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Forget Everything And Run...
Face Everything And Rise...
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I am writing this post, to recount how, one of my neighbors overcame her fear of closed spaces, and achieved success in a purely personal domain.
Picture an elderly lady, living on the fourth floor of a high rise building and Yours Truly, inhabiting the first floor of the same building.
Mrs. D, as I would like to address her, throughout this post, was a dear friend of my Mother's.
Both of them had the same college memories to reminisce and both of them had incidentally, moved into the same neighborhood, at the time of entering into their respective wed-locks.
So, they were friends-turned-neighbors, in a sense.
I had moved to my Mother's place for the prolonged period of illness, which she had to face, in the winter of 2007.
It was during this time that I learnt, that Mrs. D, had developed a fear of closed spaces, or Claustrophobia, in finer terms.
How this fear had made its way to her mind, nobody could figure. But all of us, including my mother, wished for it to go away.
Mr. D too, had a hard time coming to terms with the reality, that Mrs. D had been influenced by a Phobia, as you would call it.
It began surfacing when Mrs. D objected to closing the door of the Living Room, leading to the Balcony, at dusk, one fine December evening.
It had baffled us, as to why a 70 year old lady would want the evening winter chill to enter the house!
That was just the beginning...
Being an active and energetic soul at heart, Mrs. D used to fetch the groceries herself, every alternate day.
She used to climb the flight of stairs, right till the fourth floor, unfailingly.
But, that December was bound to be the harshest December for her...
Mrs. D gradually started complaining of muscle cramps and pain in the knees...
Mr. D dismissed it, saying it had occurred due to old age...
Some days later, I started noticing that Mrs. D had done away with her grocery-shopping regime.
Instead, her son used to fetch them for her, now.
At first I thought, that their family doctor might have advised Mrs. D bed rest, and hence the change.
But, it was not so. Mrs. D completely stopped stepping outside the house!
Worried, I visited her, one evening.
She acknowledged the fact that she could not use the stairs now, as her knee pain had severed.
When I suggested that she could use the elevator instead of the stairs, installed in our building, she let out a huge cry!
I was astonished on receiving such a grave reaction, from such a lively lady!
That was the day when Mrs. D finally came to terms with her fear.
She detested the elevator.
It was a closed space, after all...
But, this was not the way, it should have been...
The way Mrs. D had restricted her movement to only within the four walls of her house...
It would weigh heavy, upon her, in this senility...
I decided to help Mrs. D beat this Phobia, and achieve victory over her Fear.
Instead of fetching groceries, we begun by going for a simple morning walk, in the park across the street.
I coaxed her into using the elevator, while I accompanied her.
Using the stairs was impossible for her, and had been ruled out, at first.
Call it a co-incidence or not, Mrs. D's daughter too, had a fear of the elevator, in particular, which she'd overcome, at a young age, owing to Mrs. D's efforts!
I recalled this instance just in time, to boost Mrs. D's confidence, to another level, altogether.
If she could drive this Phobia out of her daughter's psyche, she could as well motivate herself and overcome this fear!
Thus, she took initiative, and decided to use the elevator to go from the Ground Floor to the first, to the second, to the third, to the fourth, one at a time.
Meanwhile, I would come by the stairs, and keep a check whether she reached the floor, without any hassles. If she would feel anxious, at any point of time, then I would accompany her to the subsequent floors.
Obviously, we had to risk her health, and the fact that she could panic and even lose consciousness, while she was inside the elevator.
At first, it wasn't easy, and she would suffer anxiety attacks. But, it was for her own good.
A couple of weeks later, her condition improved, and Mrs. D used to go from the Ground Floor to the second, and to the fourth, two floors at a time!
I heaved a sigh of relief as I could see her, gradually overcoming her Claustrophobia.
Over a month's time, she begun going for the walk, and returning home, via the elevator, all by herself! :D
It is rightly said...