Facing my fear - what happened after the course!

 

 This year I decided to face my fear of flying, mainly because we have a major family holiday planned and I've avoided flying for three years, my fear had got to the point that driving past the airport on the way to work got me shaky! I attended the ground course last Wednesday, and met Captain Keith. My fear was such that even talking about planes and flying was uncomfortable, so for me even attending the course was an acheivement!

 

 I was happy to be the only person on my course that day, I took my boyfriend Paul with me for support (which was really really helpful) and was able to address all my fears and ask incessant questions as much as I liked. I was not expecting to feel as exhausted as I did afterwards, the combination of adrenaline, emotions and concentration left me feeling wiped out! I learnt that facing your fear is actually really really hard work!

 

 My boyfriend and I had decided that it was best for me to face my fear by booking a short flight, so we could have a weekend break and a practice that wasn't in front of my two young children. We had a flight booked for the Friday after the course, to Guernsey which is 30 minutes flight time, just enough time to get up there, admire the view and come back down - a perfect practice flight! We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, it felt uncomfortable but I reminded myself of what I had learnt during the course and I was fine. We checked in and just my luck, the plane was delayed.... for three hours.... This would usually have upset me greatly and started me 'what iffing' however I kept repeating what I had learnt and I felt better. My boyfriend Paul had handily packed our rubber bands from the course (you put them on your wrist and have to twang it every time you think negatively) which stopped me from negative thinking, I read my handy 'relax' booklet and I was fine. When we got onto the plane, I began my breathing techniques I had learnt a little early, and managed to sit down with no real anxious feeling. I am going to be honest as I would like anyone who reads this to know how it feels to be facing this fear, the Captain then came onto the speaker to welcome us onto the flight. He apologised for the delay and then went onto say it had been due to a major technical fault with the plane. This was not the best thing to say with a fearful flyer on board, but by this time as we began taxiing down the runway I was well into my breathing excercises and trying my best to stay calm. As the plane left the ground and I could feel we were in the air .... I burst into quietish tears! There had been such a build up to that moment that I went over the tip of my stress meter and I wobbled. The rest of the flight was fine, all the things Captain Keith said would happen did, I found it reassuring to watch the wheels come down and the flaps on the wings open. I felt uncomfortable but I was practising how to deal with it.

 I was determined to make the flight home on the Monday morning without crying and I did! There were no delays this time, I fully involved myself in my breathing techniques and I practised everything I had learnt. I would like to say that afterwards I have not had the feeling of 'I did it!', I still don't enjoy flying and I don't want to fly. However I know that I want to go on my family holiday, that flying is the cheapest, safest and best form of transport for getting there and that I can do it. It is hard work facing a fear of flying and there is no magic cure, I know that to fly in a couple of weeks I will be using all the books, dvds and will probably be talking to Captain Keith again but I can do it! And if I can do it, you can too. The times they are a-changin .....!

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Comment by Elizabeth on July 22, 2011 at 3:54pm

 

Congratulations Helen.-the whole wide world is waiting for you to explore it-facing up to your fear takes great courage and is hard work  but it is worth it. My inaugural flight after Keith's seminar back in 2005 was a 1.5 hour flight to Lyon France-right in the middle of the gate Gourmet and baggage handlers strike at Heathrow-but although we were delayed I coped and did it. Since then have visited places I could only have dreamed of visiting before gaining so much information from Keith and his team.

Comment by jacqui stachan on July 21, 2011 at 10:18pm
Thanks for taking the time to type this and well done! 
Comment by Captain Keith on July 20, 2011 at 6:55pm

BRILLIANT

How many times must a man look up

before he can see the sky?

How many seas must a white dove sail

before she sleeps in the sand

 

Well done from Keith and Bob

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