As far back as I can remember, I have been afraid of heights, and I think I can pinpoint what brought on that fear in me. It started after I fell from the top of a slide when I was a little kid – maybe first or second grade. Instead of going down the slide, I somehow ended up going over the side. I crashed to the ground and broke my wrist. I’m pretty sure my case of acrophobia was born that night.
My Cubicle Confession, though, really has nothing to do with HOW I became afraid of heights, it’s all about WHY I’m afraid – what’s going through my mind when I’m high above the ground. In all honesty, it’s one of the hardest, or maybe most embarrassing confessions I’ve given. I feel kinda crazy when I talk about it – it certainly sounds crazy to me – but I don’t know how else to articulate it. Watch this video to see what I’m talking about.
So, does that happen to anyone else? Am I crazy? Our friend Tabatha called in and said I’m not alone and I’m not crazy. She says this kind of thing sounds like a case of ‘Intrusive Thoughts’ which are apparently pretty common. Intrusive Thoughts are defined as “unwanted thoughts that can pop into our heads without warning, at any time. They’re often repetitive – with the same kind of thought cropping up again and again – and they can be disturbing or even distressing.” That seems like a possible explanation for how I feel, but I wanted to do a little more digging, and I found something that makes even more sense.
I found an article that said I might be experiencing a thing called High Places Phenomenon (HPP). The first line of this article seemed like it was written specifically for me…
If you’ve ever stepped to the edge of a high rooftop and felt that you might jump off, despite the fact that you don't want to die, you're not alone—but most people don’t know that.
The researchers who came up with HPP say it’s actually our brain's way of keeping us safe, which makes sense to me, I think. It’s a really interesting article that I recommend you read. Actually, I found myself getting a little bit anxious while reading about other people’s experiences with HPP. It’s so weird…I’m so weird. Are you weird too? Please tell me you are.