Last week, I decided to attend an indoor rock climbing event I came across on Meetup. As many of you know, I love hiking and there have been times when a hike required climbing some boulders and some rather steep terrain. Well, I do have a fear of heights and found my anxiety trying to control me those few times. So, I decided to attend this event to challenge myself to overcome my fear of heights a little at a time.
My fear of heights stems from a fear of falling and being injured. I imagine the pain that might be inflicted from a fall from a high place which has contributed to the development of acrophobia. It’s normal for some people to have a fear of heights but for those with acrophobia, the fear is excessive. It is said that acrophobia, like all phobias, appears to be a hyper-reaction of the normal fear response. Some experts believe that this may be a learned response to either a previous fall or to a parent’s nervous reaction to heights.
It never fails and these are some of the things I experience:
• Feeling the need to crawl on all fours, kneel, or descend immediately when you are high off the ground
• Feeling terrified or paralyzed
• Experiencing heart palpitations
• Crying or yelling
Yes, I literally feel the fear every inch of my body!
So prior to signing up for the event, I did do some research to see if overcoming the fear of heights was even possible and if so, how to go about it. And, what I read was that cognitive behavioral treatment techniques expose the individual to heights and high places and are taught to gain control of their emotions and panicky reaction.
With that being said, I decided to just do it. Thankfully, the organizer of the event was patient with me and showed me how to properly secure the harness and started me on the easy rock wall. Initially, my heart was palpitating so fast and I was sweating profusely. But, I reminded myself to take deep breaths and to focus.
I am happy to say that I leveled up from 5.7 to 5.9 and also went back this week for another event. I am also belay certified!☺️🧗🏽♀️
I am still working on my fear of heights which I know in time I will overcome.