Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Fear of Escalators

March 1, 2011. I first wrote on the overcoming escalators blog explaining the purpose of it all. I wrote of how I wanted to overcome fears. To become something more and to take hard paths when they were right. How I get anxiety when faced with a lack of stairs and how I knew being scared of escalators was something ridiculous.

Fears come from experience. At least for me.When I was young, I want to say pre grade five as I remember the cute little leather shoes I wore that day, I had my shoelace caught in an escalator. The problem was solved rapidly but the fear began. Later when I was 18 my mother and older sister convinced me to run up a down escalator. I was stubborn and adamant that this was not a good idea. Peer pressure won and up I attempted to run. This resulted in a beautifully ungraceful fall and a painful escalator trail of cuts of my legs. And thus began the real fear. Escalators become a place of pain and anxiety. I often would say I preferred the stairs for fitness reasons and not that I was actually afraid. Avoidance became my behaviour only furthering my anxiety and fear when avoidance was not an option.

Later, I once found myself in Vegas, a land of many escalators. I remember clenching the rail and focusing on my breath and the plan to step of in a fashion that would not result in injury. This continued as I allowed myself to feel controlled by my fears.

I dont know how it all began or perhaps I do. But I have come to point in my life where I no longer accept that giving control away is the only option. I have watched in myself and in my loved ones the agony that comes when we allow something external to control us. Sometimes it fear, sometimes it is a human, and sometimes it is ourself. Yet the truth of it is we are allowing ourselves to submit when we have options.

I became a child of divorce in what seems like a lifetime ago and there reached a point where I had to acknowledge that I could continue to be bitter and broken or I could take control. I could no longer allow my emotions and mental health to be a pawn in the shattering I saw. I stepped away and took control for myself. It could be viewed that I should have relationships I dont and it could be said that I am unreasonable. But my reality is that I stopped allowing my fear to define me.

I will not allow my fear of escalators inhibit my life. Just as I will not allow someone else to dictate my expression of thought again. I am stronger now. I will overcome these escalators.

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