* Phobias, anyone?

Cee’s Share Your World challenge has wonderful questions that could easily take me 1,000 words to answer!  Aren’t you glad I don’t write posts that long anymore?  Here’s my response to just one question, “Any phobias?”  Although I had experienced a couple of panic attacks earlier in my life, I didn’t know that’s what they were.  Then I suffered a panic attack at the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida and thought I was losing my mind.

Sadly, I was on a long trek to a major driving phobia.  Eventually, just getting on a freeway or bridge caused me to faint.  Fortunately my husband was sitting next to me the last time I attempted a freeway and we managed to pull off as I blacked out.  Talk about scary.  My world shrank, fear by fear.  I struggled to navigate small back roads and had to be chauffeured by friends and family.

I suffered from this worsening phobia for 12 years.  I tried biofeedback, will power, praise and worship, and years of desperate prayers.  I felt that God was going to heal me, but when?  How?  What if I thought I was healed but passed out, killing myself and others?  Then I attended a cognitive behavior therapy workshop with Reid Wilson, director of Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center.  I knew nothing about his approach or I wouldn’t have gone.  Seriously.  But what a lifesaver that weekend was, a true answer to my prayers.  I was back on the freeway and conscious!   Since then, I’ve driven everywhere; my dearest teaching widower hardly ever gets a turn.  He was a bit anxious himself as I took my hands off the wheel and shrieked with joy while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge last year.

I am “cured” but I use quotation marks because I’m grateful that a phobia may still raise its hairy head.  My brain occasionally thinks it is protecting me (“Pass out!  Pass out!”) and I’ve had a few panic attacks since that weekend.  My response?  Bring it on!  I am free and determined to stay that way!  If you suffer from phobias, check out Reid Wilson’s marvelous approach to anxiety disorders.

12 thoughts on “* Phobias, anyone?

  1. I know how you felt. So scary. My scary bridge to have a panic attack on was the Bay Bridge, in Corpus Christi, TX. It was horrible. I got to where I’d go miles out of my way, just so I wouldn’t have to go over it anymore. Hope things are better now, and no more bridges to cross! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • So you know what that’s like. Yuck. I’ll have to look up that bridge. “No more bridges to cross” sounds poetic. I’m so grateful that I can drive anywhere now. Have you continued to struggle with bridges or just that one?

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      • I really haven’t had to deal with any other bridges that was that big or scary. So that’s good. I used to feel I was going to just die from driving any distances. I hardly go anywhere now, though, so don’t have many problems, just occasionally here in town. I’m sorry you had to get those panic attacks, they are awful! Here’s a link to a post I wrote about the Harbor Bay Bridge in Corpus Christi, if you want to read it. 🙂 Wishing you a fun weekend! 🙂 http://wp.me/p3RE1e-sA

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Enjoyed your post. I’m happy to hear you’ve overcome your fear and can drive anywhere! That sounds very freeing. Me, not so much…. still exploring my gephyrophobia…. not sure about the overcoming it part yet!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I hadn’t ever heard of that term before but I had that, too. Even for a bridge that didn’t have water under it. One of the greatest joys I’ve had was sailing across the Golden Gate Bridge a couple of years ago. I took my hands off the wheel (yeah, I freaked out my family) and whooped for joy! I highly recommend Reid Wilson’s approach for getting free. Since I started talking about my phobias, even while I was crippled by them, I was amazed at the number of folks who suffered as I did. I appreciate your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: * On a tightrope | Teachezwell Blog

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