The Phobia

We all have our little phobias. I’m pleased to say I’ve overcome most of mine. When I say overcome, that’s not to say I’m now entirely comfortable with each little phobia. Only that none of them have me all in a sweat or cowering behind a sofa any more. I can handle them. Aerophobia, haemophobia, thanatophobia, belonephobia and ergophobia have all afflicted me at some stage in my life. But I can now board a flight without my stomach tying itself in knots, I can see blood without fainting, I have accepted that all good things must come to an end and I now appreciate that in order to get anywhere in life, a days work is unavoidable.

There are two phobias which remain. Electrophobia is perhaps the biggest because it is something I have to deal with on a daily basis. I can now change a light bulb, although I used to refuse to even consider such a thing. I’d have rather sat in complete darkness. But still, I loathe static and will automatically touch many metal surfaces with a sleeve, just in case. But electrophobia doesn’t bring me out in a sweat. So from that perspective, the biggie is acrophobia.

I don’t like heights. Although how do I define a height? The highest I’ve been, bar air travel, was atop a 5000+ metre mountain. That’s not a problem. I guess it’s a sheer drop I don’t like. Did you know that humans aren’t born with a fear of heights? Babies can crawl to the edge of an abyss and not bat an eyelid. Apparently, or so I have read, a fear of heights kicks in upon learning to walk. I can pin point the moment I discovered my fear. At the top of the Lookout Tower at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset. I was a wee lad and had raced to the top with my brother. Then I looked down and panicked. I descended, ever so slowly, on my backside one step at a time. Ironic. Right now, the Lookout Tower is probably the least scary place in Somerset.

Heights really do bring me to the verge of panic. Yet I am drawn to high points. It makes no sense. My most recent encounter with acrophobia was atop the Angel of Independence, and this isn’t the first post I’ve ever written confessing my weakness. I can’t even watch a video of a daredevil doing something risky at a great height. Well, I say I can’t watch it. I force myself too, even though I become more and more uncomfortable with every passing second. There’s a lot of videos on YouTube of people doing nutty climbs up man made or natural objects. But I believe I’ve found the pinnacle of nuttiness. Still under construction, but already the second highest building in the world, I give you the latest skyscraper in Shanghai and the most twisted high five in history.

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "The Phobia"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
NORM
Guest
NORM
February 19, 2014 11:40 am
My favorite ‘fear of heights’ story is from the steel mill. A journeymen millwright and I were assigned the task of changing a ventilation fan in the ceiling of a 120 foot high millhouse. This was before cherry pickers and high lifts were used for such things. We had to build a scaffold,the fan was was off from the wall a ways so there was nothing to tie the scaffold to for stability. We get this wavy platform built and haul all the tools and parts up the 120 feet to start the tear out and replacement. I notice the… Read more »
NORM
Guest
NORM
February 19, 2014 11:44 am

And the guy was no coward, he had a tin box full of metals from his island hoping days in WWII, he had enough shrapnel in his body to make him magnetic, a coward,no.

NORM
Guest
NORM
February 19, 2014 2:56 pm

I’ll admit I keep the safety bar down on the ski lift and if there is no bar, I keep my arm around the support bar. I dislike nailing the first few edge rows on roof jobs, bent over, head below one’s center of gravity, blasting away with an air hammer, I can see how easy it might be to tip right over into free fall. I don’t mind working the center of the roof but the edges give me the willies. .

Steve Cotton
Guest
February 20, 2014 12:01 am

Rats! The video has been removed. But, for the record, I love heights — because they are dangerous.

Kim G
Guest
February 20, 2014 3:03 am

Who’d a thunk? I had no sense of your fear when we ascended to the roof of the Metropolitan Cathedral in DF’s Zócalo that day. Of course we kept well away from the edge. Still, that’s high enough really to not want to fall from.

Saludos,

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we’ll admit to feeling butterflies, but still enjoy being up where there’s a view.

Andean
Guest
Andean
February 20, 2014 5:28 am

I don’t think I could work as a roofer, even though nomophobia seems to be calling my name 🙂

NORM
Guest
NORM
February 20, 2014 1:39 pm
I had a small panic attack crawling through an air duct doing a steam cleaning job in the steelmill. It was hands and knees work, steam to the point of one could not see the walls of the pipe at times, hot as blazes, filthy from the animal fat rotting on the air duct surfaces and with no reference to up or down, it tripped my rational trigger. I had a scary job in the oil fields that should scare any normal person: There were times when the gas pressure in a target formation would blow the drilling mud out… Read more »
trackback

[…] recently posted about phobias on my personal blog. Heights is my big phobia. I added a video by a pair of loons (and I use that […]

wpDiscuz