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  • Sanika Manchanda

Facing Fears

You know that one phobia that scares you the minute you think about it. Mine was Acrophobia, fear of heights. Looking down from my cousin's balcony which is on the ninth floor, I used to get scared, it was a kind of anxiety which just got worse day by day. I avoided heights and even if I went to a height, I would never look down from there. This phobia was just getting the worst of me, to a point where I thought of consulting a counsellor. Now, everytime I went to a high place I would get dizzy and start having a bad headache. I had to start to take medication for it.

My father used to observe my condition and he really wanted my phobia to go away. He loves hiking and views from heights. When I was a child we used to go to heights to look at volcanoes, mountains, beaches, etc. I never enjoyed it. One day my father said,'' Let's go for a drive. I have planned a surprise for you.” It was a day before my birthday so I thought it would be a gift or a party. I got ready and we left.

It was a 2 hour journey. We finally reached our destination and my father put a blind fold on my eyes. He guided the way, I couldn't see anything obviously we went left then right. I had no idea where we were going and I never saw what was coming next. I stepped on to something and I heard a sound of something light up. My father removed my blindfold gently. We were on a hot air balloon which was now flying in the air. I started getting dizzy and screamed at my father,” You…You know I don't like heights. How could you?”

My father said calmly,” It’s time to face your fears sweetheart.You have to let go of fears in life and proceed on. You are brave and I know you can do this.” He hugged me tightly and told me to breathe. I took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. I felt safe, I looked down and fell to the ground. I told my father, “I cannot do this.”

My father picked me up and said, “ You have done a lot of brave things. This will be another one. Relax. Everythings going to be okay. You can do this, I know you can.” Seeing his faith in me I tried again, this time I stopped thinking about my phobia. I looked down and for the first time the view from a height looked calming and wonderful. When we came down I was so happy that I finally faced my fear!

I hugged my dad tight and said,'' I couldn’t have done this without you. Thank You so much” I learned that day that keeping a fear just makes it worse.



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