On Being Tall.

photo.jpg I am unusually tall, however, I have recently figured out reasons for my overly aggressive anxiety that seems to annoy me on a daily basis. All of the life that I can remember, I have suffered from tumultuous bouts of anxiety. As I have grown older and taller my anxiety has grown right along with me. I have sought out the assistance of psychologists, psychiatrists, acupuncturists, astrologers, chiropractors, meditations teachers and prostitutes. At times certain modalities have been more helpful than others but for the most part my tempestuous anxiety has stalked me like a revengeful lover. I have been held victim by an anxiety so strong the the most menacing of closet or basement monsters pails in comparison.

I am close to seven feet tall which means that I rise quite high off the ground. All of my life I have been on the taller side but I really began to notice the distance between my eyes and the ground when I reached six foot five inches. My grandfather and father both suffered from a terrible fear of heights and until recently I was unaware that I had inherited their affliction. The other day someone said to me “is it not terrifying to be so high off the ground and looking down to see such a vast distance?” And then a little bulb went off inside my mind- this is the cause of my years of ANXIETY, a fear of height!

Being unusually tall in a society composed of mostly medium height people creates a feeling of separation inside of me that only sitting down can resolve. Granted I have noticed that some of my more peaceful moments have been while sitting in meditation. Normally I feel like a man dangling from the edge of a cliff dramatically fearing his fall…I can see now why I find such a respit while composed in the lotus posture- I am close to the ground.

I am told that anxiety is the result of being disconnected from your body, but has anyone ever consider that anxiety could be caused from being to high up in your body? At almost seven feet tall my mind is terrified by the space between it and the ground. Always looking down upon people makes me feel like I am not apart of them. Sometimes I feel as if I am suffering from complete disconnection- a head hovering high in space chronically dealing with a condition called being really tall. And so I have found a reasonable panacea for my anxiety. In the words of one of my students, “just don’t look down and you’ll be all right.”

6 thoughts on “On Being Tall.

  1. People that are 7 feet tall exist only in basketball games and you never mentioned being a professional player.
    Are you sure that you belong to the right tail of the height distribution? Not to the left? In any case, I have a preference for the center.

  2. I too am above average height – 6’6″ to be exact. I spent alot of my life trying to be inconspicuous because I always feel like people are looking at me. I have red hair, also, so I really stand out in a crowd. I can relate to your comments very well.

    One thing you left out was how you feel when you are around somebody TALLER than you. I get very anxious and uncomfortable; I suppose it’s because I seldom have to look up at people…

    Keep up the interesting blogging…

  3. It is true- being around people taller than I is almost more uncomfortable than being around shorter people.

    Thank you for the kind comment.

  4. I am of average height (5ft 8) and build and when I was a teenager this made me anxious and insecure because I thought being average was below any required standard for life. Now I am wiser, and I know it is. It is, alas, part of the human character that whatever we have we are eternally ungrateful for. I have learnt but one thing in fifty plus years – whoever it is who is supposedly worse off than anyone else on this planet, it ain’t me. And it ain’t you. So I’ll stick with my anxieties and afflictions and have another drink. Cheers!

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