How I Cured My Fear of Spiders

Arachnophobia.

One of the most commonly cited fears amongst humanity. But why?

The majority of spiders are completely harmless. But, they’re creepy as fuck.

They seem to appear out of nowhere, strikingly black against cream walls and carpets. They have way more legs than is reasonable. Most of them move really fast, especially when you get close to them. And the worst thing of all: they know how to hide, and once you lose sight of them, you’re a prisoner in your own home. FOREVER.

I’ve always been afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember. I’ve been screeching, jumping up onto furniture, running out of rooms, bellowing for my dad to come save me. But not to kill the spider, never to kill the spider. I’m not a monster. Only to move it outside.

However, it has come to my attention that many of these home-invaders are coming into your home for a reason. They don’t survive very well outside. Putting them outside probably means that they will die anyway. So now, I feel guilty even about “compassionately” releasing them into the garden.

So what was I to do? It became a bit of a paradox. Can’t live with em, can’t live without em.

I needed to get to a point where I could happily be in the same room as a spider, or at least the same building (I have begun to move many spiders into a generally unused room in the house). The problem was, I never really thought I would get past my fear of spiders, and thought I was doomed to be terrorised by the mini beasts forever.

Until something happened.

Something happened that completely changed the way I interact with spiders. And that something? Alcohol.

A few years ago, I was drunk. It’s not unusual for me to be drunk, so the chances of me being drunk and the chances of a spider being in the room at the same time are generally pretty high. I’m not a mathematician but it’s probably as likely as Northern Rail Trains being on strike. I digress.

We all know the warnings about alcohol, how it changes your perception of things – particularly threats – and how it makes you a little bit more brave than you usually are.

Well, this is what has cured my fear of spiders. For once, this drunken stupidity was a good thing. There I was, drunk as a fool, ready to go to bed, and a spider suddenly appeared on the ceiling. And I wasn’t scared.

I even picked it up with my bare hands. I picked the spider up with my bare handsAnd I moved it away from where I was going to sleep.

Ever since this event, I’ve realised that because I was able to do it, I should always be able to do it. Or, at least, to not be afraid. It’s kind of like that scene in Harry Potter where he sees someone performing a really strong patronus charm, deterring hundreds of dementors. And, when he goes back in time, and realises that the person was indeed himself, he was able to produce the strong patronus charm… because he knew he’d already done it. Does that make sense? It probably doesn’t. But we have to relate everything to Harry Potter these days. He’s the new Hitler.

So, my advice: increase the odds of you being drunk and in the presence of a spider. Be brave, seize the day, get close to the spider. And forever afterwards, you will realise, they ain’t so bad.

I still don’t like spiders. I would prefer them not to be in my presence. But they no longer strike fear in my heart. It’s kind of like passing an old enemy. We still despise each other, but we damn well respect each other. And we co exist as fellow earthlings in peace.

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