I have a paralysing fear of flying.
It hasn’t stopped me from getting on a flight as I’ve had no other choice at the time. I needed to get on that plane.
But on that flight, be it however long, every sensation and motion raised my heart rate ever so high, every take off had me crying hysteric tears anticipating the impending doom and my imminent end.
I havent been on a plane since moving abroad. I have not taken a holiday with my family, or gone back home to Australia in the past two years because I can’t think of anything worse then experiencing 14 hours of non-stop panic.
Nothing helps ease the flight for me. Not even my trusty Valium or Xanax.
It makes no sense to me; it makes no logical sense in my mind – how is it even possible for a plane to stay in the air for all those hours, through all the different environmental and weather conditions and not come down? How have I put my life in the hands of two strangers? It will never make any sense to me.
I’ve considered doing fear of flying courses, perhaps reading more statistics on “how you’re more likely to die in a car crash then a plane crash” but still nothing stops my heart rate from rising and my head from spinning, just by the mere mention of “taking a flight”.
There is some credit to be given though, it hasn’t stopped me from getting me on a plane the countless times I have managed to get on one. I guess there are people out there who wont even book that ticket online because the thought of it is gut wrenching and anxiety provoking.
I hope one day I can say I don’t have a fear of flying anymore, because I know deep down there are so many parts of the world I would love to see and experience, so many places I know would be good for my soul.
If you ever find yourself on a flight with someone like me, someone next to you crying, saying their prayers under their breath, clenching their hands and drying their sweaty palms on their pants, please don’t stare at them with judgement, take their hand and tell them its going to be ok. Distract them, have a chat and crack a joke with them. I’m forever grateful to the countless strangers that have helped me through my in-flight anxiety and panic attacks.