Some of you already know about my fear of heights as I shared it here before. 10 years ago I hiked to Icehouse Saddle for the first time. During the switchbacks, I came to a narrow trail on a steep slope that was light shade of grey. There were no trees or bushes. Not even a pine needle to add a drop of color. It was just a sea of grey small stones. I couldn’t quickly tell where the edge was.
A fear of heights is called acrophobia. Acrophobia can range from fear when on the top floor of a tall building, to fear of standing on a chair. People with acrophobia feel a sense of panic when they’re at a certain height and often become unable to trust their sense of balance.
A panic kicked in and the stress triggered a vertigo. The world started to spin and I had a panic attack right in the middle of the trail. There was no one around me at that moment. I managed to lower myself down by leaning on to one side (the right side thankfully). Needless to say, I was traumatized by the event and I never went back to Icehouse Canyon. In recent years, I had two separate panic attacks on the trail. Xena frantically jumped on me until I lost my balance and had to sit on the ground. She then draped herself over me and didn’t let me move. She didn’t lift herself off me until I felt calm. After the second incident, I knew I had to get over this fear. It started to take over me. I’ve been working toward it since then via desensitization and just recently I noticed that I may have made some progress. I was ready to test it out. I couldn’t think of a better place to do it than the place where it all began. So back to Icehouse Canyon we went. This time I conquered the mountain and my fears. It took me 10 years but I did it. I felt the weight lifted from my shoulders and chest when I reached the saddle. After that, anything was possible. All thanks to Xena. ❤