We all have things we are afraid of. For some it’s spiders (ok, for me) and others it’s clowns or Friday the 13th. All of those phobias that I have mentioned have actual names. Fear of spiders is Arachnaphobia; fear of clowns is Coulrophobia; and fear of Friday the 13th is Friggatriskaidekaphobia.

Even though I scream when I see spiders, I don’t get anxiety ridden. I just scream, one of the male people here comes and rolls his eyes at me, ridicules me for screaming like a girl, and picks up the spider, examines it and gets rid of it.

There’s only one phobia that makes me anxious – I am extremely afraid of losing electricity. In fact, when the lights flicker, and shut off, immediately my heart begins to race, my palms get sweaty and I find it hard to breathe. It’s been that way ever since I was a little girl.

HSM at five years old.

I still remember being five or six, living in Cardiff, and one winter’s night the electric went off.

Mum lit candles, we had one huge flashlight to use sparingly, and we waited for the power to go back on. I had recently learned that fire was dangerous. You never ever play with fire. Matches were for grown-ups to use, not little 5 year old girls. But Mum lit candles. Candles had fire, fire was dangerous. I don’t know how long the power had been out, but I remember being scared, so so so scared, that there’d be a huge fire.

To this day, that scared feeling sticks with me. I have tried over the years to just ignore it, but that doesn’t work. I acknowledge it, I tell myself that everything will be OK and I try to distract myself.

Last week, well, we had no power for 5 days. I was anxious the entire time – and yesterday when the power flickered, up rushed the anxiety again. Right now, it’s waiting there, just under the surface, ready to pounce. But the storms are over, for now, and it’s time to let go of the anxiety and move on with my life.

What are you afraid of? How does your fear manifest itself?

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  1. sherry says:

    Thank you for raising this issue, which really resonates with me. I am terribly claustrophobic. I’ve walked up fifteen flights of stairs rather than take an elevator, and I hate tunnels- I am terrified of feeling closed in. Once I was in a public bathroom at an event in a hotel and the outer door’s lock broke and we couldn’t get out (thank G-d there were other people there with me) and I started yelling Open the door! We’re locked in! ! A couple of endless moments later, someone in the lobby opened up. I was pale and shaking.
    I would love to go to Israel but you can’t open a window on a plane… It really can impact one’s life… I would appreciate any helpful suggestions from you or you readers.
    West Coast, USA

  2. tesyaa says:

    As I get older I have fewer phobias, because the things I’m afraid of come true and I find that life goes on.

    For years I was very afraid of having a major car accident, and the thought was constantly on my mind whenever I drove. Then then I had an accident in which I totaled my husband’s car, the air bags deployed, etc, (luckily no one was really hurt.) Now, while I try to drive carefully, I don’t have the same phobia, since my fear has already come true.

    About losing power: I didn’t dread losing power at all, but with an autistic kid at home who wouldn’t understand the situation, it would have been pretty bad had we had this happen to us. Luckily we didn’t, but I guess I will deal with it if and when it happens.

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