My version of hell: An elevator.

I have claustrophobia. I hate small places. Like really hate, bordering on panic attack hate small enclosed spaces. I’ve had this phobia for years and it is the combination of many small events happening to me when I was younger. So it is pretty natural that I would hate elevators just for being small, but I also hate them for the movement. I am not a fan of movement at all, but the movement of elevators when they go up and down is different from elevator to elevator. Usually when I’m in an elevator I have to hold on to the bars and take deep breaths. If the elevator is crowded I’ll be bordering on a panic attack yet if the elevator is empty I’m also panicking because what if it stops and I’m the only on in it? Well, if that were to happen I’m pretty sure I’ll be hyperventilating while lying in the foetal position in the corner.

Once Morten and I rode in a crowed elevator at Tate and people thought he was being all kinds of mean to me, because I looked scared out of my mind while clutching his arm. Another time I was stuck in the back of an elevator that just kept stopping and more people getting on, so when we reached the ground floor I pushed seven strangers out of the way to stop right outside the elevator to breathe slowly in and out for two minutes before continuing on with my day. There was also the time I had to take a tiny elevator by myself in Kota Kinabalu because it only fit me and my backpack and not Mette so I suffered alone for the longest two minutes of my life.

At least regular elevators are not filled with the stuff of nightmares.
At least regular elevators are not filled with the stuff of nightmares.

So the fact that use the elevator at my internship every single day is quite an accomplishment. I started to overcome my phobia when I was living in England because when I was at work they were unavoidable due to the fact that my clients were in wheel chairs, but I was never alone in one. So the panic attacks are in the very back of my mind. Now I take the elevator daily because my office is on the fourth floor and I don’t really want to take the stairs every single time I go down to the main floor and back up again.

The point is that I’m getting pretty good at this take-the-elevator-every-day-thing I’ve got going on. The only real times I panic is when there are more than four people in the elevator beside me since that feels really claustrophobic. And when I take the elevator after hours and I have to use my employee card to activate the elevator and it take enough time for the door to close and me being stuck inside the not yet moving elevator which scares me so much, but I power through and manage.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. D. Kohler says:

    I thought you started to move past it when we lived in Vienna (on the sixth floor) and no one could ever bother to take the stairs?!

    1. H. Berg says:

      Started? Yes. Managed to do so? Not quite. Now I only panic slightly on the inside. In Vienna I panicked a lot on the inside and a little on the outside.

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