In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Phobia, Shmobia.”
This may be my last entry…
For the first time in a while I can’t think of anything to write about so I’m going for a daily inspiration.
I used to be claustrophobic and it annoyed the hell out of me. I’ve always been a pretty rational person so having a phobia just seems out of character. I’m disturbed by other stuff but I can handle it without feeling like I might die at any second (spiders just move in a weird way and that freaks me out but I love handling tarantulas so… yeah).
I decided that enough was enough and got over my fear in an incredibly dangerous way. I was a teenager and my friend had just got his first car. We were talking about phobias and I mentioned that I was claustrophobic and wanted to get rid of that particular back-hugging monkey. After a brief discussion of immersion therapy which states that you should face your phobia head on I came up with the idea that I should be locked in the boot of his car while he drove around with some other friends for a couple of hours.
Neither of us had thought it through. We were young, educated but a bit stupid – what would happen if there was an emissions fault and carbon monoxide was being pumped into the boot? What if we were rear-ended by a truck? These scenarios just never occurred to us.
And so it was that I found myself in the boot of a car that could never have been thought of as new driving around Cheshire. I’ll admit that I was terrified to begin with but slowly and surely I realised that I wasn’t dying. As I calmed down I was able to rationalise my fears – there were moments of paralysing fear that came and went until, eventually, calmness and rationale took over – I was cured.
As I got out of the boot I wondered if I was cured for life or just for now but, 25+ years later, I have had no issues. Let’s be clear, I’m never going to go potholing nor will I be a willing passenger in anyone’s boot again but, the occasional claustrophobic fever dream notwithstanding, claustrophobia no longer haunts me.
Thanks for reading, now tell me what scares you!