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A New High

Brigitte

Ever since I was a child I’ve suffered from vertigo. Throughout my life, I’ve instinctively avoided situations that could take me high up or where I could get dizzy. I’d plan any travel in minute detail so that I wouldn’t even have to cross a suspension bridge. I ended up in total avoidance mode. I didn’t just suffer from vertigo; I was suffering from self-deprivation, denying myself important life-experiences like traveling freely (and without care) or visiting places that were high up.

I constantly avoided things until one day I attended an emotional regulation workshop. Afterwards, I told myself that I’d try to apply the training.

I was on a wooden bridge in the Buttes Chaumont (a Parisien Park). There were a lot of children jumping around and the bridge was swaying. I didn’t hesitate, I just followed the training, which was very clear; to observe what’s happening in my body when I’m having an emotional reaction. So I closed my eyes and applied the training, trying to identify any physical symptoms. I immediately felt them – sweating, cold hands, headaches and a knot in my stomach. I just let them run their course and they went away quite quickly. When I opened my eyes I was still on the bridge, so I looked over the side to see if I was still afraid. I felt nothing so I did it again, and again.

 

I was sceptical about emotional regulation, but I said to myself, “Maybe it worked? Let’s give it another go.”

Very soon afterwards I was able to try it out again on a trip away from home: I didn’t feel anything. My vertigo was gone. It’s great to no longer have vertigo but it’s more than that, something has changed in me. I feel that it has brought me a real sense of well-being and calm.

Brigitte.