I was standing 23 feet off the ground on a rickety platform overlooking Manhattan’s East River, a sea of people below watching, waiting for me to jump. Every muscle in my body was trembling. I reviewed my options.
When I told M* on our first date that I’d always secretly dreamed of being in the circus, I didn’t think he’d take me seriously. When he booked trapeze lessons for us, my normal, second date anxiety was replaced with a more palpable terror.
I’ve suffered all my life from a condition called benign paroxysmal vertigo. Starting at age three, I began having mysterious dizzy spells. Out of nowhere, with no warning, everything in my vision would split into a million pieces and start spinning and swirling around me in every direction. This would continue for about 10 terrifying minutes, or until I blacked out. The specialists at Columbia Medical Center assured my parents that I’d outgrow it. Keep reading »