Did you know that arsonophobia is the fear of fire?
And did you know that I suffered from this phobia for sixteen years of my life?
You didn't? Well, let me tell you all about it.
I am not sure why, but right up until a few months ago I had never, in my entire life, lit a match before. I know! Crazy, right? I have always been scared of fire. I hate putting logs into our fireplace, I hate dealing with fire. It just freaks me out. And I have always drawn the line at lighting matches.
My siblings thought I was weird. We have a gas element, and it's getting a bit old, and you
There I was, a sixteen year old, old enough to get over this silly fear of mine.... but I couldn't. I tried lighting matches. Oh yes, I tried. But I couldn't. There was something in me that wouldn't let me strike hard enough to produce a flame.
I didn't know how I was going to get over my phobia. I didn't know whether I would have to go through my entire life refusing to light matches. All I knew was that I was scared stiff of the little wooden sticks with red bits on the ends.
And then one day, it all changed.
My family were out for the day. I don't remember where they went; I just know that I had something else on later that day which meant I couldn't go with them. I was home alone. Which I was fine with. Until it came to lunchtime... and I decided to make myself curried eggs for lunch.
It wasn't until I had boiled the jug and sliced up the onion and got out a pot and everything that I remembered. I was scared of matches. Yeah. There was no one around to light the element for me.
By that time, I was in the mood for curried eggs. There was no way a small matter like arsonophobia was going to stop me eating my eggs for lunch! I opened the cream coloured cupboard and took down the little red box that sat on the highest shelf. Every other time I'd done this swept through my mind. Each time I had chickened out. But this time, there was nobody else around. There was just me... and the matches. And my fear.
Facing your fear is a funny thing. I had maintained for sixteen years that nothing would ever make me strike a match. And here I was, about to do just that. I felt terribly courageous.
I held the match up to the side of the box.
Then, with all the courage I had in me, I struck the match.
I struck for myself. For the sixteen years I had feared this very moment. For all the times when I'd chickened out before the big moment. For my love of curried eggs.
And all of a sudden, a flame leapt into life, on the end of the little stick in my fingers.
That was a big moment for me. I was so excited. I couldn't help just staring at the match in my hand, with the flame flickering on the end. I was proud of myself. Proud of what I had accomplished.
And that's the story. I can now happily report that I have lit many, many matches since then. Matches hold no fear for me. I am still a little afraid of fire, but isn't that normal? And at least I can light matches now. :)
Do you have a weird phobia? Or even a normal phobia? (If phobias can be considered normal, lol!) :)
P.S. I'm excited because this is my 450th post! Yeeeaaah!