Wrong thread CivGeneral
I am a firm believer that facing your fears is a very good thing (tm). If you don't face your fears you'll never know what you're missing out on - and in the end you will probably even laugh at the irrational fears that you managed to overcome. And if you don't end up overcoming anything? Who cares, you only live once.
I learned my lesson in high school. and I'm not sure if I should be telling this story here, but whatever.. I used to be REALLY afraid of heights.. this included an incredible fear of rollercoasters. When I was a kid I threw up on one of those tiny trains that go 3 km/h. My first rollercoaster ride was the Dragon something @ Marineland, which is a pretty tame rollercoaster overall.. there are some loops, but it isn't anything crazy. I went on that thing and I thought I was going to die.. My dad convinced me to go with him, and I hated him for it. I made a vow to NEVER AGAIN go on a rollercoaster again. The experience really freaked me out. To further explain this fear, I could not stand on a balcony in a tall building and feel ok.. It made me feel very uneasy.. I was concerned that the balcony would collapse.. I also felt very concerned when I got close to windows, if they were high up enough. So yep, pretty afraid of heights and things that fling you around a track and upside down and drop you from some height or other.
This was grade 9. Fast forward to grade 12 - our high school graduation trip. It was a tradition at our highschool for all students to go to Canada's Wonderland (Canada's largest rollercoaster prak) - near Toronto, for an overnight trip. Basically what happened was hundreds of schoolbuses full of graduating highschool students descended on the park at 10pm or so - nobody else was allowed in. You went on rides for a couple hours and at some time in the early a.m. the buses took you home (3am? 4am? I forget)
So yeah, I went, and didn't go on any rides whatsoever.. too scared. Felt like a loser.
Fast forward to my OAC year (basically, back then you did 1 extra year of high school if you were going to university - to prepare you for university life, etc.). OAC students were allowed to go on the gr.12 graduation trip, and I signed up, as did a number of my friends.. I don't condone this sort of behaviour at all (for you youngins reading this), and this is not at all the way in which you should be facing your fears, but I ended up eating an interesting species of mushrooms on the bus, right as we were pulling into the parking lot. There were a ton of people, a very long line, and tons of security, so it took us a while to get into the park.
I really have no idea how this happened but next thing I know I'm upside down.. on one of those spinning space shuttle thingies.. and everyone around me is screaming. Thoughts like "How did I get here?".. "What's going on?" and "should I be screaming?" entered my mind.. but I did not. When the ride was over, my first thoughts were "THAT WAS AMAZING, LET'S GO ON MORE RIDES"
So yeah, I ended up going on all the rides that night, and fell in love with rollercoasters. The year after I went on a trip to cedar point and LOVED IT. I'm not sure what happened to my brain that night, but afterwards no rollercoaster could scare me. I WANTED to go on more and more rides and all of a sudden loved the thrill. It's like a switch was flipped in my brain.
As a result I'm still afraid of heights a BIT, but not nearly as much. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say that before the "experience" my fear was at about an 8.5, while afterwards it was reduced to maybe a 3 or 4.. or maybe even less.
So yeah, I don't really recommend my methodology, but the experience taught me that facing your fears is a good thing. and that most fears are (probably) irrational. Don't let your fears define you.. face them!