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At times, we are faced with the task of dealing with some of our darkest and deepest fears. Yet, the Mind over matter philsophy can help us out a lot!
I have always had the fear of being in a small space or room and unable to escape.
Yet, here I was.
As I went into this tunnel, my anxiety and the irrational fear of having no escape, being closed-in was paving its way to a panic attack. I had felt the same once when I was on a flight.
I could in no way avoid getting into the tunnel. That was the only way out. I mustered the courage. The tunnel was so small. I had to lie down. Such a narrow passage was only killing me within although it was well lit.
I was breathing heavily and getting all the oxygen I needed, but I felt my breath was about to stop. It was going to be a thirty-minute journey so I just kept myself going. The choking sensation was making me fear that I would be running out of oxygen.
Staying put, I was constantly reminding myself that the frightening thoughts and feelings would pass, breathing slowly and deeply and counting to three on each breath. I kept challenging my fear by reminding myself that it was not real. I also tried visualizing positive outcomes and images. Having underestimated the entire distance, I was now trapped. There was a point when I wanted to scream, shout and cry for help. How I wished someone could just let me out and say that this was not necessary. I just wanted this to end.
I prayed to God to help me sail through while I blankly gazed at the ceiling which was just inches above my face. The big set of headsets was supposed to block the hammering noise around. Yet, I could hear the sound varying with time and and with loudness, sometimes occurring rapidly and sometimes just occasionally.
Still feeling unable to control my fears and terribly uncomfortable due to my back pain, I almost decided to end it. Then I held back. I had come a long way already. My fingers stopped before pressing the panic button.
The feeling of being buried alive was now fading as I heard the door creak open. I was almost there at my destination.
The loud thuds ended. The remaining stone-still encased in the tight magnetic space also came to an end. I survived. Mind over matter can do a lot, I concluded.
Soon I was sliding out of the tunnel gently. I felt the freedom to breathe after thirty long minutes! I felt a new life within me and took a deep breath out of that nightmarish experience.
The trauma I experienced at that time affected my ability to cope with going into the tunnel again rationally in the future. So I asked my radiologist if I had to go in again. He said no.
I felt alive once again.
I got off the MRI machine and looked back at it feeling victorious.
I had won over claustrophobia.
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