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Your description of boarding the plane and the associated anxiety perfectly describes the feelings I have each time I fly. But you're heading off on Friday so there's not much time to absorb a lot of stuff about relaxation techniques and understanding fears and phobias etc. However, I hope the following is of some help.
I think the choice we face is quite straightforward: do we let the fear seriously curtail our lives or do we learn to accept it and work at overcoming it? Try to view Friday's flight as a practice for you and not as a test. The deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques can be learned and understood in a matter of minutes and are of great help before and during the flight. Severe tensioning of muscles only exacerbates the feelings of anxiety so learning how to reduce this will also help reduce anxiety. I think these are described somewhere on the site but if not, any one of hundreds of websites on relaxation techniques will provide the relevant information very quickly. Checkout the various short videos on the site for information on airplane "noises" and flight procedures (including the "dings" and "dongs" and "whirring" noises made by the undercarriage and wing flaps etc). Turi tells a good bit about this and her calmness is very re-assuring.
You didn't say why you are flying but I'm assuming its for holidays. If so, remember there's a great payofff when you arrive so focus on the positives. Also learn from the practice of Friday's flight. For future reference, read and learn as much as you can about dealing with phobias and anxiety. Knowing whats going on mentally and physiologically is, I think, a great help. There's oceans of stuff available these days - in book format, on this site and on the web generally. Try the best you can on Friday and focus on the positive (e.g start of holiday etc.) and look on the flight as a first step to regaining control over that aspect of your life. Also, I find that quietly letting a cabin crew member know about your anxiety is a very helpful thing. Those folks are very experienced in these matters and they will discretely help reassure you during the flight without making a big song and dance about it in front of other passengers. There's absolutely no shame in asking for this assistance and cabin crews are, in my experience, most willing to help out. I hope this is of some help and I wish you every success on Friday - even if you have to "white knuckle" it - you will have been successful . It is better to begin to face this fear than let it dominate you and I'm sure in time you will overcome it completely. In my day, most GP's knew very little about anxiety and phobia conditions and the consequent effects on peoples' lives. You are a young woman with endless possibilities ahead of you. So take advantage of all the help and information available today and have a wonderful life. Good luck and best wishes. - Frank Edwards.
Hey you did it.
HOW FANTASTIC IS THAT?
You have my total respect for feeling as you did and facing that fear of yours. That's what I call courage, real courage.
I'm sorry that I was so blunt in my previous message. I hope that you know that regardless of why I sound like I will only ever say things that are appropriate. It's not a question of being unfeeling or unsympathetic or being without empathy...it's because I want you to succeed.
Hang on to what you did and ALWAYS remember that you did it. You did it because you faced your fear. No-one else did it for you...your fear, your cure, it belongs to you and no-one else
WELL DONE AGAIN