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fearful flyer here, 9hr flight tomorrow - aaaa!

fearful flyer here, 9hr flight tomorrow - aaaa!

Old May 18th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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fearful flyer here, 9hr flight tomorrow - aaaa!

I love planning trips. I love visiting new places and trying new food, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, seeing the wonders of the world. But my terrible fear of flying always threatens to ruin everything!

We have this great trip planned to Austria and Czech Republic, yet I've been fighting panic all week. Now it's less than 24 hours out and I'm literally shaking, teeth chattering, bowels rumbling, fighting the crazy thoughts in my head (mainly "I can't handle 9 straight hours on a plane!"). I've taken at least two 8+hr flights since my FoF kicked in, so I know I can do it, but my crazy side is winning right now.

We don't need another debate about drugs/alcohol vs. meditation, I just wanted to confess my insanity and get a little support from others who also love travel and can remind me why it's worth fighting through my fear. So send me some encouragement to help me through the next 48 hours, please!

Thanks so much -
m
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Old May 18th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Face the fact that you are not in control. Booze helps, truly.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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I was so fearful, stopped flying for a while. Searched the Internet, found "class" that I printed out and read at my own speed doing excercizes.

Now I fly everywhere, only try to plan non-stops if possible, or 1 stop max. My main problem are take-offs and landings.

I still do the exercize recommended in that class. On the take-offs and landings, deep inhale, then slowly exhaling at the same time saying reeeeelllaaaaxxxxx. Helps me.

Also I always take the isle seat when possible, and watch the flight attendants. Them being calm helps me.

Also small things help. For example, I remind my husband not to talk to me at take-off, maybe you are the opposite and want him to talk for distraction?
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Old May 18th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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I betcha once you're on the plane you'll be okay. I don't have a fear of flying now, but many years ago I did, for about 3 years.

I have several friends now who are pilots who have been really reassuring. There is truly nothing to worry about. Just think of it as a tall bus. All the bumps are just bumps in the road and just let your body go with it. Don't fight it. All the noises, bells, etc are just that. They are someone else's problem. Your problem is to think pleasant thoughts about the fun that awaits!

Imagine yourself in your seat, comfy after a nice glass of wine, headphones playin your favorite tunes, and then landing in Austria and continuing your adventure.

Now, meriberi, if after all my comforting you wish to trade places with me here in Texas- feel free to send me the tix!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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I read something online written by a pilot that was a very helpful little course. I have my strategies, too - sit on the aisle, deep breathing, noise-cancelling headphones, bury myself in my book. I get freaked out about really silly things like eating and using the bathroom on the plane, but my main crazy thought is "it's only been 5 minutes! I can't do this for another 8:55!" And yes, DRJ, one of the biggest problems is not being in control

I'm so glad you've overcome it, Dayenu! I will try to channel your strength
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Old May 18th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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http://www.amazon.com/Ask-Pilot-Ever.../dp/1594480044

The above link is a very good book. I read it and my pilot buddies agree ! Hope u have time to put it on your kindle or iPad or hop to the bookstore.

Good luck but everything will be FINE!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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I had a FoF and am still not crazy about it but I just close my eyes and give it to the Fates. Yes, thinking of the air as a road was very helpful--bumps can occur on the road. Plus it's so much better with the back of the seat screens--lots to keep one distracted---hope you'll be in a plane with one.

Welcome to the club and thank goodness for aeroplane safety. Have a wonderful trip.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Try to focus on the destination The flying is only a means to get you there and in the overall timeframe of your trip this will be a very small part time wise.
I fly weekly for my job but my husband has a FoF and fying later in the day or evening seems to help him some although he can not explain why.
I am sure you will have a fabulous trip!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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Soem travel anxiety is just anxiety. I hate to leave places, whether home for away or away for home, by train, plane or automobile. There is always something important you may forget, so anxiety is inevitable.

But some is more than that kind of anxiety. As DRJ points out, fear of flying is a control issue, though I don't think booze helps at all when it gets bad. Ask yourself what other areas in your life are you worried about losing control of? You may be displacing worries about leaving your family and friends or guilt at allowing yourself to have fun with fear of flying. I did.

