I have eventually got round to posting how my journey went last month. Only a month late!
I was flying to Egypt from Scotland 5 hours there and back.
Prior to the holiday I had built up allot of nerves, the ash cloud was floating about and restrictions were only lifted the day prior to travelling so I hadnt really done enough exercises and reading of my book before I went.
I arrived at a very quiet airport which was quite relaxing, the flight was delayed by an hour. I decided not to have any alcohol this flight as I had a prescription for valium to help me relax. I was armed with my book to read in the departure lounge and my ipod. I booked extra legroom seats so I didnt feel claustrophobic and wouldnt have that to worry about. Turns out this was a great idea. The seats were at the emergency exit and the crew were sat in front. Take off is the part I dont like when the aircraft speeds up then lifts I hate the sinking feeling and the point of no return for me to get off. Take off went very smoothly and within minutes the crew were up and about. I felt surprisingly okay I had managed to not panic the crew were very helpful advising that everything was perfectly normal, they were chatting away about there time off during the ash cloud. Something that panicked me didnt even seem to make them blink. This was quite reassuring to me. The flight all the way there was very smooth, I even managed to take my seat belt off, watch a few movies, and walk around the plane. I felt so confident that things were going smoothly I could actually walk around. It felt so good to be in control and not let the anxiety take over my thoughts. When we were approaching the journey became a little bumpy but I thought it was nothing to worry about it was perfectly normal. We landed perfectly well and the flight was very good. I felt so confident and in control I felt I was ready for the next journey home.
The holiday was great, weather was beautifull, managed some quad biking through the desert. I noticed that whilst qaud biking without a helmet I didnt once feel frightened but put me on a plane that is allot more safe than the bike and I feel unsafe strange?
The journey home - Sharm El Sheikh airport was very chaotic and this somehow managed to contribute to me becoming stressed out. I just wanted to be on the aircraft and away from it all. When we boarded the aircraft the captain announced that there was 6 flights all scheduled to depart so we would have to wait in line for a slot to take off and apologised for the chaos at the airport. We sat waiting for over an hour and unfortunately I let the nerves get the better of me. I decided the best thing to do was have a drink. Which I know only makes it worse. Eventually we took off I clung to my partners arm and once we were airborne ordered another drink :o( the flight home was okay it wasnt as good as the departing flight as I felt more in control but this flight I had let my nerves build up and little situations get the better of me. I noticed every little movement. The plane seemed to rattle the whole way home but I kept telling myself that it was nothing to worry about the crew werent worried and the seat belt sign hadnt came on. God only knows how I would have reacted if the seat belt sign did come on. I eventually managed to fall asleep a mixture of the alcohol and worry I think. But I was woken up by this loud bump and thud I grabbed my partners arm only to realise we had just landed and that was the bump!!
So all in all I managed very well going there but wish I could have forced myself to have more control coming home. I am determined the more flights I do the less panicked I will become. So I've decided to book a trip to New York crazy I know but the heck its booked for August. I know I can do it. A transatlantic flight 7 hours long I must be crazy!!! All I need to do now is work on my strategy and hope this flight goes well. So I will be on the forum loads and reading and rereading my book.
Thanks to everyone who provided me with words of wisdom and support and to Keith for all your help!! I am sure I have a long way to go but I am determined to get there.