Merely Me's Happiness Project
Take one depressed person...me
Implement one suggestion from a self help book each week
See what happens
Can one unmedicated and therapy-less woman find the secret to happiness from the words of self-help gurus? Let's find out!
How are you all doing this Friday evening?
Let's talk about fear. Everyone fears something or other. And some of us even have phobias.
I borrowed a book from the library called, "Quick Fixes for Everyday Fears" by Michael Clarkson to see what this author had to offer the fearful and phobic.
I have to say that I was immediately skeptical of any book with the words, "quick fixes" in the title. Seldom are there any quick fixes in life but I decided to take a chance and see what Clarkson has to say.
So who here has a phobia or fear? I remember some Charlie Brown special where Lucy asks Charlie Brown what he is afraid of. She goes through this big long list and then finally she asks, "Are you afraid of everything?" And he jumps up and shouts, "That's it!" By the way the official term for the fear of everything is called Panophobia.
I have quite a few fears myself. I am afraid of heights, deep water, and flying in an airplane to name just a few.
So let's see what the quick fix is for any of these fears.
My fear of heights is called acrophobia. And it says people with this fear may have problems with coordination and balance. Hmmm...could be true of me now. But as a child? I can remember when my fear began. I was less than four years old. My mother and I lived in an apartment which was on an upper floor and the only way to get to our door was to climb fire escape stairs. I fell down them one day even as my mother was trying to hold my hand. She let go and down I went. Been afraid of open stairs and heights to this day.
The author recommends "exposure" therapy for me. To go to a third floor or higher window and simply look out the window. Sounds reasonable.
Let's see...what else? "Go to a therapist" is another suggestion. Gee how original! Or...have friends encourage you to go skydiving. Say what? Or have a mom who is a Navajo Indian who carries you on her back. According to Clarkson, these children grow up to be "fearless construction workers on high-rises." On that last note I say, "What you talkin 'bout Willis?" Just something I say when someone says something ree-dic-u-lous!
All right...what does this fellow have to say about my fear of flying? Uh...let's see here. We white knuckled flyers may drink alcohol during the flight. We are overachievers and perfectionists and we had parents who demanded perfection. Like...not even close here. And this book says more women than men fear flying.
The author reminds us of the facts...you are probably more likely to die in a car crash than in an airplane. Like...when you are dealing with a phobia...these facts...do not help. I know. "Admit your anxieties and talk to others about them." Oh believe me...the person sitting next to me during the last flight I was on heard all about my little fear issue.
"Feel confident about the pilot and crew." or "Get a massage before your flight." Okay...um...seriously? Clarkson ends by giving us a mantra: "I'm in good hands." Actually the mantra I kept repeating was, "It is just like a big bus. I am on a big bus."
I will definitely have to share my adventures in the air as they will undoubtedly provide my readers with much entertainment.
I don't feel a need to keep reading. My general consensus is that this is a silly silly book! Maybe now I have a new fear...a fear of silly self help books.
Getting over a fear can make one feel triumphant, proud, and happy. And sometimes just glad to be alive to survive your greatest fears.
I am sorry Michael Clarkson but I can only give you one out of five. Interesting book. But helpful? Not so much.
What are your thoughts? Have any fears you would like to discuss? How do you try to get over your fears and phobias? Tell us your story. We want to hear from you!
Published On: September 18, 2009