Lots of things happen on planes that I don't like, from people disobeying the flight attendants to turbulence, but what converted me from real fear was (1) learning how flying really works and (2) iving where I could see the end of a main runway at Logan Airport in Boston. Day after day, good weather and bad, for ten years, I watched planes land and take off with never an accident. In fac,t since I moved to Massachusetts in 1979, there has only been one passenger death at Logan and that was on a Caribbean charter flight. Since 1979.

Now that I live in Nantucket, we can go outside about 8 at night and watch the Europe-bound flights from JFK streaming overhead, each seemingly isolated from each other but each part of a larger picture, one after another, by the dozen. North of us, they are joined by smaller streams from Boston and Toronto and other cities, yet how often in this nightly dance does one go down?
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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I am not afraid of flying but my SO is. Nothing I say seems to help-- he has to deal with it on his own. I think you have to find what works for you. But I will tell you, I have dragged him all over the place and he has never looked back and regretting going on any one of our trips.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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Good post acklander. Yes it is about control. And I had the same experience with moving close to a major airport (DFW). It made a huge difference when I realized all the safe flights that appen. This is hw I met my pilot friends. Three fly only overseas. Four are domestic and listening to how they train and keep up with their skills comforts me.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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just take a deep breath on takeoff. grab hold of the arm rests firmly. squeeze tightly and 90 seconds later release. There. your take off is complete.

On landing....close eyes when seatbelt light comes on. put head between knees and wait till you hear the thud thud of the the wheels being locked in place. look out the window and just breath gently. you don't want to upset the those around you with screams of panic so muffle your voice into your elbow. 2 minutes later and it's ALL OVER!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Well no a "debate" rather my solution.

I do use Xanax, which is an anti-anxity drug prescribed by my doctor. I would start it the day before the flight if I were in a bad way. I personally just don't see any reason to have a panic attack (or close to it) when there is an easy way to avoid it and be more comfortable and able to deal on the flight.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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I know there's no magic thing you guys can say to take away my irrational fear, but it helps so much to know others have fought through it too, and came out the other end I always get off the plane and think "wow, that really wasn't worth all that fretting", but then I proceed to fret again when the next flight comes up! Silly.

Our house is in the landing pattern for the local airport, so every time I hear a plane pass overhead I tell myself "there's another 100+ people finishing another safe flight!" Maybe when I've lived here 10 years like ackislander I'll be over it!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Unless you fly business or first, 8 or 9 hours in a plane is no fun.

You can fear lousy food, stupid seat neighbors, broken inflight entertainment.. actually it's the most uncomfortable time a person can spend outside a correctional facility. But you get to your destination in a surprisingly short amount of time. And in one piece. Trust me, these big planes cost more than all passengers together can make in a lifetime. So the airlines take extremely good care of them. Not so much of you in economy, but the plane will be fine.

If you sailed the seas like your forefathers, your vacation would be over before you got to the Acores islands. Plus your teeth would fall out Or you could have been on the Hindenburg.
Not tempting alternatives.

So, whatever makes these hours of boredom pass and makes you feel better, do it.
Try to distract yourself, if that helps. If you have nasty seat neighbors, tell them how sick you got from the food of your last flight with that airline. Just kidding (a bit).

Happy travels, and have a good time in Austria and Czech!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Just breathe, breathe , breathe. Visualize your destination. You will be fine.

Before your next trip, consider a visit or 2 to an EMDR practitoner. My partner became unafraid of flying at age 62, finally, and it has improved both of our vacations. It took 2 hours of her time and 2 insurance copays.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Xanax !!!
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Old May 18th, 2012, 04:22 PM
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i know i know Bedar. but no one ever seems to like or accept that solution on this form. not only does it calm anxiety, it has a bit of a time-warp effect so the flight doesn't seem as long.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 04:35 PM
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Hey my brother swears by Xanax for flying. He'd don't fly for prob 15 years. Since Xanax he's made four flights in three years. I heartily endorse it.
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Old May 18th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Well it's too late for this trip but you can be cured of FoF by a good therapist. I developed FoF due to an incident I won;t recount - but I found a great shrink and within 3 months I was flying again - and without any sort of advance concerns - or even those nerves in flight if it gets bumpy.
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