• Mallory Garber

Facing the Fear of being Forgotten

Many people fear the looming thought of being forgotten, some may even call it a phobia, but can it be avoided? While there is no solution to forgetting, time capsules is one to remembering.

If there is one quality humans share universally, it would be fear. Nobody is actually “fearless.” It is how we use that fear that makes us different. Fear can be perceived in many ways. Sometimes we use fear as a mechanism to react to things irrationally. Sometimes we use it as a building block to overcome something. Over time fears can evolve into phobias. A phobia is defined as “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” The list for these are endless.

Some of them are very rational:

  • Aerophobia — Fear of flying

  • Achluophobia — Fear of darkness

  • Androphobia — Fear of men

  • Arachnophobia — Fear of spiders

On the other hand, some sound like someone just made them up to mess with people:

  • Arachibutyrophobia — Fear of peanut butter

  • Chronomentrophobia — Fear of clocks

  • Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia — Fear of long words…ironic…

  • Papyrophobia — Fear of paper

and the list goes on and on. Like really? Who comes up with this stuff? In someways I believe we use these phobias as an excuse to get out of things we do not really want to do. Could you imagine being assigned homework and saying “I can’t I have Bibliophobia (fear of books).” Some of these “phobias” are just basic human nature:

  • Atychiphobia — Fear of failure

  • Atelophobia — Fear of imperfection

  • Dystychiphobia — Fear of accidents

  • Hypochondria — Fear of illness

One of those human nature phobias that serve to be quite prevalent is Athazagoraphobia — fear of being forgotten. Let’s be honest, the thought has crossed your mind at one point or another hasn’t it? The thought could have occurred while being the most noticed or when you felt the most alone.

For me, as I approach the end of my college experience, the thought keeps looming closer and closer. Who knows if I will ever be this version of myself again? I am finally at a point in my life where I feel young, motivated and confident. I know that those feelings won’t last forever and I fear that my youth will go unpreserved. I find myself unable to live in the moment because I keep grasping for the memory while I am living it. I am afraid the best years of my life will eventually go forgotten not only to those around me, but myself.

I think that is what I fear most: forgetting the parts I appreciate most about myself.