I've chickened out of booking a 2 week holiday in July :-( I was due to go with my partner and 2 friends and now I've let them down. I just can't do it. The sweats, tremors, feeling sick is too much.

When I flew las year I was such a nervous reck, I drank loads of alcohol on top of valium and it didn't do anything. I felt wide awake and painfully aware of every movement. I couldn't even put my feet on the plane's floor because I didn't like the vibration. We hit a bit of turbulence and my drink sloshed around abit. Everything rattlled. The plane seemed old - it was all yellow inside, which I believe is due to tobacco stains - god knows how long ago since you could smoke on planes.


When we landed, I felt so relieved and enjoyed the holiday for a few days. Then the fear set in. I couldn't sleep, eat, I was constantly in the toilet throwing up due to nerves - my return flight wasn't until a week later. I seriously contemplated getting back home from Greece by boat. It was only a push and a shove from my family that I managed to get on the return flight home. I stresed them out so much too. I feel so guilty about that. I looked like a bedraggled old dog by the time we landed at Gatwick....


I don't know why I've got so bad - I've enjoyed many holidays abroad by plane with only moderate levels of anxiety. But somehow, I've since got it in my head that the next flight will be 'my turn'. I have the most awful, vivid images and dreams. So, I feel I can't do this. I'm hoping that in the future my need for the sun will outweigh the anxiety and I'll take the plunge. Maybe I should take a fear of flying course? I'm really scared of dying if I'm completely honest - maybe it is this that I need to address? I don't know - I feel like a complete and utter wimp.


Gareth :-(

ps sorry for babbling so much



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Hi Gareth,

You are not a wimp, you just have a fear and I am gutted for you right now.

Have you read Captain Keiths book yet? I have just started it and it is really good. It takes away the mystery of flying and air planes.

If you havnt tried a Fear of Flying course yet then I think you might as well give it a go, what do you have to lose?

If you go for a course do let us know how you get on, and as far as I know u dont HAVE to take a flight at the end of the course if you dont want to.

ps. You didnt babble :)
Hi Gareth, you're not babbling and neither are you a "wimp". Everyone on here, including myself, are either feeling exactly the same as you, or have done in the past. You WILL get there. Just keep working on all the things Keith advises us to do. Think of all the facts, rather than the myths. Despite what we like to think, flying is safe. Flying is not defying gravity - it's something millions of people do everyday.

Keep going Gareth. If you want something bad enough in life, you can make it happen. You can get over this fear, or like me, learn to manage it.

This is just a small set back. It's not how it will always be. You CAN change things.

Remember, there's an amazing world out there to explore.

Good luck with it all


We've got a course on the 19th. It's not far from you. Ring me on 01420 588 628. We can fix this I promise you.

Captain Keith

And cancelling a holiday is NOT chickening out! And it's not babbling, and even if it were, that's why we're here.
Just to reiterate that you are not a chicken. For instance, admitting phobia publicly is pretty difficult, yet you admitted it here on this board, so it is a start. It might sound like a cliché, but it isn't.

Remember, you've flown before.

It happened, you can't take it back, but you are one step closer to figuring out what will and will not work for you. This "failure" is at the very least, a learning experience. Another cliché but true. Think of all the inventors, writers, musicians that we think are geniuses. We don't see their failures so it seems effortless to us. They do, and they learned from it what works and what doesn't.

Next year you'll be on that plane having a good time.
We are a lot alike...i too thought about taking a boat back from Punta Cana..and right on about the fear of dying thing. I was explaining my fear of flying to a co worker and she was like..so basically you are scared of dying..i paused and was like yes that is it. I also think anxiety plays a huge role. I made my dad miserable on a trip to Italy from the US. My last trip was a few days ago,,i was a wreck before i had to go. I took my xanax..dont drink with valium or xanax or it could have opposite results... I too am scared that this time will be "my turn" .if you read my other posts you can see my irrational thought process.... Try counting to 80 when the ride gets bumpy...i read that on this site and it really helped me...by the time i hit 20 it was usually over. Also give yourself time checks..dont check every five min.,,i also bring wood on the plane to knock on if i have bad thought..i know its weird but anything to get me through.you can do it..i did it..millions of people do it everyday as my dad tells me...
Gareth you are not chickening out and you are not babbling...I so know how you feel and as you have probably read so do the others too and we all appreciate how traumatising and difficult it is...trouble is...other people just dont understand and want to shake us and that makes us feel pathetic.

I am at the moment being quite heavily pressured into going away in August to Marrakesh. I have even been told that I absolutely cant let my friend down and she has got quite annoyed when I talk about my fear. Its making me worse, I keep waking up at night in a sweat as I know I cant be myself around these people and what if I cant breathe properly and cant stop crying?! More terrifyingly...what if I cant get back...what if I just cant get on the plane back....I feel like a failure, the other girls who are going in the group fly every month to exotic places and are bound to think I am the biggest weirdo wimp but in my heart I know I am a big success for even thinking of tackling this fear and SO ARE YOU..we are very brave and we are doing the best we can. When I read your post it made me realise how strong we are, it didnt make me think you are a wimp at all. If you can do the course I would so advise you to - it is brilliant with so many facts and tools on how to avoid the horror thoughts!!
They really work and so far I have not cancelled a flight yet!!!! Ofcourse I still have work to do on myself and how I handle fear which I am tackling as well but I could never have done that without knowing the facts first and there are so many reassuring ones that are dealt with in the course.All we need to do is train our brain and to say STOP any time the vivid horrific images come into our heads...its so hard, I will never find it easy and I am still working on myself all the time but am not giving in... am determined to get there and so will you! Take the course!

