Hi Keith and everyone on the forum...

I've just managed my first long-haul flight in 18 years, London to Bangkok and two internal flights, a long way away from the sobbing wreck on the other end of the phone to Keith in February because I had to take a flight to Germany! I now have ten flights under my belt this year and each one has been easier than the last, which shows practice definitely does make perfect! After that many flights it does start to normalise it, I feel very lucky that I've had the opportunity to fly as much as I have done this year because it's the repetition that is helping me to overcome my fears.

I still get a little nervous, I still have bad feelings before I fly. I got quite anxious in some turbulence on the flight to Bangkok and I still experience mild anxiety on take-off and landing, but is it getting much less severe and my excitement about the opportunity to travel and see new places keeps me going. I think of all my friends who have amazing holidays every year and who always come back to tell me about it! I think about how privileged I am to be able to fly and travel, and it is my choice to do so. I had the most incredible holiday and I will be eternally grateful to Keith and this site for all the help and good advice.

I've been working on my fear for many years and I've had many ups and downs, including a couple of missed flights where I just couldn't face it - if you'd have asked me back in February if it was possible to overcome a fear of flying I would have probably said no, and now seven months later I am definitely on the way.

Good luck everyone, be brave and stay positive, you CAN do it!

Helen x

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You really have no idea how proud I was when I saw your photos on Facebook at weekend!!! I remember going away at the same time as you and you didn't make your flight and was beside yourself. It seems an absolute world away now.

 

I'm the same as you - if it wasn't for this site and Keith answering my ridiculous questions I'd never have done the flights I have in the past few years. I went from having a meltdown over going to Dublin to getting to Cuba, New York, Boston, Chicago, Egypt, Las Vegas and Marrakech to name a few....BUT a lot of credit has to go to you for the supportive texts and emails. It makes it a lot easier knowing there is someone on the ground rooting for you for every mile you fly.

 

As I said on Saturday I'm glad we were members of the 'Queasy Jets' or I'd have never found myself should a good friend.

 

x

 

 

Thank you so much Jo. I was going to send you an FB message later! You have been an amazing support and inspiration to me too. I love your emails about all the little preparations you go through for every flight and I think of them every time I'm preparing for mine.

I have got to the stage now where I try not to think about the flight until I'm at the airport (or even tell anyone!), maybe I'm secretly still planning to back out! But I do always think of you and knowing that you can do it means that I can do it too.

I'm really glad we found each other, I will always be a bit of a queasy jet I'm sure but glad to be a founding member!

Keep in touch xxx

Helen

BRILLIANT FANTASTIC AND SO ON !!!!!

Stay in touch with us please to inspire and help others.

Keith

Thanks Keith! I'll definitely keep in touch and see if I can help, it would be a pleasure after all the help and support I've received... Helen

Hi Helen

I was just speaking with Keith on the phone there about my own FoF and he told me to read your story.  Glad he did.  That is just an awesome achievement - a massive round of applause to you and reminds me of what is possible  (even if you have walked away from a flight).

Thanks very much for posting this.


phil

How brilliant! This is a goal of mine. 1. to go to Thailand and 2. to make internal flights. I have always been concerned about using smaller airlines for the internal flights.

Thanks Phil, I used to read people's success stories on the forum and thought I was different because I never felt any better about flying. Now I know that overcoming this is possible - I still feel like someone with a FoF but I should probably change that to 'someone with mild discomfort occasionally during a flight', doesn't quite have the same ring to it though!

Good luck with overcoming your fear, I know you can do it! 


Phil said:

Hi Helen

I was just speaking with Keith on the phone there about my own FoF and he told me to read your story.  Glad he did.  That is just an awesome achievement - a massive round of applause to you and reminds me of what is possible  (even if you have walked away from a flight).

Thanks very much for posting this.


phil

Thanks Amanda. We flew with Thai Airways and I was really concerned about the internal flight with them, but in fact they have set-up a new airline with brand new planes and great service for the short one hour flight we did, I enjoyed it most of all! Good luck with achieving your goals, you will love Thailand when you get there, it's just the most incredible place.

amanda carroll said:

How brilliant! This is a goal of mine. 1. to go to Thailand and 2. to make internal flights. I have always been concerned about using smaller airlines for the internal flights.

