Hey everybody thank you for the invite to join your wonderful network. I decided to sign up today when I fell off the wagon, I'll post a little about myself....
I've been growing increasingly anxious about flying since a bad flight I experienced 10 long years ago. I completely blocked the event out of my mind until one year later when I got on another aeroplane. Suddenly I remembered everything and spent the next 6 hours, expecting to fall out of the sky at any given moment. Literally, it was the longest 6 hours of my entire life, at no point did the fear subside in the slighest. I have forced myself to fly every year since then, expecting to get better, but each time the anxiety grows steadily worse. I've been determined to keep going and, until today, I have been reinforced by the pride my wife feels each time I overcome my fears.
My passion in life, is to experience far flung, remote cultures and learn as much as I can about this world we live in, so it's kind of necessary that I overcome this irrational problem.
Six months ago I would not have been able to travel for my honeymoon without the diazepam that my doctor prescribed me. I was thankful for it but, it would seem on my part, taking these drugs was a huge mistake. This time around, instead of the anxiety and fear striking me at the airport as per usual, it hit me before I was able to leave my home.
It was an absolutely debilitating experience, it left me with no doubt that I wouldn't be able to cope navigating from A to B, having the thought of the return flight in my mind. I literally couldn't cope with anything and was physically ill. I never even left the house.
I have missed an opportunity and dissappointed my wife, who incidently, had to get the plane for work. She is now deprived of our subsequent holiday. The strange thing is, my fear is not just for my own safety. She doesn't arrive for another 33 minutes and I have spent the last 12 hours checking with flightstats to see her plane is still in the air.

I'm interested to hear from anybody that has been managed to overcome such overwhelming fear. If you can recommend a course of action that would be brilliant. I need to turn this situation around, so that I can start getting better instead of steadily worse. I know this exists only in my head, but my fear manifests spontaneously at just the thought of being near a plane. I think that I would quake in an airport, even if I wasn't getting onto a plane.

I want to give my wife the holiday she deserves, I'll try anything.

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I can't believe it, the day before I was supposed travel, the Foreign office released a statement saying they would not retract their advice for Thailand. The next day I cancel all my flights and can no longer cope with the 'stress' of flying. The day after that, they retract their advice. I've been moping around the house for two days feeling dissapointed in myself and now I'm just plain frustrated. I've got nothing to do and I'm alone. Tomorrow I'm phoning my wife and the insurance company to see if I can book another flight, if I get the go ahead, I WILL get on it. Let my absolute stupidity be a lesson to us all. Not getting on the flight is absolutely the wrong thing to do, Its made me far less confident, and I'm unable to live with the personal disappointment. I've put my wife through hell, but lucky for me, she had a dad who is scared of flying, and she is a forgiving woman. I only hope I can contact her and she will support me. If I can't get over my fear of flying, it would seem the fear of failure will see me flying.
Seriously though, I'm going to get myself on one of Captain Keiths courses, I live across the border in Dorset so its a must do. I've also booked myself a doctors appointment for tomorrow to try and get some therapy. My head is in absolute tatters, this is the worst experience ever. Just go people, fight your brains, we're all so silly.
Hi Andy,
Just reading, with interest,your posts from 4th and 6th May. I'm heading to NZ on the 15th June and, having been an anxious flyer all my life, am somewhat anxious about the flights. Consequently, I can identify completely with your situation. I know you asked for replies from people who had overcome their fear. Well, I can't own to that at this point but I am on the site for that very reason - i.e. to ultimately overcome my fear and if, in the process, I can contribute something positive for anyone else then I gladly do so. I think you are doing the wise thing in looking to get one one of Capt. Keith's courses. As soon as my circumstances permit, I will attend one of those courses myself. I am (and have been for some time) reading as much as I can about anxiety conditions and how to deal with them. There's a huge amount of material available on the site, on the Web and in book format at your local bookstore. My advice would be to use this material and learn as much as you can. As is often said, knowledge is power. On the basis of what I've learned so far, there's a couple of things I'd say which may be of help: our fear of flying can be debilitating enough just for ourselves but it is well recognised that we are also acutely aware of the effect on those close to us who are set to travel with us. This adds hugely to our own stress and worry. Also, the negativity in thinking patterns and seeing ourselves as "failures" actually helps to strengthen and re-inforce the entire fear cycle. The courses by Capt. Keith and the plethora of self-help material that is available will provide you with more than enough information to be able to begin to understand and deal with the varios facets of the condition and, I believe, ultimately overcome your fear. As I said earlier, I'm anxious about the long flights to NZ in June and I don't pretend to have anything mastered. But reading the material, practising what is taught, sharing my thoughts and experiences and learning from others on the site is helping me to feel a lot less anxious about flying than I had been in previous years. I hope this may be of some help and I wish you the very best in your travels. F. P. (Frank) Edwards
Hi Andy. It's really annoying, isn't it? The hold this fear can sometimes have over our lives. But you're already on the road to recovery after deciding to join this forum. One word to describe the support on here - priceless! I too have been exactly where you are. Sweaty palms, images of impending doom, believing every flight will be my last, and yet an unending urge to see the world.

But you CAN deal with this. Firstly, order yourself the CDs and book from this site. They're simply brilliant. The CDs explain everything you have questions about - they're perfect for the drive to the airport. The book is also a great support. When I first joined this site I was sceptical about how much it would help. I thought I'd be the one who just couldn't be "fixed." But since I joined here, I no longer see flying as dangerous. I can honestly say I'm actually starting to enjoy it. Yes, I still get those irrational thoughts on the day of the flight. I don't think that will ever go away, but we need to keep reminding ourselves of the facts - flying is safe. Right now there are tens of thousands of aircraft in the skies around the world. There are even more people on the ground working around the clock making sure safety is the number one priority.

I'm flying from Bristol to Croatia in a few weeks for my summer vacation. 12 months agao I would be having nightmares about it all, not sure if I'd set myself up on a path of impending doom. Now, I'm looking forward to experiencing a new culture, a new place and having lots of fun and relaxation. This has only been achieved thanks to Captain Keith and everyone on here who've only ever offered 100 percent support.

Well done on getting on here and good luck with your journey. Remember, you CAN do it.

Terry

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