My blog has always been a place where I can transcribe my unruly emotions and also allow you guys to get to know me (or even yourselves along the way) a bit better. So I thought, why not delve in deeper to my more specific fears and help them dissolve over time?
In 2017, I faced my fear of flying on a plane. But there's a fear, similar to a fear of heights, that I have yet to tackle. And as 2018 comes to a close, now became the time to do it.
Altocelarophobia is the fear of tall ceilings, tall buildings, and enormous enclosed rooms. So, basically, the reversed fear of heights. I actually had to research the name for this fear because I never knew what it was, but I always knew I couldn't be alone with this one.
Ever since I was younger, I've always struggled with the little things. Eating at The Cheesecake Factory with friends, sitting in church, going to band class--they all made me feel nauseous because of those high ceilings. I always asked to move seats in school assemblies, even through high school, because I just couldn't bring myself to feel trapped in the packed bleachers in the middle of the enormous gymnasiums. They might not seem that intense to most, but to me, they always made me feel queasy.
One of my biggest struggles with this fear happened years ago when my brother graduated from college. He graduated in the Wright State Nutter Center, which, if you haven't been there, it's pretty big. Like, overwhelming for me. I remember feeling so nauseous that my mom had to try sitting with me in different areas so see where I could tolerate being. I felt so terrible because I was worried people would think I was being self-centered and attention-seeking.
Well, this past Saturday I woke up with the knowledge that I would have to do it all over again. Same phobia, same place. But this time, for my sister's graduation. I didn't want to make a big deal out of my fear to my family because I once again didn't want to seem self-centered. So I quietly told my twin sister and my brother (yes, the same one who graduated from the Nutter Center years ago) in seek of some comfort this time through.
So, keeping my goal to face my fear in mind, I slowly made my way into the auditorium (is that what I can call it?) and sat down. Normally I require knowing that I can escape (fight or flight) if I needed to at any point, but I didn't get an aisle seat this time. I also normally require some sort of sensory stimulus, like minty gum to distract my mouth, so I don't feel as nauseous. But I also didn't have that. This time, all I had was my deep breathing, my siblings' support, and my mindset to help me through this one.
Surely enough, I made it through the entire ceremony and even was able to control my breathing and remain calm. I surprisingly didn't experience much nausea once we were seated! I was able to fight through it without having to exit the auditorium or panicking.
I want to thank my siblings for keeping my mind distracted, to congratulate my sister for graduating, and to give some props to myself for facing one of my other biggest fears just one year after Fight (F)or Flight. I'm not one to normally make resolutions, but I can't wait to see what parts of my anxiety I can tackle in 2019.
I don't think it's conceited to say that I'm proud of how well I've been able to challenge my anxiety in 2018, especially being single for the majority of the year. If you have anxiety, you might know that sometimes it's just harder not having that someone around to comfort you. But I've made it this far. I've made so much progress and have embraced the change that challenged me in 2018. I live on my own now, I work two jobs, I'm in school. I've now faced my (arguably) second biggest fear. I still have my ups and downs, but who doesn't?
Thank you guys for coming on this journey with me and for being patient with the fluctuating blog schedule. It's definitely a hectic time of the year, that's for sure. But I'll be back next week with a Fall Favorites!