Hello everyone,
I discovered this website a couple of months ago and while I've been reading the articles and discussions, I finally built up the courage to share my story. First of all I wanted to say that I am so thankful for all the helpful information from Captain Keith and everyone on this site and it really is encouraging to know I'm not alone.

So a little about me and my fear of flying. I have flown all my life from the age of 5 traveling from the US to London at least once or twice a year to visit my father's family. I also attended boarding school during my high school years and would fly back and forth from Switzerland and the US as well. It wasn't until the past few years that I really started to develop a fear of flying I read somewhere that sometimes fears develop from dramatic life changing events. I don't know exactly when my fear developed but it seemed to have started a few years after I graduated from college. I've read it somewhere that fear sometimes stems from life-changing events and so that would make sense why I used to be able to fly anywhere anytime. 
Another thing that has added to my fear is that in a twist of tragic coincidence, there happens to be a​
neighbor in my building who​ had a daughter that​ died in the Swiss Air flight 111 about 15 years ago. That is the exact same flight I used to take all the time to come home and visit my parents during the holidays. While that has contributed to my fears, it is not something I think about each time I fly. Matter of fact, the strange part is that my fear isn't constant. I will have periods of time where I won't have a problem with flying and then I'll have periods of time where I'll be crying days before I have to take a flight. 

I realize that there are always coincidences and chances in life and we take them everyday. Some of the things we do on a daily basis are so much more dangerous than flying. We ultimately have no control over most circumstances but we can control how we react to those circumstances. Whenever I get on a plane I fear that it's going to be my last. Anything that could possibly go wrong, I will start thinking​ it will happen on my flight. I get worried during take-off and turbulence rattles my nerves. Each flight I think it might be takeoff when there's a problem and then when there isn't a problem with takeoff, then I start thinking that if there is turbulence, then that will cause problems. When I get through the turbulence somehow and land safely, I feel fine until the next time I have to fly and then the cycle starts over again.
If I really think about it, it actually is quite self-centered to think that it will be my flight is the one that is doomed. I mean there are other people on the flight with me and the flight crew who all would like to get to their destinations safely. To think that my flight as always being "the one" basically is almost the same as saying that no one can fly and be safe on this plane because I'm on it. Yet even with all these realizations
​ my fears remain. I've subscribed to other fearful flying websites, learned some coping/relaxing exercises and I've read ​some books on how to refocus my thoughts. All of it has helped some but obviously not completely.​

I would really love to be able to fly and not be thinking about my fate but rather be able to just think of it as a way to get from point A to point B and I am hopeful that this website will help me to conquer my fears once and for all.

​Thank you for listening
-Jill​

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Jill thank you for this very interesting and useful post.

Stories like this are an enormous encouragement to other people. You'll never know how many people this will help.

Overcoming your fear may be a long journey and there will be upsets on the way but when you are ready you'll be able to face your fears.

Taking off isn't as difficult to do as you would imagine. In fact I could teach you to do it in less than 45 minutes in the flight simulator. Turbulence is unsettling and uncomfortable  but that doesn't make it dangerous. Make sure your seat belt is as  tight as you can bear it. But of course that won't stop your tummy floating around !!

The truth is that only you can fix your fear,  I can only help you, it's your fear not mine BUT we're here to help and support you every inch of the way. And we will.

Keith

Hi Jill, I used to fly without any fear when I was younger but since about 15 years of age I became scared and with each flight I would get worse and worse. To the point that last year I didn't get on a flight. But this year I have managed to get onto two return flights and I am flying again on the 20th. It is a scary experience for me but I am so happy that at least I managed to get on the flights. Hopefully it will get better from now on. I completely agree that it's how we react to circumstances is important. It's usually never the situation but how we react to it. A lot of things that helped me was learning to stay in the present moment and repeat things like 'turbulence is uncomfortable but it is safe'. 

I also always thought that flying was safe unless it was my flight. As if I was cursed. I am still struggling with thoughts like this but I am learning to differentiate between possibility and probability which seems to be a big problem for me.

I'm sure you will find a lot of great information and support in this community :)

Natalia 

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