Now I am sorry for babbling...lol! :)

Why don't you persuade Gareth to come to the July course...and if you do why don't you come as his supporter?

Stop all this wimp/failure /weirdo talk...you know it's not so.

So elastic bands on and we'll see you on the 17th July Yes?

Hello Gareth,
Just reading your posting and you have described exactly the sort of feelings I've had over many years about flying. I agree entirely with what others have said in reply to you. You are not a wimp and not a babbler - and what you've said describes the sort of thought processes all of us have. We wouldn't be on the site if we didn't have this fear and all that goes with it.

In 2008 I flew from Dublin to NZ to see my adult daughter and son. Three flights - one after the other - with total flying time of about 26 hours. I was shattered mentally and physically from the experience and it took me weeks to get over when I eventually got home. I also considered taking a boat from NZ back to somewhere in Europe rather than make the return journey by plane. I solemnly swore that I would "never again" make those flights and probably never even fly again. I was quite happy to settle for that in 2008.

So here I am again, in 2010, writing this from Auckland NZ - I'm staying with my adult children and enjoying seeing them and taking a holiday break. I took more or less the same flights I took in 2008 and while I was tired and a bit frazzled when I arrived in Auckland, the preparation I had put in over the past few months helped me enormously to deal with the stress and anxiety of the whole thing. I'm not "cured" by any means but I'm willing to get on the plane now and try to do my best - in the knowledge that the panic and anxiety are uncomfortable "feelings and sensations" they are NOT FACTS and they are NOT physiologically dangerous.

At the risk of "going on a bit" let me relate a true story of my own from many years ago (around 1982 if memory serves). My brother and I met for a pint in a local pub - it was not long after our father had died and we were both grieving. I was the one with panic/anxiety condition and after a short while I began to feel the dreadful onset of yet another attack. I had all the usual thoughts about not wanting to make a scene, not wanting to dissapoint my brother by running away from our get-together etc. etc. As the anxiety grew and grew, I felt: "this is it, this is the the one, the attack to end all attacks - I am now definitely going to die and to add insult to injury, I'm not going to understand why." I sat on the bar stool and as the whole thing became so overwhelmingly bad and unbearable, for some unknown reason, I began to accept I was going to die. I didn't know what awaited me in death but the fear of it just left me. I even adjusted my position on the bar stool so that when the "collapse" came I would fall to the carpeted floor and not split my head on an adjacent table (funny how the mind works!!). Nothing happened. Gradually the sense of anxiety went away and I became relatively normal again but very shaken by the experience. What I didn't know or understand at the time (nor for many years afterwards) was that my total acceptance of what was happening (including the acceptance of immediate death) - had the effect of "bursting the bubble" of the anxiety.

All of the self help material and professional counselling available today emphasise - in one way or another - this sense of acceptance as a way of defusing the anxiety. It took a long time before I began to understand that I had stumbled onto "the solution" by accident many years earlier. It is not an easy thing to do by any means - one writer on the subject puts it like this "Don't just do something - sit there". At least if your "sitiing there" armed with as much knowledge as you can get on the psychology and physiology of panic then you'll be more than half way through your battle. I'm personally convinced that, with practice, we can all learn to work our way through the panic/anxiety feelings and learn to enjoy the flying and travel experience.

I was going to post the above story on the site at some stage but having read your message, I decided to tell it now in the hope that it may help you and others. Sorry for prattling on a bit. But if it helps then all the better. Use all the help and advice thats available and learn about the panic/anxiety condition and about the mechanics of flying. Like they say, it is better to strike a match than to curse the darkness. Best wishes to you and all on the site. Frank Edwards.
Hello Keith, I wish I could come to the course but I will bein Devon, I actually would have done (in fact shall I just move into the plane and make that my home in Alton? hehe) I hope you can go though Gareth, it will be worth it! you will feel so safe and secure and understood.
Am very tense and the nightmares have started for the Marrakesh trip..not long now...will be listening to the CDs on the way to Devon and will start wearing the elastic band around my wrist soon..ping ping...I know the procedure, I know what to do and I know it will work..I just wish it would get easier and it would be easier if only I had flown recently, its over a year ago which is silly. I shouldnt have left it so long. Will be in touch again v soon, am so delighted to read all the posts and that everyone is doing so well, how brave we all are :) and thats credit to you Keith!!!

Captain Keith said:

Why don't you persuade Gareth to come to the July course...and if you do why don't you come as his supporter?

Stop all this wimp/failure /weirdo talk...you know it's not so.

So elastic bands on and we'll see you on the 17th July Yes?

Not long now before 5th August flight to Marrakesh, am in a terrible state but trying to keep calm and do the right things, ping ping and listening to CD over and over. Have booked another flight in October so am never giving in going to stay strong.
Fab to hear the last course went so well Keith!
Hi - just been reading your discussions. I went on the course last Saturday & really recommend it. I know you are travelling next month Caro, but maybe you would consider it Gareth? I've had a fear of flying for a long time & makes going away difficult, so I know how you feel, but by gaining a through understanding of the theories behind it & the copying strategies, it can be overcome. I think you have to take little steps, in my case anyway!!,but the important thing is that you Canmore forward and perhaps even enjoy flying in the future!
Caro said:
Not long now before 5th August flight to Marrakesh, am in a terrible state but trying to keep calm and do the right things, ping ping and listening to CD over and over. Have booked another flight in October so am never giving in going to stay strong.
Fab to hear the last course went so well Keith!

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