Ridiculously embarrassing panic attack on the Eiffel Tower… (Paris trip part one)

Many years ago I went to Paris for a long weekend with my best friend, I was 20 at the time. My daughter was less than a year old I think she was around 9 months old, I decided a needed a few nights away (I was extremely post natal) so Paris was our chosen destination. Although I cried the whole time, I was an emotional mess, I missed my baby and the trip was an utter disaster, looking back it is hilarious. At the time, not so much. But it has left me with many stories of what we got up to. So here is the first one:

We took the underground to the Eiffel Tower, it’s something you have to do in Paris, it would be rude not to. By this point of the trip we had very little money, we clearly under estimated how expensive Paris would be. Again I was only 20 so I can forgive myself for that. We quickly realised we couldn’t afford the lift to the top, instead we bought tickets to walk up the stairs of one leg. Rather disappointing but it still looked really high up so we thought it was better than nothing!! 

(I would also like to say now I’m not keen on heights, my friend isn’t great either but she could suck up her hysteria better than I could, she’s always been a lot more logical than me. I was undiagnosed and unmedicated at the time, I had a bad habit in moments of distress to panic very loudly and being unable to control the crazy, to put it bluntly, I do realise I would of looked like a total tool during this episode.)

We get to the steps and I realised they are cross cross metal, meaning you can see through them. I look at my friend and say “fuck that”and try walking away, she dragged me back lecturing me how its a life experience and that we’re doing it, she’ll stay right behind me, we’ll stick together and that I am not to look down. 

I keep my eyes firmly ahead of me, after what felt like forever were still climbing stairs, I start thinking about how high up from the ground we are…my breathing gets heavier….and the only think keeping me from hitting the ground is the cross cross wire…. the air is getting harder to breath… and how if I fall backwards I’d fall off the world as I’m so high up…. I then look down… and scream my fucking head off. Everyone around me starts panicking as they think there’s something seriously wrong due to me making such a scene. People around us are asking if I’m ok and what’s happening.

(God it’s so embarrassing to look back on!!!!)

I start imploding inside, the worlds a blur, I feel sick and I’m so scared I physically can’t move. I get really dizzy and am in full blown panic mode I remember the conversation I had after I sit down in protest on a step, clinging on for dear life with my eyes shut and the tears streaming down my face:

Me: I’m not fucking moving I don’t care if I’m in everyone’s way I’m too scared to move!!!! Oh my god I’m going to fall off!

My friend: please don’t freak out or I’ll freak out, just get up and we’ll go back down!!! 

Me: We’re so high up we’re going to fall off and die!!!! IM NOT MOVING!!! 

My friend: you do realise we’re only four flights up?

I open my eyes, I’m only four flights up?! In my head I think dear lord I’m such a drama queen, so I look down again…nope that shit is still making me scream uncontrollably …. I feel that high up I could be on the bloody moon. 

In the end my friend managed to coax me back down by us both going the whole way down on our bums!!!! Getting in evvvvvryones way, if looks could kill we would most certainly be dead. 

I’m such a dramatic bitch, as we hit ground level I laid flat out on the floor shaking and sobbing with relief. I then drank a bottle of wine in half an hour. 

Let this be a lesson to you all, if your post natal, slightly psychotic, unaware that you have bipolar and don’t like heights… maybe don’t climb the Eiffel Tower?

The Secret Blog of a 30 Year Old

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