One of my biggest fears not involving W, is a fear that I have had since I was a kid. It began when my feet started to grow and grow and balance was sometimes an issue. I remember being at the top of a flight of stairs and glancing down and realizing my feet were larger than the steps. If I wasn’t careful, if I didn’t hit each step just so, I would fall down the stairs. I was certain of this.
So for nearly two decades I have had a huge, massive, epic, inconvenient fear of falling down stairs.
I have to face my fear several times a day as I live in a two-story home. I am cautious, slow, and deliberate with stairs in my home. Despite this caution and care, this weekend I met my fear when I slipped on the top step on the 2nd floor and feel all the way down to the 1st floor.
It was awful.
Thankfully I did not break anything. I didn’t seem to do any physical damage beyond creating a sort of accordion style bruise from my shoulder blades all the way down to my ankles. I must have sat down as I slipped and managed to keep my head from hitting a step. One of the rare moments I have ever had quick reflexes!
My first thought was to not make a big fuss as I was splayed about at the bottom of the stairs. I am certain I cried out as I flew down, but I remember telling myself not to cry as I waited for help. I didn’t want to upset W more than necessary and if I could convince him I was going to be ok that would be good. My mom was quickly at my side and helped me make sure nothing was broken or in need of urgent care and then she helped me over to the sofa. W was convinced I was ok and he went back to play in his room.
As soon as he was out of sight I caved into sobs. Falling down the stairs was just as horrible and awful as I had imagined it would be for 20 years. It was being out of control and not knowing what was going to happen – how much damage was about to be done. It was needing help and feeling helpless. It was falling. Oh the falling was awful. Terrible.
Mom tried to find a silver lining within the situation by saying – hey! you met your fear and you survived!
Having one of your greatest fears happen doesn’t make the fear vanish. If anything my fear is even deeper because I know. And I can imagine how much worse it could have been. I also know I am so lucky to be ok and not broken. I will have to go up and down these stairs a million more times and I will have the memory of falling in my body every single time I climb.