Please note that this is not a discussion about how to overcome your fear of heights. This discussion is not meant to be a cure for Acrophobia either. It just tries to put out a word that sometimes what seems scary to others and is generally regarded as being a bit frightening can also be slightly helpful...if you look at it from my perspective.
I was watching some unknown movie when surfing movie channels and came across this scene of a typical corporate guy, with bow ties and suit, rushing to the terrace of the office building, panting, trying to catch his breath. For a moment, I paused and thought about the overwhelming sense of anxiety that this scene was trying to create. I realized that this dramatic scenario actually presented a reality-check—we are all bitching about the skyscrapers but there are times when these monstrous buildings actually do something rather well. I live on the fifth floor of a residential high-rise and the windiness is still very palpable. Just imagine someone on the 20th+ floor or terrace. The wind must be cutting through with God's speed. Perhaps, these few moments, bent over the rail of a typical skyscraper are akin to catching deep breaths and regathering—something most of us have done at our workplaces. The view from the top is equally breathtaking as long as you don’t hit the terrace every day.
These fleeting moments of wind blowing under your feet can be liberating, can be the de-stressing tool that might have escaped our minds. Just think of really, really fast winds blowing your clothes away, putting your hair into total disarray, a view-that-could-literally-kill, and all of a sudden, you don’t want to light-up or reach out for that stress ball…just a few moments here could be the speck of mental composure-gaining exercise it takes to keep you saner, less anxious. The pollution does not feel that suffocating when you are towering about other humble mortals beneath, you are not sharing the space with someone else, and it is not really breaking away from the workplace.
When I Googled further on the subject, it became clear that this line of thought perhaps belongs only to me. There aren't too many bloggers out there who have written about something similar. However, I did find some similarities in what I am trying to say here and what mental health experts recommend to people who are trying to overcome their fear of heights. There is something called gradual exposure to the element of fear. If you are someone who is genuinely afraid of heights, you can try this along with a friend. While your friend can keep a close watch on you, try to stand away from the edge of the terrace and make sure you take deep breaths. You just might feel your anxieties about life, in general, melting away. This is better experienced on windy days when a strong wind tries to take off your clothes.
I still believe that looking down from a great height tends to induce a feeling that is not really fear but it is dark and violent in some ways. It is a feeling of taking a step and trying to float despite realizing that being on the 15th floor does not provide the anti-gravity leverage of outer space. The feeling can be felt in your stomach, in your guts - you might as well take a couple of steps more and find out how it will feel - I realize the suicidal vibes here but that was not the intention.ReplyDelete