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I haven't been part of the group for a while, mainly because I haven't needed to fly anywhere! But of course, that's now made things worse!
I've flown many times to various European cities and sun holidays - but I dread and hate it. For me, it's everything, knowing weeks beforehand, the airport, the plane, take off, the cruising, the landing - everything fills me with fear. I sit, unable to move, gripped to the seat (fearing if I stand up and move about it will unbalance the plane).
My fear was putting strain on a previous relationship, some years ago, so I bought and read Keith's book, and it was a fantastic help. Not curing me, but helping me manage the problem, and it got me to New York! Hoorah!
Well that was in 2006, and I've only had one flight since then, to Greece last year, which went ok, although not enjoyable, my new partner, whose travelled all over the world, was an amazing support, which really helped.
However, my dream trip has been to go to Western Canada. I've been whittering on about it for 15 years, but using my fear as an excuse not to go.
Well - we booked the trip yesterday, and we leave in 5 weeks time (on the 13th...!).
2x 9hr flights, the furthest I've ever flown. I'm currently blocking it all out getting organised and buying a new camera! But I know it'll come around very quickly, and I so want the trip at the other end!
By coincidence, I now have to fly next week, a short internal flight to Scotland for my job, and I'll be flying alone.
Both trips have been booked in the past 24hrs, so my heads in a bit of a spin - and then Keith's email popped up about this forum coming back online - and I just felt the need to reach out!
I've always called flying my 'necessary evil', and I've now got for face it in my biggest test. Friends and family are so excited for us, and envious etc - and all I'm feeling is dread.......
I'm already taking steps - I plan to re-read Keith's book, I have one of those new grown up colouring books (I love to doodle!), and I'm scouring Pinterest for tips and ideas for staying calm and what to wear etc.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
I would highly recommend the CDs, listening to them on my mobile on taxiing/takeoff has stopped me passing out from fear. I always cry a tad but then laugh it off. I always tell the crew at the start and theyre great if I call them and I watch them do their job as it is distracting. Lastly I use rescue remedy on short haul or a tablet from the gp on long and never drink. I did LA last xmas, I only cried once. Please update us after your flight as I know youl be ok x
On take off, I always listen to the take off with Keith on my MP3. I can just about time it right if on a smaller aircraft. So helpful!
With long haul flights, the in flight entertainment starts immediately, so that can take your mind off it.
Don't block it out, read everything here, listen to the cd's.
Have a great time, you lucky thing!
Thanks everyone for your kind and supportive comments :)
The flight to Scotland for work was actually surprisingly ok - I was eerily calm, even with a bit of turbulance, and slept on the return flight, which I wasn't expecting. I think that the main issue with me and flying is the lack of control (I'm a bit of a control freak), so I made the decision to let the pilots and crew fly the plane, and trust that they are well trained and know what they're doing. It made me much calmer, strangely.
However, my biggest test, my huge adventure to Canada is now just a week away. I'm busying myself with packing, planning, and monstrous workload at the office, but it's suddenly starting to dawn on me that it's happening. It's a long flight (well, long for me, 10hrs), and friends and family are all so excited for us - but I'm now getting very nervous, and can't actually feel excited until we get there.
Doing my best to stay positive, but it's becoming quite stessful. Hunting out the book from last time tonight.
Thanks everyone, it's so lovely to know this forum is here to have a bit of a wobble!
I had forgotten to reply to this feed after my trip to Canada.
I have to say, they were the best flights I have been on. I have resigned myself to the fact I will never 'love' flying, but both outbound and return flights were comfortable, smooth and with good service. I even managed to sleep at one point! Landing - I bearly noticed! I can highly recommend Air Transat.
I also wanted to pass on a tip that came to me out of the blue, and can honestly say helped me. I've long believed my issue with flying was the lack of control (I am a bit of a control freak). So, just before take off (for the 9hr flight), I sat, preparing myself for my normal ritual of white knuckles and high blood pressure for the next 30 mins, I sat and thought - even if I was allowed to have control of this huge machine - I wouldn't have a clue what I was doing, just as if the pilot came to my office and tried to do my job (well, he probably could, but you get my point). And so I said to myself - I give control to the pilot, he is trained to do his job and fly this plane, it is my job to trust him to do his job, like people trust me to do mine.
Probably sounds very stupid to most, but it really helped me. I did it on the return flight too, and was much less anxious. It seemed to filter into the trip too, as I managed to go up the worlds highest and longest gondola and see some amazing views!
Our trip was truly amazing, and if you can venture that far, I hugely recommend Canada, the sights, the food, and especially the very friendly people. Our last few days were all but ruined by the very bad forest fire smog, which resulted in zero visibility. So we've decided to go back next year hopefully!
Thanks for the comments on here - it is very comforting to know this forum is here (so glad it's back). My next flight is to Spain to visit my partners family in the next 6 weeks. I will be nervous no doubt, but have gained a little more confidence after my trip! :)
Beautiful! So glad the flights were OK. I will remember your tip about giving the pilot control!