Ok, that wasn't too bad.
It all started about four years ago, at the bowling alley, in lane number... you can guess.
I was holding a very heavy ball with a big 1 and a big 3 on the side. eugh.
I got distracted by the victory celebrations of lane twelve's winner.
The bowling ball slipped out of my hands and dropped on my foot.
An ambulance was called for.
Three, good so far.
After the 'twelve plus one' weeks it took until I could walk unaided, I started spotting it everywhere, as a sign that bad things were about to happen.
I was counting the spots on a ladybirds back, she had that number, she then flew into my mouth and down my throat. The **th computer in the library would always crash. I even got that number's ticket in the Christmas raffle, I asked if I could swap but they wouldn't let me. I didn't win.
"triskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia"
Six down, seven to go.
It wasn't long before I learned that there was a name for my fear, the name meant I wasn't just being silly, it meant it was real. From then on I was alert for any, wherever they might be. I'd stop eating chips when there were fourteen left so that there would never be wrong amount on the plate.
"triskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia, triskaidekaphobia"
Sometimes it wouldn't work, there was a trip to France and coach was number blahblahblah. I wouldn't get on it so they left me behind. I was promised that nothing would go wrong with the coach and nothing did. Maybe the thing that went wrong was that I wasn't on it.
This has gradually ruined my life. There is now one day a month where I don't go out if I can help it. There have been films I've not watched because of the screen they were in, streets I can't travel on the bus to, parties I have missed because of the door number, and friends who won't speak to me because of the parties I didn't turn up to.
This is starting to feel bad, only one to go.
Having been born on that day in May has sucked the joy from my past few birthdays. I want to ignore it this year again but I know that this year it wont go away. Whenever anyone asks what my age is I can't really respond by saying "I'm twelve and twelve months". I am going to have to spend the next year writing it down, so I need to get over this.
I knew it was coming, so I made a plan. If I could say the name of the fear that many times then maybe it wouldn't seem so bad. I don't think it will go away completely but this is a first step. A big step.
The first twelve aren't the problem, this last one has frozen me.
Come on, you can do this!
"Happy Birthday Sally!"
"I'm really proud of you Sal, now who's ready to go bowling?"
[This story was originally written for breakupfear.com]