Posted by: docdenbow | March 16, 2014

Heights Won’t Kill You….The Ground Will

I am terrified of heights. Can’t help it, but there you are. I’m scared. I’m told it’s a kind of vertigo especially as I have the desire to jump off.  I don’t know what it is that makes me nauseous, almost dizzy and I can only overcome the feeling by breathing deeply, trying to relax and concentrating on something else. I hate and abhor crossing the Severn Bridges, either of them, and the last time I did drive across this song playing and I thought the refrain rather apt.

I’m not entirely when, where or how this morbid fear first started but I do have a pretty good idea. At least as a young ‘un I didn’t have the irrational fear that I have now. I’d climb trees, in fact I’d scramble up anything. I had no problems diving from a 5 metre platform in Bilston Baths while still at Green Acres my Primary School. At 16 I took on the 7 metre and 10 metre platforms at an outdoor lido style pool in Weston Super Mare. Didn’t bat an eye. Just went up to the top, looked down at the water, gripped the edge of the board with my toes and pushed away into the air. No problem, no fear.


These days it bothers me, not because I want to be a high rise window cleaner or a rock climber, but because the fear is irrational. I’ll give you an example. I few months ago I saw a Derren Brown programme where he helped people overcome fears and phobias. There was this one chap who was scared of heights. He could cross even an itsy bitsy bridge that crossed a tiny river (it was more of a stream) Derren did his stuff and this chap was cured of his fear. The programme ended (I think because I found it tough to watch) with Derren and this bloke standing side by side on the parapet of a mega high bridge. They had harnesses on so were perfectly safe. This is where the total illogicality of my fear really set in. This programme was recorded months (or years even) previously and even though I was fully aware of this fact I couldn’t watch in case they fell. My stomach was lurching and I felt really ill. They could fall, I knew that because they hadn’t fallen in the original programme so how the hell could this happen in a re run?

Try telling my daft brain the answer to that one.I couldn’t get past the opening credits of that recent Channel 5 programme about so called “Free Climbers.” I knew that they weren’t going to fall on TV, but I also knew it’s only a matter of time before one them does fall.

My fear? I won’t not can’t tell you about the details of when it started but suffice to say, I remember Paris back in ’79

Ciao For Now


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