They say the best way to conquer your fear is to face it. So if you’re an arachnaphobe, you should let a big hairy tarantula scurry over your hand. If snakes give you the willies, you should let a small non-poisonous serpent drape itself round your shoulders.
Easy for them to say, whoever “they” are.
What if your fear is this? Imagine you’re really high up – at the edge of a cliff or the parapet of a very tall building. The fear is not being scared of heights. Or about having vertigo. It’s something different.
Call it… curiosity. What if… What if I stepped up and jumped? Like Icarus. The rush. What transcendent insight would reveal itself? What revelation? What if…
So it wasn’t the fear of heights or the fear of falling that I had, but the fear of stepping out or taking a dive, of surrendering to curiosity.
Admittedly with the inevitable consequence of going splat in a terminal sense. But despite that obvious conclusion to any experimenting along these lines, I still felt the draw, the pull, the insidious luring – like a chubber passing a bun shop. (Actually I get that too, but it doesn’t count as a fear.)
But, as “they” say, the only way to overcome your fear is to face it. So I did. I stepped out and away and took the plunge. Literally.
And yet here I am, perky as get out, telling you all about it. How can that be?
Ah – it’s the power of elastic.
I took a ride up in the cradle of a crane, with my ankles strapped together and fixed to end of an elastic rope. Up top, wind in my face, surface far below, I was able to take small steps to the edge and lean out, like a toppling Jesus at Rio. Ready for revelation.
And then it came.
But first, the rushing. The physical plummet. The whimpering headlong headfirst very fast drive towards the surface. Pressure building behind my eyes, Time only to be conscious that the only thing between me and impact was my skull.
Then a jarring jerk upwards as the elastic tautened. Relief. Bouncing. Eventually settled and being lowered to the ground. Alive.
I’d had my insight. The revelation was that there was no revelation. It was purely physical. No transcendence. No trip. No enhanced consciousness. No insight – beyond that there was no insight to be had. The thrill – or the lure of the thrill – had gone.
I can linger by the precipice now without any secret half-wonder what it would be like if… Because I know. Not that great, is the answer. No big deal. And that’s before the splat.
So curiosity did not kill this cat. Though in my friend Dave’s case, it did get him wet. He and I took the bungee jump plunge on the same day, above a dock in Bridgewater (no, none of your romantic New Zealand gorges for us). As he byoinged up and down, I had a word with the crane driver to lower him a little bit too far. ‘Cos I’m evil that way. Sorry damp Dave.
This salutory tale comes to you in association with the Loose Bloggers Consortium. Their deepest fears will be revealed by clicking on their names – Ramana, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Rohit, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. If you dare, woah-ha-ha.
24 responses to “Curing me of my biggest fear”
Sounds as if it was a good thing to try!
But just the once, as far as I’m concerned.
Bungee jumping is not my idea of fun. I have no fear of it, but know my heart would not stand it. Mind you…. it might make a fast way between my numbers eight and nine! 😉
Who said anything about fun?
Anyway – I blame my parents, for putting me inside a baby bouncer as a child. It clearly set me on the road to more alarming big bouncing later.
I have enough yoyo situations in real life without wanting to seek bungee adventures at my age! Had I been closer to yours, that would have been certainly among the rushes that I would have gone for. It is a pity that it was not invented then!
Thank God for small mercies. One of the rewards of maturer years.
Fear is something that utterly paralyses you. I try not to get into this type of situation too often.
You’re clearly afflicted by common sense.
There’s not a big enough bungie for my overly large frame – not that I’d try it anyway. Ready for this one????
No way. I’ve done my bit. Though I did try parascending. Seemed gentler.
You are evil HH, doin’ that to a buddy. Not to mention suicidal doin’ it yourself.
blessings ~ maxi
Woah ha ha ha.
Yes to both.
I’ve never wanted to try bungee jumping, but I’m sure I’d be terrified if I did. It seems pretty scary to be entirely reliant on a bit of elastic. My biggest fear is my health declining as I get older and losing the independence I’m so used to. It would be very galling.
Everyday men and women – especially women – entrust their lives (well, their dignity) to a thin ribbon of elastic… holding up their knickers. Scary.
My greatest fear? Being deleted.
It’ll never happen.
No way would you catch a Wolfie up there! You’re much braver than me that’s for sure lol 🙂 There is no chance of a Wolfie bouncing around in such a precarious fashion! None! Not even a remote elasticated possibility! 🙂
Not even if you found yourself a little untucked (I know, unlikely) and squeezing through a doorway, only for your elastic to catch on the door handle and then – suddenly – there you are, straining against the elastic. But who’d win – you with a PING! or the elastic?
😀 What a horrible thought!! lol 😉 😉
You are more brave than me! My friend told me that near the three gorges there is a place where you can bungee jump. I told her that #1, I don’t bungee jump. #2. I don’t bungee jump in developing countries that don’t have very good safety regulations….. I”ll just enjoy your narrative. 😀
I am always baffled by ‘thrill seeking’ behaviour – surely it’s just ‘early death seeking’ in reality ? Well done for avoiding the death part though.
I’m not about to follow your lead and pop elastic onto my ankles, so thanks for saving me the trouble, that’s what friends are for :o)
You’re right – though in my case it was perhaps the lesser of long term evils.
Meanwhile, glad to hear that you’re eschewing elastic bands for proper bicycle clips.
My back would surely snap in half if I bungee jumped. It hurts enough when I pick up my cat.
I have a zillion fears, but it wouldn’t be practical to face them. And some of my fears have the ability to murder me if I faced them, so what good does that do me?