Fight or Flight?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fight or Flight.”

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?Auckland, New Zealand

This is a topic I do not think I have covered here…….phobias, fears etc. So here goes. I suffer from Vertigo, I didn’t as a kid, it only started when I was an adult; get me more than a few feet off the ground and I get very dizzy, the world starts to spin and I frequently black out. Even watching those dizzying swooping helicopter shots in film and such on TV has the same effect. As a result I do not really like heights! People ask me “then how do you get on an airplane?” to them it makes no sense, but to my brain my feet are on solid floor (as long as I don’t look out the window), so vertigo doesn’t take hold. I don’t like flying much either, but I can cope. I push the fear factor aside, I used to think OMG it could crash and I might die……I guess death no longer scares me so much.

After my illness last year, I decided that I would not let anything stand in my way, even my fear of heights and my vertigo, I mean what was the worst that could happen? OK I still cannot look straight down from heights, but I have found if I look out I still feel scared, but the vertigo doesn’t kick in. I have also discovered if I look through the viewfinder on my camera, my brain can’t seem to compute the height? Weird but I am sure there is some scientific explanation?

So I guess my answer to the above question is the last time was back in NZ at Sky City Tower, I stood in front of the window, next to the glass (looking back into the heart of the building not outside), but I was still terrified, my heart was pounding, my palms were sweaty, I was scared, but I stood and fought my panic, I do not want to spend my life in flight from things that make me scared. Sure I still have to take the Vertigo into consideration, but if I don’t look directly down I seem to be OK. While we were away I climbed mountains, stood at lookouts (OK so not right at the edge, but at least I looked), climbed skyscrapers, I even watched people Bungy jump (all through my view finder)! To some people this is not a big deal, but to me it is.

A few years ago, also on holiday Moth really wanted to go on a cable car up a big mountain, he knew it was a big ask, but I did it anyway. I had a scarf over my eyes, my sunglasses over that and a hat pulled down over my face, I sat in that cable car for 20 mins trying to block out everything and meditate. At one point we stopped and we were above the canopy of trees, you literally could not see the ground and Moth said “take a peak….it looks like we are only 2 feet off the ground” and he was right, I was terrified because I knew we must be high, but because of the trees I couldn’t tell HOW high, It was only for a few seconds; the scarf and glasses quickly went back on and I went back to meditating. I saw photos Moth took later and nearly had a heart attack at how high we were……….but I still did it…………I guess it must be true love!  But then maybe if it was true love Moth wouldn’t push me to do things I don’t like? LOL

– Julz

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