I had spent a major chunk of my childhood with the fear of heights. However, a single school trip to an amusement park and the support of a few dear friends helped me overcome this problem for good!
What made me fear heights?
During my childhood, as my parents were working, we had a maid who used to babysit me and my brother. We used to live on the third floor. I used to love looking down at the city from my balcony. The bird’s-eye view of the street with cars reduced to the size of matchboxes never ceased to fascinate me!
Seeing this, our babysitter got scared and told me so many things to prohibit this act of mine. She used to tell me:-
“You will fall down! ”
” We will have to take you to the hospital!”
“You might die!”
“An eagle will come and take you!”
And what not!
She scared the hell out of me! My fear of heights had reached to an extent that I used to ignore the very sight of my balcony. I used to hold the wall which was as far as 10 feet from the balcony whenever I had to climb down the nearby staircase. My anxiety got as bad as it could get.
What made me challenge my fear?
One day when I was in class 7, my teacher told us that we are going for a picnic to the Fun ‘n’ Food Village- an amusement park of sorts. The other students reacted to this news with as much excitement as I reacted to it with fear. I knew that the swings and rides there would scare me due to my fear of heights! But my decision to skip the whole trip altogether was reversed a few dear friends.
I was anxious since the day began. Anyways, we reached there and I started to avoid the sight of those rides, but how much could I avoid? They were everywhere! I could see that I am totally unable to enjoy the day and was getting envious of my friends.
However, there was a friend of mine who grabbed my hand as she asked me to stand next to a ride called The Columbus. She was determined to extract the fear out of me. Also, that very friend was also compassionate enough to hug me all the while.
What did the ride feel like?
Initially, the ride seemed to have come right out of my nightmares. The first 15 minutes of even watching the ride were horribly scary. I was crying and screaming at the top of my lungs! Fortunately, that friend of mine was by my side throughout that period of time. Furthermore, she kept on reminding that I was looking at that terrifying ride, but wasn’t on it yet!
She made me observe the gigantic structure which supported the ride. That sturdy frame of metal wouldn’t let the rest of the ride sway away wildly.
After watching it for almost 45 minutes and talking to the kids who took the ride, I decided to accept the challenge and go on the ride for once and for all. I was sitting in the center seats, clutching my friend for dear life! I negotiated with myself more than a hundred times regarding should I let that man start the ride.I finally took the ride.
Well, I didn’t merely survive the ride- I OVERCAME MY FEAR OF HEIGHTS TO SOME EXTENT AS WELL!
What an experience it was! Thereafter, it took me 2-3 years to challenge my fear of heights and overcome it completely.The girl who once lived with the fear of heights is now crazy for adventures.
A little support from a dear friend was all the help I required for overcoming my fear of heights. However, therapy is all the more helpful when it comes to understanding and overcoming fears. If you know someone who is living with a fear of some kind, support them and help them overcome the same with the help of a counselor from Mind Solace.