Like most of us, I have fears that may seem irrational to others. I have a fear of falling that prevents me from doing things like changing lightbulbs, getting on to escalators without panicking and going up or down a steep flight of steps. As I have grown older it has become worse. I can’t even ride on the top deck of a bus now because I’m afraid of going down steep steps backwards.
Things like going to the doctor or to visit a government department also make me feel fearful but in a different way. I feel like there is a big stone in my chest. I do what I have to do but really I just want to run away.
I am lucky though that I don’t have to experience the fears that many people have to face every day. The fear of being hungry, of having nowhere to sleep at night. I do think about this one a lot because I know that it can happen to anyone. A bit of bad luck, illness or debt and suddenly you are out on the street.
Imagine what that would feel like, losing your home. Suddenly all you have in the world is what you can carry with you. The night is coming and you don’t have enough money to rent even the cheapest room for the night. How do you sleep out in the open? How will you keep warm? How will you prevent your stuff from being stolen if you do manage to sleep? How do you protect your family when there is nowhere to go? How do you live with that fear every day maybe for years?