Whenever a thunderstorm was raging outside my window and I was in bed, I would stay awake till the thunder and lightning subsided before I could try to go back to sleep. Yesterday, at about 3am there was a particularly brutal thunderstorm — the type where every single boom of thunder startled me and made me feel inexplicably terrified, and every flash of lightning was sufficiently bright to illuminate my whole bedroom from the window.
I’ve never told anyone except for J recently that I have astraphobia (i.e. a fear of thunder and lightning). Or a mild case of it at least, since I don’t know what the full extent of the phobia can be like without having gone for a proper clinical diagnosis. And it doesn’t help that I am somehow prone to frequent bouts of panic attacks, something that can be aggravated by thunderstorms since I will always be feeling insanely anxious.
It’s not that I’m afraid of being struck by lightning or somehow be physically harmed by the thunder — I’m aware that the chances of that happening are pretty low considering how I am under shelter, in my bed, and usually tightly wrapped in my blanket — but for some reason thunderstorms freak me out big-time when they happen at night and I’m all alone.
Maybe it’s their ominous nature and association with horror movies (like how the vengeful spirit that has been watching the main character the whole time finally reveals itself during a thunderstorm, and the lightning casts light on its horribly twisted face before it goes in for the kill); maybe it’s just the magnificent and epic scale at which nature can manifest that intimidates and scares me; or maybe I’ve simply never outgrown such a childish fear. Whatever it is, thunderstorms petrify me to no end and no amount of fluffy blankets, blindfolds, or ear plugs is going to change the fact that every time the skies decide to wreak havoc I will be a trembling, sobbing mess of panic attacks and imaginations gone wild.
Here’s to hoping I overcome my astraphobia as soon as possible. Fingers crossed (and ears covered).