Hi Helen

 

Well done on your amazing achievmebt I have to say your story impresess me.  I would be so grateful if you could share some tips you have used to prepare yourself for your flight.  I too am going to Thailand in November and will be making 2 internal flights with Thai Airways new airline.  Its fair to say I am very nervous and anxious but I have been trying to ignore it all together however I would love to have some helpful tips if you have any on how to manage the flights that bit better, especially the longer ones.  I've travelled to London twice in the last month but unfortunetly it hasnt easied how anxious I have been each time.

 

Laura 

Hi Laura, wow you are going to Thailand, you will have an amazing time! Firstly I thought Thai Airways were fantastic, it's a great experience as soon as you board the plane and feels like your holiday has already started. I was anxious about the length of the flight too but it honestly went so quickly - I know everyone says that but it really did! There were constant drinks and food, I watched two movies, even managed a little snooze and we were there!

It's taken me a long time to be this way but I now try and not think about the flight at all beforehand, so it sounds like you are doing the right thing to me. I keep an eye on my anxiety leading up to a flight and if I feel it start to build then I get reassurance from Keith's books/CD's etc. I also have a relaxation CD from a hypnotherapist I saw a few years ago that works really well. Basically I am doing everything I can to be as relaxed as I can be by the time I'm travelling to the airport, that way any anxiety is starting from a much lower level than had it been building up for weeks.

So the actual flight, well I take my CD's on an iPod and I have this year got a low dose prescription of diazepam which I have taken but only if I feel the anxiety building, but just knowing I have it with me helps calm me down. I go through the check-in process and I'm still not thinking too much, except to remind myself that all the other people are doing the same thing as me and it's completely normal and safe, and I'm going on holiday which is going to be fantastic! When I board the plane and find my seat, I then watch all the other passengers and the cabin crew settling everyone in, again just an every day experience. I read the safety card and check my nearest emergency exit, it just makes me feel in control and eases my anxiety even more. Then as we are going along the runway I remind myself that the pilots are checking everything as we start to move and then that is my mantra until we are up in the air, I kind of repeat to myself "checking, checking, double checking", a bit strange I know but it helps me! Then once we are up I'm usually okay, especially when the seatbelt signs are turned off and the cabin crew start moving about. If we hit any turbulence I tell myself it's normal, like a bus on a bumpy road. A few times on the flight to Bangkok I completely forgot I was flying, it was just a journey, like being on a train. And the truth is that's exactly what it is!

I don't know if that helps you at all, I really hope there's something in there that you can take comfort from. If you want to share your particular fears in more detail then I'd be happy to help some more? 

Helen


Laura Cunningham said:

Hi Helen

 

Well done on your amazing achievmebt I have to say your story impresess me.  I would be so grateful if you could share some tips you have used to prepare yourself for your flight.  I too am going to Thailand in November and will be making 2 internal flights with Thai Airways new airline.  Its fair to say I am very nervous and anxious but I have been trying to ignore it all together however I would love to have some helpful tips if you have any on how to manage the flights that bit better, especially the longer ones.  I've travelled to London twice in the last month but unfortunetly it hasnt easied how anxious I have been each time.

 

Laura 

 

Huge congratulations Helen on a magnificant achievement.Reading through your latest reply you seem to do all the things I do before and during a flight.Later this year I am flying to India and when I first met Keith I was very worried about a short  flight to France!. Having Captain  Keith's information and how normal flying is has made a great difference to how I perceive flying and has enabled me to visit countries which were  only in my dreams.Shortly I will start doing my relaxation C D and deep breathing exercises which for me are really helpful   in the days before and during the flight.Sometimes i imagine that keith is the captain flying me to faraway places too.

I hope your story motivates and inspires other readers of this site,

best wishes,

Elizabeth

Elizabeth - I imagined Keith was sitting next to me!!

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