The Burrow: Fighting my Invisible Fear

by Olivia

Once I read the Burrow topic for May, I began to think of what my fear was. I went through the usual: spiders, clowns, mummies. But I found that I wasn’t truly afraid of those things. Then I realized my problem. I’m not afraid of something that squirms in the dark, or crawls up my leg. I’m afraid of something that can’t be seen, just sensed. I’m afraid to death of heights.

Now that I had realized my fear, I had to think very hard as to what could make it funny. I thought back to the time I visited the Statue of Liberty. For those of you who have never climbed through Ms. Liberty to get to her crown, you have to climb a spiral staircase that’s over five stories high. And if that isn’t enough, the stairs aren’t solid, but have gaps underneath. I don’t know how I could make something like that funny. I almost passed out by the time I reached the top and almost started crying when we had to go back down again. That paralyzing feeling that snaked through my body and clenched at my heart was never a laughing matter to me.

So how does one go about making a fear of some feeling funny? Harry’s was easy, since his fear of fear was personified in the Dementors. But what about the people who are afraid of the dark, or afraid of small spaces? How does one go about conquering those invisible fears?

My first solution was easy: stay away from boggarts and the Statue of Liberty, but I knew that was the only the coward’s way out. So I thought that maybe, since I feared this emotion, something that I couldn’t see, that I needed to fight it with an equally powerful feeling.

Maybe I had to think of a memory that was particularly funny to me, something I could laugh at. Or maybe I had to think of a memory that reminded me of how much I loved my family. The list could go on, but I’ve come to the conclusion that any strong, positive feeling that could overpower my fear of heights would work.

Whether it would be happiness, or love, or laughter, all it had to do was take my mind off of the impending fear of heights. I think, in general, that applies to all boggarts and fears. You think of something funny to take your mind off of what truly scares you and thus it is easier to overcome.