Have you ever had one of those dreams where you wake up midway through a freefall trying to catch yourself from falling? Don’t ya love ‘em? Yea, well I certainly do not, and I’ve had similar dreams like this, which contributes to my fear of heights. The first thought that comes to my head when I think of my number one fear is skydiving. I know a lot of people are scared of spiders, public speaking or something along those lines, but these fears and other common fears do not bother me. For some reasons, heights is the thing that gets me.
A few years ago, I realized this was my number one fear. My family and I took a trip to New York City and visited the Empire State Building. I remember going to the top and walking around the building on a small corridor; it was packed with people, windy and pretty high off the ground, to say the least. This narrow corridor we were standing on was surrounded by a fence so no one would fall, but I remember leaning against the fence and just imagining if it gave way. I was filled with anxiety and I was ready to head down to sturdy ground ASAP. I stepped away from the edge and went inside, assuring myself that I would not go up there again. Every time I have been on an elevated surface since I feel unbalanced, nervous and pretty confident I’m going to fall off and injure myself severely. Just last week, I was at my friend’s apartment which is on the third floor of an apartment complex. When I was getting ready to leave, I went to step down the first step of a long steep flight of steps. I grasped onto the railing and wall immediately, because I just saw myself tumbling down the steps and cracking my head open.
This fear cannot be escaped – pretty much every day we go up and down a flight of stairs or take an elevator either at work or school. Luckily, my fear isn’t extremely bad to the point of having a panic attack every time I have to go down a flight of stairs. There is no chance in my lifetime that I will ever go skydiving, bungee jumping or anything that has to do with me voluntarily being at an extremely high altitude.
It just blows my mind that people actually do that. I mean, I consider myself a risk taker but when there is a chance that the parachute or bungee might break, and I would be free-falling thousands of feet, this doesn’t seem like my ideal ending to life. Heights are for the birds, and I am completely content with leaving it that way and planting my feet on solid ground.
By John DiFrancesco