The last time I faced my fear of heights was when we attended a concert in Manchester we had been allocated top circle seats. As soon as I got up there my heart started to race, I felt dizzy and had the constant feeling of being pulled down the many floors below us. Unable to bear it anymore I had to leave my family and was offered a seat on the ground floor.
I’m not sure where it all stared but I know growing up I had many phobias. I was the kid who others would bring the hairy caterpillars to just to get some free entertainment from my extreme reaction. Not funny at all.
As I grew up some of the phobias disappeared and some I have been forced to overcome. The children have been my greatest motivation for overcoming most of them. I figured that I couldn’t speak to them about being brave and then have them see me freak out over a spider. However the fear of heights has lingered. I don’t do theme park rides or anything like that.
How boring is that?
Yesterday was different though. I got on the ‘big wheel’ at Liverpool Docks expecting to throw up, get dizzy and have to press the emergency buzzer. Seriously!
How did I get myself to do it?
Well, it was kind of accidental. I was with my friend and our kids, my youngest didn’t want to go in and as a mum I did my job, I encourage her to. Looking back now it was as if I was telling her that she was not allowed to fear but I was.
So after making the payment I waved them on and as I stepped back the guy behind the till said ‘you can go in too if you want’. I think he couldn’t resist the charm of the 3 yr old who was waving her tiny hands through the window.
At that point something gripped me and I thought – I had to try. I had to at least make an effort for the sake of the kids.
As we started the ascent I prepared myself for the worst the only reassurance l had the was the sight of the emergency buzzer above us. My friend was kind enough to try and distract me with a video. But my mind was racing I was beginning to imagine all sorts. I kept waiting for the horrible feeling of being suspended up in the air but it didn’t come.
My eyes all along avoiding to look outside the capsule and especially down below us. All along the chatting from the rest of the excited party carried on.
When I finally gathered the courage to look around we were already beginning to descend and I thought ‘phew the worst is over now I can ask them to let me out.’ What you will not believe is that by the second rotation I had my hands up in the air singing with the kids – ONE MORE TIME!
I finally could enjoy the views, the chitchat and even take photos of things on the ground below us. I felt free!
If you have any kind of phobia you may be able empathise and be glad for me.
My 13-year-old has set me a challenged to go on the London Eye next and I have accepted the challenge. Watch this space!
Do you have a phobia that has crippled you and has this inspired you to take one more step towards overcoming it?
Let me know in the comment.
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