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Posts: 297
Reply with quote  #1 
I am doing a lot better now than I have been.

Feeling a bit more confident a few months ago and much to the surprise of my friends I agreed that we would join some of them on holiday - at the time it just seemed so far in the distance that I just didn't think about it but now it is pretty near I am terrified. I haven't flown for 12 years and now I am just constantly worrying about not being able to do it. About getting on the plane then having to get off because I can't deal with it. We are going with a another 6 friends who have all known me for a long time and know I am anxious about flying and I don't want to let them down but it is keeping me awake at night and we do not go until the start of August. I have seen the Dr today who said she can give me some Diazepam but I just don't know if I can cope although I really want to go.

Has anybody flown after so long while feeling so anxious ?


Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #2 
After developing anxiety pretty much on all flights I took I was highly anxious, and had one or two milder panic attacks. I didn't avoid it, but I dreaded flying. I tried slow breathing, self hypnosis, taping, etc, it didn't really help. 

Couple months ago I went on vacation to Mexico, it was a 6 hour flight for me. I was really anxious about that flight, especially since I was flying for the first time with my 2 small children. I took a different approach to this flight, and going there was a lot easier than I expected, I had very minimal anxiety. Going back was even better, my heart rate didn't even go up during take off, it was really exciting. The big difference for me is I was prepared to feel anxious.

After all these years I realized that no matter what I do I will be anxious on this flight. But that's okay, it's just a feeling, it will pass. So when I got on the flight and I started to feel anxious, I wasn't surprised. And it didn't escalate. In the past I would have high hopes that "maybe this time I won't be anxious" so when the anxiety came it took me off guard and turned into higher anxiety and panic. 

My advice to you maybe a bit counter intuitive.. but realize that you probably will be anxious and don't be surprised/upset when it shows up. You have all the tools to handle anxiety, it's a feeling, and it will pass. And your holiday will be awesome and easily worth feeling a little crappy on the way there.

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Posts: 1,306
Reply with quote  #3 
Hey Tatty, I flew when I was 21 and never went back up again until this year and I'm now 51. I have taken two flights already this year one was an hour and a half and one was three hours ... I had absolutely no anxiety and on the plane... I had some anticipation leading up the week before flying but nothing that wasn't manageable.... what I have learned is it doesn't matter where you are anxious on the ground or in the air it makes no difference.. Managing it is all the same wherever you are... if your fear is what if I get anxious up there remind yourself that you can handle it and it's temporary... You gotta get in the mindset that anxiety has robbed you of so many things and you won't let it steal an opportunity of a great vacation... feel the fear but do it anyway!
debby jones

Posts: 297
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you, it is good to hear of successes.

Posts: 411
Reply with quote  #5 
I flew for the first time in my LIFE last year - I'm 53. 

I did have to take some anti anxiety medication, but it was worth it. I can't get enough of it now!!! All that anticipatory anxiety for NOTHING!!!

See ya in the Bahamas!!

Posts: 219
Reply with quote  #6 
When I was feeling my worst, I remember fearing how I might feel on a plane. I did a lot of prep to put myself in the best position possible to have a good experience and it worked pretty well, so much so that I started looking forward to flying.

Download the audio version of Jeff' s and Claire's weekes' books so you can listen to them on your phone if you need to. Bring the diazepam, Xanax, or whatever other med you need (lots of people use these for flying - even if they aren't anxious bc they help you fall asleep.) Use if you need to. Take a Bonine if you're prone to motion sickness. Don't eat heavy or spicy foods to close to your flight. That's what I mean by putting yourself in the best spot.

If nothing else, the boredom of flying will give you ample time to listen to the audiobooks and brush up.

Posts: 908
Reply with quote  #7 
I respectfully have to disagree with preparing yourself to fly or do anything for that matter so that you don't have p/a.  It is all about letting whatever come and not worrying about it.  I found myself always preparing and that helped to hold me back from a full recovery.  It is just another form of what if in my opinion.  No thing causes p/a.  So let happen whatever happens and that's it. 

However, Jeff and Claire....that I totally agree with.  That keeps you focused and in line with the method. 


Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #8 
I just booked a ticket to Costa Rica for two weeks from now...I've flown a lot before with a lot of struggles of course. The few flights have been better since I have been practicing acceptance more. This flight my goal is to...make my panic and anxiety worse in the plane. It's four hours so I'm kinda scared but I know i have to prove to my brain that there is nothing to fear and that I can't lose control or anything.

Posts: 219
Reply with quote  #9 
I fly out to Miami next Friday (5 hrs). Not stressing it at all. I definitely did when I was at my worst. I'd have panic attacks at the airport right before the flight (not fun). But now, no problems whatsoever. I'm not bragging, I'm just trying to show you that you absolutely CAN do this.

Re Kelly's response to my post (above), I am not saying you need to have rituals or anything like that. I'm just saying that, at he beginning, doing things to make yourself comfortable is ok. Whether it be listening to reassuring passages from Claire's and Jeff's book or taking a motion sickness pill or just making sure you have movies downloaded to watch on the plane. As you get more comfortable, you can naturally ditch these things.

Posts: 297
Reply with quote  #10 
I am feeling a bit better about flying now though I still have some weeks to go so I am sure I will have the odd blip about it.  

I decided not to make an issue of it, if I have to go on a plane to get to our destination there is no way round it so decided I could stress for the next few weeks and make myself ill or try to just accept I am going without thinking about anything that I can't try to control weeks in advance so I am just pretty much 'acting" as if I don't have an issue.  

Probably sounds a bit silly but I also looked up things like turbulence which has been freaking me out and after reading things that pilots have written about it I feel that having a bit more knowledge about it has actually made me feel a bit better about the whole thing and I am trying not to focus on the being unable to escape and panicking by thinking the panic is the same in the air as when I am doing anything else.

Hope the positivity lasts until we go but doing my best.

Thanks for your replies.

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