Vertigo. That, and an extreme fear of heights have always kept me from climbing spiral staircases. Especially those you can see through. And these, you can.
My hands were clammy, that's true. And in between little, squeaky noises of fear I shakily exclaimed, "We are going to die…"
But I went, anyway.
Though claustrophobia's another of my several anxieties (we'll get through the full list before it's all said and done), I've climbed solid spiral staircases, like those back stairways you find in old homes, castles, things like that. But I detest being able to see through stairs all… the… way… down…
Partial credit belongs to my anti-anxiety meds. God love chemistry! However, because cognitive psychological therapy demands it, kudos to me for having the bravery to do something that scared the hell out of me – ascending a perfectly safe, though see-through, staircase.
Perfectly safe. My mantra all the way up and down.
Reaching the top platform, the guides allowed us up the last few stairs (not see-through, for the record), one person at a time, to get a view of the light itself. That's as far as we were allowed, out of concern for what is a very expensive system of bulbs and custom-made glass.
After coming all that way I was a little disappointed we couldn't see the view, walking along the outside of the lighthouse on a platform to see the rocky coast below. Hopefully not a see-through platform. I have to maintain some phobias.
A little surprising I felt disappointment, though. That's not normal for me, either. Another pat on my back.
Instead, the best views were of the lighthouse itself, along the rugged coastline of Oregon. And romantic views they were.
A glance back up at the tower reminded me how far up I actually went. Not far by many people's standards, but it may as well have been a mountain to me. I could have given Paul the camera and let him make the climb that scared me, having him take the photos, but instead I did it myself.
Another fear that, if not totally conquered, was at least a little diminished by the reminder I made it up and down without dying a horrific and bloody death. I won't guarantee I'll face all my fears with such courage, but this is one for the success column.