June 1, 2006

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Pinings: Itsy bitsy
by Sherry Hughes sah103@hotmail.com

Dear Sherry,
At the office the other day, a massive brown, hairy spider gradually lowered itself from my desk to the ground and it landed on my bag. Being scared of spiders all my life (which stems from a very bad childhood experience involving spiders being placed on my body out of amusement) I flipped out. My husband was the first person I called and he tried to calm me down. It worked a little, but I really lost myself and it has been bothering me ever since. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can quell my fear and also make my office mates stop laughing?

Sincerely,

So scared I couldnít even watch Spider-Man.

Dear So scared,
Spiders suck.

My mother used to tell me that I was going to die one of these days trying to get away from a spider. When I was a teenager, my folks came home one night to find me asleep on the couch with a pool stick in my hand. I had seen a spider earlier in the night and was (apparently) going to kill it if it came back out Ö with the pool stick.

Anyway, you are in good company because lots of people are spooked by spiders. If you have a true phobia (meaning you would run down someone to get away from one or would drive off the road if you saw one in your car), you might consider professional help. There are methods that therapists use to help people through this kind of fear, including hypnosis. If your fear is manageable, which to me means you can be very agitated or nervous when you see a spider but donít have to go home for the day, donít beat yourself up. Everybody (except for maybe Chuck Norris) has something they fear. I am totally freaked out by lizards of all shapes and sizes. But most days I donít actually see any lizards. And Iím willing to bet that most days you donít see any spiders.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at sah103@hotmail.com


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