Facing Your Fears by Melanie Green

In my last article I wrote that you need to stop waiting to do things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Well… I took my own advice and booked in to do a charity extreme abseil from the top of the maternity block at Ipswich Hospital. I’m fully questioning why on earth I would do this as I am petrified of heights. I can’t even look out of a five-story window. I can’t walk over one of those glass floors. I cry during most airplane take offs. But I have started pushing myself and even managed to walk out (tentatively) onto a viewing platform in the hills in Andalusia, Spain, in March. That being said, this platform had a steel mesh floor and I definitely did not look down and my gaze was definitely firmly fixed on the horizon, and I definitely may have run back off it!
So, it seems an obvious choice for me to voluntarily lean backwards off the top of a nine-storey, 41 meter, 135 feet, building! I also hadn’t fully comprehended that in order to abseil down the building, I first need to step out onto the roof… of a nine-storey building (I’m mentioning it again in case you didn’t fully register how flipping high it is the first time!).
Why am I doing this? I guess I have three reasons. One – FOMO (fear of missing out). When I saw the pictures of the abseil last year, I was a bit jealous that I hadn’t signed up and I didn’t want to feel that way again this year. Two – as I’ve mentioned I am trying to challenge myself, live for today, do things that scare me and push me out of my comfort zone. And three – to raise money for Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity. I received my treatment for breast cancer at Ipswich Hospital and this is just a little way of saying thank you to all the people who saved my life and to those that made the whole, terrifying, experience as comfortable as possible. From the consultants and surgeons, to the nurses, to the auxiliary staff and volunteers, again thank you. Below are excerpts from my book ‘But Seriously, Who Knew? My Cancer (And Other Bits) Story’ and I am still, and will forever be, grateful for our NHS and the wonderful people who make such a difference to so many.
“The oncology nurses were all amazing. I never felt rushed; I never felt pressured to put on a brave face – even when I was being a baby about having the sticky pad pulled off that kept the cannula in place! They were smiley, genuine and oh-so-caring. You would expect a cancer centre to be a miserable, depressing place but that is so far off the mark. Luckily the Woolverstone Day Unit at Ipswich Hospital is bright and modern after a makeover a few years ago (2016), which also added to the feeling of calm and well-being.”
“Your doctors are wizards and your nurses are angels. We are so lucky in the UK to have the NHS. I am eternally grateful.”
“I feel lucky that Mum got diagnosed in a time and in a country where the doctors are like wizards with magic and potions that can do the impossible.” (This is from one of the chapters my daughter, Lauren, wrote.)
I’ve done a couple of charity things in the past, mostly walks, so this does feel a bit on the extreme side, but hey, I’m only here once so what’s the worst that can happen… ;)
The abseil takes place on Saturday 29th July at 9am (I chose this time because I know I won’t sleep at all the night before so I may as well ‘get it over with’ as soon as possible! I’ve got a family party to go to that afternoon and I may partake in a small glass, or six, of something – to celebrate, or to calm my nerves, who knows?!
If you would like to support me in this abseil, you can do so through my Just Giving page (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melaniegreen-butseriously) or message me through my website (www.melaniegreenauthor.co.uk) or Instagram (@melaniegreen_author) and I can either send you the link directly. I am so grateful to those who have donated so far – I’ve had to ‘up’ my target as I reached the minimum required in just under a week – thank you so much xx