A Note to Shannon (Re: Heights)

Hardangervidda, Norway
August 2015

As I’m having these thoughts, I’m sitting on the edge of a treacherous cliff overlooking the Udurfossen waterfall. I’m sick to my stomach and my heart is about to jump out of my chest. I feel this force trying to propel me off this ledge. The ten seconds it takes for the camera timer to snap my picture seems like an hour. But I’m sitting here. I’m enjoying the view.

Like you, I’m terrified of heights. Conversely, I’m also a compulsive climber. If there’s something to climb on, or over, I’m going to climb it. The only time I didn’t climb something, Uxmal’s Pyramid of the Magician in Mexico, I regretted it. I still regret it.

I get through my fear of heights by fearing something else more.Which brings me to your fear of heights and desire to overcome it. I hope hypnosis works for you, if that’s what you want to do. In my case, my fear of heights is eclipsed by a bigger fear — the fear of not seeing what’s up there. I get through my fear of heights by fearing something else more.

The view is fine, by the way. My shoes are soaked from hiking through the mud on the way up the mountain, and I’ll probably turn my ankle or smash my head open scrambling over the rocks heading back.

Wish me luck.

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