Although I have been enjoying the lovely photographs of autumn leaves from bloggers in the northern hemisphere I am not going to write about that. I didn’t grow up calling autumn Fall and I’m not going to start now. Anyway, it’s spring here.
For me falling is something that I am afraid of. You might say it is a phobia. I used to think I was scared of heights but it’s not that. I have been to the top of several tall buildings to enjoy the view and I was fine. The one with the glass floor in Auckland was a bit nerve wracking though. I have been on Observation Wheels and cable cars and I wasn’t scared. The glass elevators on Explorer of the Seas were great and I was not frightened on the North Star Observation capsule on Ovation of the Seas.
Don’t ask me to climb to the top of a ladder though. I can’t do it and as I get older the fear is getting worse. When I was a bit younger I could get up on the dining table in order to change a lightbulb. I can’t do that now unless the table is near a wall and unfortunately that is not usually where you find the light fittings. They tend to be in the middle of the room.
I do fear falling at home and I don’t think that is totally irrational because I have fallen over in my garden several times. I’ve tripped over uneven ground before I had the path made in the back garden. I’ve slipped in the mud or frost in the driveway on wet winter days. I slipped over on the path near the clothesline, I don’t know if I tripped over something or what happened but I went down hard. I slipped in the mud walking home from the shops once. I wasn’t hurt but I got covered in it. Another time I tripped over a kerb at a shopping centre and that did hurt.
I hate escalators. I can go up but coming down is frightening to me because they are moving and I think that if I don’t put my foot in exactly the right spot I’ll stumble and fall down them. We don’t have a lot of escalators in Hobart and I don’t go there often so I’ve got really out of practice and tend to just avoid them now. Singapore was a nightmare for me. It seemed you could not go anywhere without having to get on a fast escalator and the only way I could get on them at all was to count aloud to get some timing going.
It’s the sensation of falling that really frightens me. I even dream I’m falling sometimes and wake up with a start. I know that can just be a glitch where your brain hasn’t totally shut down your muscles but it’s still unpleasant. On the reality TV shows that I hate so much, they are very into making people face their fears. They’d probably force me to bungee jump or jump out of a plane and I’d be so terrified I would forget the instructions and die. I don’t agree with such extreme measures. I think that if I were going to try and deal with this it would have to be gradual and I’d need to feel safe. Jumping out of a plane would not convince me I had nothing to fear. In fact, I think I would probably have a heart attack.