Sorry if this makes no sense. I can't sleep (worried about stuff) and I thought I'd write a blog post. I actually wrote a long blog about my experiences on Keith's ground course but I'm not sure if I'll post it (it's not bad or anything, it's just long.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I learnt on the course and on my own strategy for getting over this (because I WILL get over this <grrrrr>.)

I think I’ve been holding onto this fear, a bit like a safety blanket. I know it well and it’s never changed. I know how scary it is forcing yourself to board a plane when you have that deep down feeling in your gut that something terrible is going to happen. And the trapped feeling when the doors are closed, the terror that makes me want to scream as we take off, the constant nail biting anxiety during the flight, the tearfulness during the descent and the relief (and weird, sudden claustrophobia) on landing. I know how bad all of that is, but I also know I can go through it and survive. And every time I’ve done it, the flight’s been totally normal, incident free and has arrived safely. So what will happen if I stop doing it?

I want to say that nothing will happen. The crew (and plane) don’t know or care how I feel and it won’t affect the flight.

But what if something does happen? Arrgh! What if what if what if what if what if?!?!!

What if a grand piano falls onto one of the wings, what if an alligator is released into the cabin, what if someone finds the axe? How is ANY of this helpful?!?!

How about this?

The plane might crash. It’s okay to be afraid of that. But it’s counterproductive to spend an entire flight assuming it’s going to happen at any minute when you have so much information that tells you it’s highly unlikely.

 

Brain lies, plane flies. I love that quote. And tonight brain is tired and needs to sleep. 2 weeks until my next flight.

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Comment by Captain Keith on August 3, 2012 at 9:25pm

Sarah

You know that you can call me anytime. Please call before you fly back. You'll be pleased to know that E has taken a flight to Spain. Please post whatever you want on here because it's therapeutic to you and helpful to others.

You have hit the nail on the head when you describe the worries that you'll have if you DON'T keep worrying...it's a kind of talisman...worrying keeps you safe  because ....nothing's happened yet so  you reason that it's safer not to change what you're doing. I understand that reasoning...but you might have been just as safe if you hadn't worried. You just haven't had the nerve to test it...but you will , when you're ready.

There is a very interesting experiment by Peter Wason called logical syllogism  test.  You are required to prove something by turning cards. Almost everyone I've shown it to has failed because they choose something to prove the theory and not to disprove it...and by trying to disprove the obvious is the way to solve the simple problem.

And that's where you and thousands of other fearful flyers find themselves...holding on to a behaviou that doesn't prove anything and, more importantly doesn't help you. But it is persuasive because it doesn't have to be put to the test.

But don't worry...this is all normal stuff and I think you're well on the way to addressing your fear. At last you are really testing everything you think about ...and I promise you that you'll come out stronger for it.

You do amazingly well for someone who is so frightened. We were very impressed with your courage.

Don't forget to call me!

Keith

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