Life in General, Travel

Do You Have a Fear of Flying?

 

Do you have a fear of flying? Do you know in your mind that you have a much larger chance of dying walking across the street than in a plane crash, yet still get anxious when you fly? Do you reason with yourself, tell yourself that people fly ALL THE TIME and survive but still sweat and get an upset stomach when you fly? Do you know your fear is totally irrational? My answer to all of those questions is a resounding YES.

Growing up, my family flew a lot! We went to Hawaii many times- that’s a 5 hour flight from California. We flew to Washington State, to Boston, to San Francisco and many other places. I never had a fear of flying back then. Turbulence would make me laugh. I loved getting my Ginger Ale on the flight and would chill and watch movies.

Then I became a mom and things changed entirely. I had a baby to care for and somehow I became anxious when I flew. When our son was very young, I did not really have time to think about being scared on a flight. He kept me busy and entertained. I remember on one turbulent flight he was giggling and made others around us laugh. I think the movement of the airplane made his stomach feel funny. I appreciated the distraction from my fear.

Later, as my son got older, my anxiety grew. I absolutely HATE flying now- luckily not enough to stop. I do not do well flying alone- thankfully I do not do that often. I do best when AJ, Jason and I fly together. I once had someone tell me that it was strange that if the plane went down, I would want my family together. I guess that is true, but having them with me just makes me more comfortable. Even AJ knows my fears and does his best to comfort me. I am so thankful he doesn’t have my same fear.

 

 

A lot of people fear take off and landing. Not me. I actually start to feel much calmer when I know we’re descending. I have this fear when we’re in the middle of the sky that all of the sudden we will take a huge drop. I have these crazy thoughts. What if someone didn’t tighten the screws in the plane? What if the door just flies open? What if this plane is too old and it falls apart? Then I think to myself about my friends who fly weekly, and how Jason flies all the time and how they have not had any problems. I realize this is a total control issue and when I am not in control, I get anxious. I look around on the plane and see how calm people are. I am always watching the flight attendants to see if they look worried or not. It always makes me uneasy when the flight attendants do not serve drinks and have to sit down because of a bumpy flight.

I know I am not alone in my fear of flying. I spoke to my doctor about it a year or so ago and she told me she feels similar (she has 3 kids). She even gave me a prescription for Xanax to take before my flights. I haven’t tried it yet though because I don’t know how it will affect me. I tell myself I not THAT bad.. Rather than Xanax, I will drink a few glasses of wine and of course, that helps!

So, I will continue to fly, and I’m sure I will continue to be anxious- but I know I cannot let it take over my life. I firmly believe that whatever happens is meant to be. I just hope and pray smooth flights are meant to be in my future!

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3 Comment

  1. Reply
    Adele Kelso
    July 20, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I love your honest feelings! Fear of flying is something terribly scary, and I have felt the same way about reading the behaviors of the flight attendants when there is a lot of turbulence. I’m lucky not to have this same fear, but my phobia is spiders. There is help out there to overcome these fears, then it would no longer get in the way of living. A therapist who practices Prolonged Exposure, or who is well trained in CBT can help you through it. And help me through my fear.

  2. Reply
    Nilushi Rathnaweera
    July 22, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Love your feelings. keep a bookmark to reading again.

  3. Reply
    Stacey
    July 23, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I am also scared to fly, and I worry about what you do. That the engines will just stop and we’ll fall out of the sky. When I had to fly to NYC last summer, I looked for ways to calm myself online, and I found an American Airlines pilot who blogged. Who knew? I felt better after reading his stories about all the training they have to do. I still might want some Xanex, though!

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