Paris is a No Go

I have two phobias I am keenly aware of - a fear of heights and of enclosed places.

Fear sucks. When the Irrational fear becomes debilitating, it sucks even more. An irrational debilitating fear hit hard this morning when we tried to get on the Eurostar to Paris.

When we were first planning our trip to Europe, we were going to fly to Rome and then London.  As we planned further, it made more sense to only visit England and Paris.  We then narrowed it down to Bath, London, and a quick day trip to Paris.  Flying was one option to go to Paris.  But a cheaper and (to some) easier way is to use Eurostar which places you near the city center.

If you don’t know what the Eurostar is it is a fast train to Pairs.  Part of the train trip is going through a tunnel created under the English Channel (or Chunnel).  Yes, that’s right, under the English Channel.  When I found out about this, I first said I’d rather fly.  But then reading about Eurostar further (it’s only 20 minutes under) I felt I could do it.  We booked the tickets.

Eurostar Station @ Waterloo

We arrived at Waterloo station early since our Eurostar train left early.  I took my two Dramamine once we got to the station, but something was still lingering in the back of my mind.  We went through the security checkpoint and then waited to board the train.

Nothing really conscious was going through my mind, nothing I could put my finger on, but I was getting anxious.  I was getting nervous.  Then there was an announced delay in boarding.  This allowed my mind more time to wander.

I could feel my breathing getting heavier, my legs feeling like cement, and my head becoming light.  Then came the boarding call.  I coughed several times as if I was going to vomit, but I knew I wasn’t.  Farrah kept asking me if I was ok.  I kept saying yes, hoping I could get past this.

Another boarding call.

More coughing.  I couldn’t stand up.  I looked at Farrah and told her I don’t think I can do this.  I honestly don’t know why I can’t as I’m not really thinking about it.  She looks at me, smiles, and says everything is all right.  She touches my face, kisses me on the cheek, and says, “Let’s book a flight instead.  We’ll get to Paris.”

My beautiful understanding wife is strong for me in this moment of irrational fear.  We walk out of the station and head back to the flat.

Unfortunately, the two Dramamine hit me hard when we are back at the flat.  Farrah lets me sleep it off until the afternoon.  We then get online to book the tickets through British Airways and then book a room since we decide to spend the night in Paris.

So, we’re set to be in Paris late Thursday morning and will be staying at the Francais Hotel.  I apologize throughout the evening for ruining this day.  Farrah just smiles and says it’s all right.  I can be apologetic until midnight, then no more talking about it.

I love my wife.

AJ Giron @verbal