Wikipedia defines ‘Fear’ as…
Fear is an emotion induced by a threat perceived by living entities, which causes a change in brain and organ function and ultimately a change in behavior, such as running away, hiding or freezing from traumatic events.
but those words, no matter how vividly they describe it, cannot begin to capture the mental state of someone who is afraid of something or some situation. For me, the biggest fear has been the fear of dying but there’s no fighting it so the second biggest fear I’ve ever had is fear of heights. My fear of heights started during a very early age after an event where I tried to climb to the other side of the railing – I was alone, I panicked and I almost fell from the terrace. Since then my fear of heights increased to the point that I couldn’t even look down the railing of a two-story building.
Until the year 2012 (9th Standard) brought an opportunity, Doon Youth Centre, a non-profit organisation for the development of the youth of Dehradun organised a trek to Mussoorie, a hill station next to Dehradun. I was sceptical, obviously but I wanted to go as well and so did my cousins. So, we agreed and signed up.
The day came and we went on to the rendezvous point and moved with the group, towards Shehnshahi Ashram, the start of the Mussoorie Trek route. As we started to walk, it didn’t look very difficult for the next half an hour or so because except the steepness of the track, nothing was very difficult to scale. All I had to do was avoid looking down the cliff and it was all going to be fine but as naïve as a 9th grader, I ultimately looked down and I was terrified. I hadn’t ever seen a drop so deep, I had never been at that much height and I started to feel nauseated and sprang back on the track but the damage was done. It had rained recently and the soil on the cliffs was loose so as we moved forward and above, there were times where continuing the climb was quite difficult. I explained my fear of heights to a few people (seniors) there and they were all very understanding. So, when the upward climb with loose soil came, one senior took positions behind me and one in front of me, slowly during the trek, I stopped needing their support. By the time we reached Mussoorie in the late afternoon, looking down the cliff wasn’t much of a monstrosity as it once felt and I knew it was normal to be afraid of falling down. I realised, if I didn’t lose my composure and kept walking on I won’t fall and thus, my fear of heights had vanished after the trek. I also learnt that explaining how you feel for your fear to someone might help you on your journey anyway.
At least it did, for a few months, I didn’t feel that fear at all but it returned after a while and yet again, I couldn’t look down the terrace but the experiences I had on the trek and the things I learnt were enough to help me cut it and keep it at bay. Yes, I still panic every now but I never let the fear spoil my experiences any more. Even though it has been almost 3 years since that trek, I still remember every moment of it for it was a life changing experience. I had overcome my fear or at least attempted to do so and the graph turned positive from that day. I had risen above fear!
All images used above belong to me, in their original and their modified forms.
This entry is written for Indiblogger Happy Hours sponsored by Mountain Dew India‘s Rise above fear! campaign