My heart brakes for people who suffer from Agateophobia. This issue literally drives them crazy, as it is the fear of insanity. Let that last statement sink in for just a moment. At the first hint of craziness their mind starts racing promptly leading them to freak out even more which causes more paranoia that they are slowly going insane. It’s like the crazy cycle of life.
Phobias are old hat for me. There are times when I feel like Baskin Robbins in that I have 31 phobias and then some. Somehow I have managed to navigate through life while dealing with my fair share of phobias. As a toddler my mom said I suffered from Ablutophobia (fear of washing and bathing). If the pictures from my trips to Disney World are any indication then when I was a kid I had Pupaphobia (fear of puppets). In my awkward middle school stage Caligynephobia (fear of woman) caused me to sit in the bleachers during dances. As soon as puberty kicked in and peach fuzz began appearing on my upper lip the doctor diagnosed me with Xyrophobia (Fear of razors). Unless it involved a PlayStation 2 controller, during college I went through a bad stretch of Ergophobia (fear of work).
Jenn would tell you I am the king of Decidophobia (fear of making decisions), but I still have not decided if she is right or not. The last disorder is a byproduct of a double dose of Kainolophobia (fear of anything new) and Metathesiophobia (fear of changes) from my time living in the Suburbs when being adventurous means a Saturday afternoon not spent at Target or Costco. Having pulled most of my hair out in frustration of the mundane life I lead has set in motion my Phalacrophobia (Fear of becoming bald).
A new phobia of mine came out of the darkness recently after confronting that I am, in fact, socially stunted during this little experiment. To my surprise, this fear has yet to receive a clinical name or make an appearance on the phobia list. Either it is so rare or doctors ridicule my fear to the point they will not even dignify it with a definition. However, since they came up with Sinistrophobia for people who fear all things left handed I am assuming they aren’t chuckling at my expense.
One of the things that terrifies me the most is elevators. Yes, you heard me right. Those boxes whose sole purpose is to go up and down bring a chill down my spine. Although the possibility of hearing Muzak versions of Nickleback in and of itself is frightening enough, this does not keep me from heading for the stairs. All you clever chaps who think it has to do with claustrophia or a fear of heights then you would be way off course.
I guess a bit of clarification is needed. This fear only manifests itself when there are other people in the elevator with me. If the doors close and I am alone then I am become a dancing fool rocking out to Kenny G. However, the anxious feelings begin the moment I notice someone waiting by the elevator. All I can hope for is an act of God to take place and they will get an email on their Blackberry or instant craving to play Brick Breaker.
Unfortunately, this almost never occurs and I am forced to engage in small talk. The problem is I am the Pauly Shore of small talk as my performance always leaves people scratching their head confused at what just took place. After a quick weather update and a good laugh over the fact that the lady in charge of elevator inspection in the state of North Carolina is named Cherie Berry, I am officially tapped out of ideas. Since small talk is a part of life and is the foundation of every social encounter looks like my 30 days start with the basic of baby steps.