We all have fears. Some people are scared of spiders, clowns or snakes. Me?! I am terrified of heights – which extends into a fear of bridges. I am talking heart drops down to the pit of my stomach, sweaty palms, hyperventilating kind of fear. Just thinking about bridges puts me in full on panic mode – let alone trying to drive over one. Fortunately for me – I don’t drive very often so on the rare occasion I am forced over a bridge – someone else is driving which allows me to close my eyes and pretend it isn’t actually happening.
As of September, I started a new position that requires me to travel. This job requires me to drive all across New Brunswick which for any of you who are unaware – as I was – is basically just one giant bridge. They are literally everywhere!
My first experience with a bridge in New Brunswick was two weeks ago on my very first work trip. The daunting bridge that put my trip to a halt was the Miramichi bridge – which is a pretty big bridge for anyone who hates bridges. I simply couldn’t do it. I had to pull over and find a way to get where I needed to be without crossing the bridge. I was lucky that there was a way around this time and I knew it wouldn’t be an option forever. While I knew that I had to somehow get over this fear and cross a bridge at some point – I also had no idea how I was going to be able to do it.
And so, my first work trip came to an end and I did not cross the Miramichi bridge. I drove around to avoid it anytime it came about. There were smaller, more tolerable bridges along my trip and I used those to help build up my confidence. When my second week on the road came along I told myself I was going to drive across the bridge. I couldn’t let this fear stop me from being able to do the new job that I love. I told myself “Shae, you are a grown a$$ woman – put the pedal to the medal and cross that darn bridge!” – and that is exactly what I did.
Was it terrifying? YES! Do I still dislike bridges? Again, yes. What I did accomplish was facing one of my biggest fears. Have I completely conquered my fear of bridges? No. They are still a fear – but a fear I am going to conquer by facing it one bridge at a time.