Amazing California holiday, thanks to new found flying 'skills'

Just wanted to share my pride, perhaps as a motivation for others. I attended Keith's course in September after suffering badly on flights (two or three return trips a year) with anxiety for 25 years. I did a few short haul trips to put into practice what I'd learnt and went for it bigtime over Easter with a Heathrow - Los Angeles and return (yesterday lunchtime). Two 10+ hour flights and on the outward, my anxiety level at the airport and then on the plane before departure was very low, so I was already in good shape. The outward flight was pretty smooth except for a bit of turbulence over the desert in Nevada but this didn't concern me. The great bit though was that I was able to enjoy an amazing holiday in California without having the return flight worry hanging over me the whole time like it had in the past. What a relief! I had with me a crib sheet I'd prepared with bullet points of the most important statements for me about flying and fear with a picture of a Virgin Atlantic 747 for good measure and then I had an music player with the four Flying without Fear CDs. Listening to the section about the nature of fear was SO useful as it made perfect sense. I'd liked to have prepared better for the return flight as we drove up to Los Angeles that morning from San Diego and got delayed in traffic, so a mental note to never leave a potential situation like this on the day of any flight. We made it fine though and did the overnight flight to Heathrow. To be fair is was quite a bumpy flight in parts but the skills I've got now to deal with this were amazing and where in the old days I'd have been at a heightened state of anxiety, I focussed on the statements on my crib sheet and ignored any physical symptoms so as not to let them start affecting my mental well-being. This worked perfectly. On both flights, I wrote down how I was finding it at different times in the flight, so that I can refer to it in future as encouraging evidence of how I was doing actually sat there. I know I've rambled on a bit, but I'm so chuffed about doing this that I wanted to share it. I'd been using Valium for flights of even one hour as a (ill conceived) coping mechanism so to be sat here (in the middle of the night due to jet lag!) enthusing about my flight experiences is a great feeling.

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Hi Nick

Thanks for this story ... We are delighted for you. This is absolutely brilliant! Well done and I'm glad the trip was a success.

Keith and Vivienne  

thats good to hear.  I love aviation and have flown each year but turbulence and silly tricks of the mind have made me terrified.  despite my love of travel i still research everything teeny detail and worry about the flight. iv fainted on one takeoff from anxiety and spend all others in silence feeling ill and 'waiting' for something bad.  i have just discovered this site a week before my flight to spain and i must admit i do feel calmer, but it will be a challenge that i will update you on soon.  iv ordered the book but it may not arrive intime for this flight.  i have another flight booked to ireland in july and that scares me. i hope to reach this same feeling you have had, well done x

You've taken a good first step in ordering the books. Along with the CDs, they make so much sense. You will make the sort of progress I did with some effort. If you can afford it, do go on Keith's course. It's for only a handful of guests, so you will cover your own personal demons in detail. I never thought I'd feel comfortable flying, and I nearly pulled out of a holiday or two and would reach a desperate state of anxiety before flying, but as you can see, flying to and from LA without any issue shows a huge step forward. We're about to book a summer holiday to Greece soon and the thought of the flight isn't concerning me at all. When you fly to Spain shortly, think about having already decided to take control of the fear by buying the book and reach out to others. You're confidence will only increase! It maybe a good idea in the short time you have, to jot down just a few key phrases from the books which you can have on a card with you on the plane, like "turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous", or "aircraft operate within a tiny envelope of their actual capabilities" etc. Best of luck!

thanks, I will take those tips.  People think Im daft as I have had a flying lesson, a skydive (which i was happy to jump out of because of the turbulence nerves), a lone trip to Oz from UK (which bad turbulence ruined for me) and they think I should just deal with it,  I am excited to try out the tips on this site now and will get back to let you know.

I also have a propeller flight in july eeek!  and have been reading how they work too. 

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