My Fear of Heights

There are very things I’m afraid of. Very few. On this short list, you won’t find a fear of spiders, death, or public speaking, but rather things like my fear of failing to live up to my potential. But as it pertains to more relatable fears, there is one that stands above nearly all the rest: my fear of heights.

I just don’t like them. If it’s a height that I can’t reach by jumping (so really anything significantly taller than a regulation basketball hoop), you can count me out.

Why? Simple. When high off the ground (whether it be in a plane, on a cliff, or on the roof of a skyscraper) I can’t help but think about what would happen if I fell from there. And most of the time the answer is Splat! There goes J.P. Quite frankly, I don’t like that answer. It’s why I get queasy, anxious, and dizzy even just looking at pictures like the ones above and below. My heart begins to pound so fast and hard that my breathing resembles that of someone hyperventilating, and I become frozen in place due to sheer terror.

Image result for looking down from a cliff

Now to be clear, this doesn’t mean I’m afraid the entire time I’m at an elevated height. I’m not that much of a wimp. But if there are no boundaries…if I can look down and envision my demise…if someone could bump me, intentionally or not, and commit murder, then I don’t want to be there. At all.

It’s just a matter of survival. I simply don’t want to be in a position where one misstep could, literally, be my downfall. Because of this, anytime I’m in one such precarious position, the words of the wise Grandmaster Flash in “The Message” float through my mind when I look at the people surrounding me: “don’t push me, ’cause I’m close to the edge. I’m trying not to lose my head.”

I’m just trying not to lose my head. I know I can, and should, do this without being afraid of heights…but I’m not there yet. Though it’s a fear I’m confident I’ll eventually overcome, right now it’s still one of my major fears. Almost as bad as my fear of water…

…but that’s a story for another day.

Until next time.

– JP

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