Posted by J Russell
We weren’t designed to fly were we? Yet we non-flap-your-wings humans have managed to design magnificent flying machines that exist precisely for that purpose. They fly, and we hitch a lift. Still, even though I am not personally doing the flying, I feel that I am somehow heavily involved in the process and, therefore, the outcome. Control issues anyone?
Now, there are many different approaches to managing the fear of flying and I have tried a few:
For the best part of five years I didn’t get on a plane at all. Unfortunately, if the need does arise to take a flight, the fear has now considerably festered and possibly increased. The avoidance method also adversely affects your family and work sometimes. Nonetheless, this remains my preferred method.
Whilst in flight mode: watch a film, read a book, pretend you are somewhere else entirely. This method is quite effective until something suddenly happens to remind you that you are on a plane. The innocent reminder induces instant panic mode, thus undoing all the good work of the distraction.
I tried this the other year. It worked inasmuch I could board the plane, it failed however to make the experience less stressful. It also made me behave in an even more odd fashion than usual. Gently banging your forehead on the seat in front? Not a good look.
On this occasion I am employing some new tactics. The first has been not to dwell on the flight in advance. This is a bit of a balancing act as when travelling certain logistical details need to be arranged and discussed. I have found by doing or thinking about only one thing a day has helped. If you talk to me about flying and I say, please could we talk about something else? it is because my guts are churning and anxiety is running high.
I am also packing some travel sickness tablets, Stugeron to be precise, as they have a slightly somnolent effect on me. I am hoping that, if necessary, I can ramp this up a bit by washing them down with a glass of wine.
Finally, I am making a last minute dash to a hypnotherapist. I’ve never visited one before so here’s hoping. If the session manages to even calm pre-flight nerves that will be worth it…
Fear of flying is essentially my fear of death distilled, so on account of the impending flight I was planning my funeral the other day whilst walking the dog. I had gone so far as to ask a friend to keep the instructions in an envelope. There is no need for a will; I have nothing. Then I realised that, if the worst came to the worst, it would be unlikely that there would be anything left of me to burn anyway so I could quit worrying about those arrangements at least. This is what fear does to the mind, well mine anyway. Let’s see what gives at the hypnotherapist shall we?