Happy Tuesday! I’m starting to feel recovered after Saturday’s race, and I’m finally able to think about other things 🙂 I’m flying to Portland this weekend for a conference for work, but lucky for me, my best friend lives there too. I’m looking forward to seeing her and visiting Portland again, but I am terribly nervous about the flight. I am basically terrified of flying. It is at a phobic level. I remember reading an article years ago about the different fears people have of flying, like whether it was related to claustrophobia or a fear of heights. “If you afraid the plane will crash and you will die, you have aviophobia.” Yep, that’s me. I know all the reasons I shouldn’t be afraid and how much safer flying is than any other mode of transportation. I’m just terrified of that time when you know the plane will crash and you will die – how scary and awful and painful that must be, and how there is nothing you can do to stop it. My heart rate is elevated just writing this 😦
I actually avoided flying for about 10 years, finally getting on a plane again five years ago for our honeymoon. I have to take several Xanax and usually drink mimosas the whole way to the airport. The last time we flew, I had to run to the bar by the gate to down a giant shot of tequila to make myself get on the plane. My adrenaline was so high I couldn’t even feel the Xanax and champagne. I’m a wreck.
I’m extra nervous this time since I’ll be flying by myself and won’t have Jack to 1) help me navigate the airport while on Xanax and 2) comfort me during the flight. I’m really excited about my trip, but all I can think about is how much I don’t want to die and how much I love my life. I always get everything sorted out and organized at home in case the plane crashes. I leave notes about our finances, logins, pets’ medications. It’s excessive for sure.
I think there is that magical thinking part of me that is like, well, if everything is ready “just in case” I die, that means it won’t really happen. If I say goodbyes and give my sister all my passwords and leave the house spotless, chances are, everything will be just fine. I am such an analytical, reasonable, and logical person, but there is a tiny crazy part of me that must believe I have some control over what happens. There have been enough times that I have predicted something random happening to make me feel like, well, maybe I am just a tiny bit psychic, or magic, or whatever. So I should listen to that part of me, right?
My logical brain knows I am just trying to control a situation over which I have no control (other than avoidance, which is no way to live). My reasonable mind knows I have a better chance of getting killed when I’m out walking my dogs, which I do twice a day with zero anxiety. But I can’t help but worry, and fear, and bargain. And most of all, pray that if I have to die in a plane crash, it at least happens on the way home so I’ve gotten to take my trip first 😉
Advice time: Are you afraid to fly? Do you have other phobias? How do you deal with them? Is exposure therapy the best thing?