Hi everyone - it has been a while since I have posted on here and today I felt like I really needed to. For about a year and a half now I have been putting off flying again and have cancelled numerous trips however when my boyfriend found out his family were holding a birthday party for his dad in Ireland I thought it was a great opportunity to try and get on the plane again.
So he booked me a ticket and told me not to think about it until the morning of the flight and then decide what I was going to do then. This was working really well until Tuesday morning when I started to feel sick and anxious again. I kept thinking I cant do it, I wont do it to the point where I thought I was going to book a ferry ticket to get over there instead. In the end however (last night!) I decided that I was going to try and get on the plane this morning.

I got up this morning convinced I couldnt do it, but I thought if I just take one step at a time then maybe. So I got to the airport, I got through departure, I made it to the gate and I even managed to step foot on the plane but then I felt like everyone was fussing over me too much - the staff and crew were all really friendly as they could tell I was a nervous flyer, however then they got me to go talk to the pilot, kept telling me how great everything would be and even offered to buy me a gin and tonic!! However I found the whole thing totally overwhelming and had to get off.

In a way I am sort of proud of myself for getting as far as I did (before now I have been cancelling flights 3 weeks in advance!!) but at the same time I'm really annoyed with myself for getting so close and not doing it at the last moment :(

Has anyone had any similar experiences or words they can share with me on this. I dont know whether it was a mistake to have gone through all this and not flown as it may make it harder now for next time?

Thanks
Sarah

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Comment by Lena McCann on May 3, 2010 at 7:52pm
I came on to the site as I am flying from Belfast to Leeds this Wednesday evening the 5 May and started to get a bit anxious about it. I read Sarah's entry 10 April about having to cancel flights and the
at she got as far as the steps of the plane. With the exception of getting off the plane I can identify totally with Sarah, I have cancelled holidays because of my fear of flying - one was cancelled at 4am in the morning 7 hours before I was due to travel. Even this past number of years if it wasn't for a 'Fear of Flying Course' at Queen's University Belfast and more recently Captain Keith's tapes, book and this website I could not have taken to the air again. I was reading someone else'e blog last night re long haul flights which I found helpful ( maybe it's because he comes from Ireland also!!) I realise my fear is not flying - my fear is dying - each time I have booked a flight it triggers these fears. I have found it a great help to do the things suggested like choosing a window seat and looking out all the time including take off. It makes it real but I so want flying to be normal for me and that is why I find Captain Keith's videos and comments and reinforcement about the safety reassuirng. The last time I flew was the same journey Belfast to Leeds last November - the weather was pretty bad and quite foggy and the Captain came on and said there was problem at Leeds airport and we may not be able to land and might have to divert to Doncaster. But then he (the pilot) got the all clear to land but there was a backlog of take off's from Leeds so we had to hover for a time or 'bankup' I think was the term he used. I was able to look out and watch the planes take off underneath and recall thinking to myself at the time if it had not been for the videos I had watched the tapes I had listened to by Captain Keith explaining all these eventualities I would have been petrified from once I heard the Captain's voice saying he had an announcement to make! Despite all this I hesitated about coming on to the site and expressing my apprehensions arising about Wednesday - that sense of denial - which only makies things worse. As so many people on this site have said it is allright to have these feelings but I realise the important factor this time is that I know despite my mind playing tricks with me the plaen is not going to crash and I will be back after a holiday in Orkne and Shetland which incidentally entails two overnight boat trips!
Comment by Sarah Pace on April 11, 2010 at 4:27pm
Thanks Keith
I do feel proud that I got that far and think it will only be a matter of time before I can do it the whole way! But like you say I must be patient and I think I may get the CDs from here and work my way through it slowly. I still really want to come to one of the day courses but I'm afraid they are a bit far away from me in the North East to get there at the moment!
I think if they had of left me alone a little bit more and not made me feel so rushed and like to had to make a decision that very second (although i know they needed to taxi!) then I may have actually gone through with it...

Thanks
Sarah
Comment by Captain Keith on April 10, 2010 at 10:53pm
Sarah

I think you've done amazingly well and you have every reason to be very very proud of what you've done. One thing that I know from all the years that I've been helping people to overcome their fear of flying is that everything you do and everything that happens is a part of succeeding.

Sure it's a pity that you didn't take the flight, but how good is it that you actually got on. Fantastic!

Now this is your starting point for next time because you know you can do this bit. You don't have to go through that agony again....Now you must concentrate and direct you energies to getting on your next flight and without hesitating just go and take your seat, put your seat belt on and fly.

It's interesting that you say things became overwhelming. Sometimes anxious flyers are best left alone to deal with their fears and worries. The problem with people offereing their support is that in a very small way you are having to be responsible to them as well you have to think about talking and answering questions and all sorts of things when really being left to your own thoughts might be better.

Doen't matter, you know for next time now.

I can see that success is not too far away for you ...be patient.

Well done

Keith

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