skyscraper. Just when we didn't think things could get any worse, we realized that the floor of the elevator was covered in spiders and snakes.

As we opened our mouths to scream, we woke up panting and sweating. Whew! We were glad that dream was over. It was like a nightmare compilation of some our worst fears.

Are you afraid of any of the things in our dream, like enclosed spaces, heights, spiders, or snakes? If so, it's understandable. Those are some of the most commonly feared things amongst both children and adults.

Sometimes kids feel self-conscious about their fears. The world often places a high value on bravery and not being afraid. However, fear is a natural human emotion that we're all born with. In fact, fear works a bit like an instinct that helps to protect us from things that can harm us.

For example, it's perfectly normal to experience fear when you encounter a barking dog or a tornado. Sometimes, though, fears go beyond situations that would cause most, if not all, people to be afraid.

I am afraid of so many things.

I am afraid of nuclear war, I am afraid of being no one. I am afraid of losing my home, I am afraid of dying alone. I am afraid of letting you down. I am afraid of letting you go. I am afraid.

I am afraid of immense pain. I am afraid of going insane. I am afraid of losing a game. I am afraid of the wrong person knowing my name. I am afraid to just lie here. I am afraid I’m a liar. I am afraid to close my eyes at night.

I finished writing a book recently. In doing so I learned a lesson that I wanted to share with you. I had to not only face my own fears but live with them and work with them. I did not want to write something that was entirely all my own, so I asked as many people as I could fit into a single book one question. A question I ask people every now and again in conversation. A question that really formulates a connection between people who have nothing in common.

“What are you afraid of?”

I have the ability to find myself within almost any person’s fear. That is what made this challenge so difficult. When I ask this question, I am met with heavy conversations, and not all of them have a solution, but they don’t need to.

I decided to try and bring forward an aspect of light to these fears by channeling them into comics. I wanted to do what I try to do in my own life and show people that their fears can’t control them, at least not entirely, if we work to understand them.

The first comics I drew were easier—people said they were afraid of aliens, bugs, meteors. After that, someone told me they were afraid of the dark. That one terrifies me too. So I put myself in the situation: I run away from the dark if I am afraid. So I wrote a comic called, “I’ll come back later,” Showing a ghost turning away from a dark room as if the room would change in a few hours.

We like to pretend our problems go away if we do not approach them. It becomes easier when I look at a situation from the outside in.

Soon things grew even more challenging.

Somebody messaged and told me they were afraid of getting Alzheimer’s and forgetting their loved ones. As someone who has the disease running in their family, this one was difficult to even read. I wanted to move on and not face it. I wanted to turn away from that dark room. This is when the book changed a little bit because I realized it was becoming important, it was embodying something that I try to live with every day.
emimodi replied 273 days ago

Emily Modi