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Old 05-23-2007, 12:42 PM   #1
VictoiseC
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Airplanes: I'm Totally Afraid to Fly
Well, I just noticed Dink's post about being afraid to fly with needles. Which leads me to finally post my fear. I haven't flown since 9/11. I live in Manhattan and watched the smoke and smell for weeks. Then 2) that other plane went down, the Domenican Republic plane, out at JFK. And 3) my neighbor across the street had a ticket for that plane but hurt his back and canceled last minute.

So I decided I just wouldn't fly anymore. Problem is, my husband is having his 2nd yearly conference in Naples, Florida next month. Last year his boss and he wanted me to go. I stayed home. This year I really want to go coz also my Mother in Law is in Ft. Lauderdale and she is 93 and really wants us to come there. I haven't visited her there since 9/11.

I'm sort of determined to go. I used to fly all over the world! Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, Paris, London, Zurich. It's ridiculous but I feel like I really don't want TO DIE on a plane. Whew. Ok. Sorry this was so long. I know I have to die somehow.....

Any thoughts on how stupid this is or how I might just get over it?
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:07 PM   #2
lostchyld
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It's not really stupid. I was nervous about flying the first time I got on a plane after 9/11, then my shoes set off the metal detector, this was before they required everyone to get their socks dirty. After that first security checkpoint, old habits came back and the hardest thing to deal with was the paranoia. That was the summer of '02. Two years after that, my family dragged me to Hawaii, and I do mean dragged. Two weeks over Christmas in a hotel room with my parents and sibs is definitely not how I would have wanted to do Hawaii. Just this spring, I flew to Houston for an interview.

The best way to get over the nerves is to just go do it. You'll be fine and you'll have a great time seeing your mom and the flying nerves will go away.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:08 PM   #3
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Definitely NOT stupid! I used to detest flying and spent the entire flight digging into my mom's arm with my fingernails. She hated flying, too.

But it is the fear that you should get over; if the fear interferes with what you do and how you live your life it needs to be dealt with.

I feel like one of the best ways to get over it is to simply fly again. But it would probably be wise to see a psychologist who can help you come up with a calming routine you can do on the plane if you tense up (perhaps knitting can be a part of that; it's a part of mine xxx!). A calming routine can make a big difference.

If you fly again you will be very happy that you did.

Rebecca
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:10 PM   #4
iza
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Victoise, this not stupid! These fears have nothing logical, and they can start anytime. In your case I think it makes total sense why you're scared. You might suffer from a type of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Have you considered consulting someone? If you think it might be too difficult for you to fly and deal with this alone, maybe it could be a solution. My mom is a counsellor and she had treated dozens of people with all kinds of fears. She says it's too bad people don't consult more for these kinds of problems, because it's easy to treat and generally requires only a few consultations. And it makes such a difference in people's lives!
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by VictoiseC View Post
Well, I just noticed Dink's post about being afraid to fly with needles. Which leads me to finally post my fear. I haven't flown since 9/11. I live in Manhattan and watched the smoke and smell for weeks. Then 2) that other plane went down, the Domenican Republic plane, out at JFK. And 3) my neighbor across the street had a ticket for that plane but hurt his back and canceled last minute.

I didn't want to fly before 9/11, so you are ahead of me. And I don't have your trauma and memories of being in Manhattan that day. And after 9/11...forget it. I'd felt like something would happen in New York for some time, so in 2000, when I had to go to Greece for a visit, I pushed and harassed and nagged my husband to arrange for us to fly out of Boston (), even though it was not convenient at all. I learned a big lesson from that on 9/11, although it's hard to say exactly what that lesson was. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen and I don't appear to be able to control it. :-(

Originally Posted by VictoiseC View Post
So I decided I just wouldn't fly anymore. Problem is, my husband is having his 2nd yearly conference in Naples, Florida next month. Last year his boss and he wanted me to go. I stayed home. This year I really want to go coz also my Mother in Law is in Ft. Lauderdale and she is 93 and really wants us to come there. I haven't visited her there since 9/11.

It's so hard to completely avoid flying. I'll tell you the truth, I had a massive dose of Xanax for my last flight (when I moved here). Massive. I still didn't want to fly, but I just didn't really care. :|
I think the incentive of seeing your elderly MIL is a strong one.

Originally Posted by VictoiseC View Post
I'm sort of determined to go. I used to fly all over the world! Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, Paris, London, Zurich. It's ridiculous but I feel like I really don't want TO DIE on a plane. Whew. Ok. Sorry this was so long. I know I have to die somehow.....

Any thoughts on how stupid this is or how I might just get over it?

I feel exactly the same way. Statistics help me, a little. It's just so unlikely that anything will happen. I think that fears are pretty normal. We wouldn't survive without the instinct of fear. It's just when the fear hinders us from having a normal life that it becomes a problem. Whenever I get to go back to the U.S. for a visit, I plan to get me a big ol' prescription once again.

I'm glad that you are determined to go.
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:02 PM   #6
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while your brain may recognize your fear might not be rational, your heart is afraid. it isn't stupid.

just getting over it? might not be that easy, but yeah- just be prepared, and walk on that plane. how do we get prepared? practice. what are you going to pack? what are you going to bring? are you going to drive the the airport? where should you park? do you know what security is like at your airport?

Think about successful flights- you board, cram yourself into a seat by the window, listen to the flight attendant, take off, (for me with eyes closed) fly for a while, and land. then you grab your stuff, deplane, and go get a big glass of wine.

I totally agree with maybe having a couple counseling sessions, or asking a doctor for a mild tranquilzer. for me, takeoff is the worst part. but, having a plan, and looking forward to the destination get me there.
you can do it!
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:50 PM   #7
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Don't let your fear keep you from doing things you're going to enjoy. I've always been afraid to fly...I too sometimes have to take a Xanax before a flight, maybe you should talk to your doctor about that I'm sure they'd be willing to help. I have to admit that I was actually more scared to fly before 9/11. The first time I got on a plane after 9/11 was that December, and surprisingly I felt more at ease than I susally had. I think its seeing all of the crazy security at the airport (even thought it can be annoying) that made me realize the chances of something happening again would be so small. I've heard that you have a better chance of winning the lottery or getting struck by lightening twice than getting into a plane accident....so really the chances of something happening are sooooo slim. I've read that the first 60 seconds after takeoff are when something would most likely occur, so a trick I use is to count to 200 or so, and then I feel much safer. I know it can be scary but this trip is a good time to work on overcoming your fear and not let it hinder you from having some great experiences in your life.
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
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I have never been in a plane, and I don't think I ever will get in one. I can't explain my fear. I'm not afraid of heights. I'm afraid of CRASHING. I don't find your fear stupid at all. It has its basis in reality. I don't know that mine does. My husband keeps telling me he wants to go to Hawaii. I told him to go and send me a postcard. Next year we plan on going to Florida - again - for about the 7th time - by car - a 24-hour drive. Ugh.
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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A lot of airports and airlines have "courses" for people who are terrified of flying. They basically give you tons of information to help ease your mind and sometimes culminate with a short flight. You could look into some of these.

I also recommend talking to your doctor and possibly getting a prescription for tranquilizers. If you're not traveling alone, go ahead with the heavy-duty ones! Honestly, sometimes it just takes getting over that hump the first time--and the first time you may need some pharmalogical help.

Good luck! Think of how WONDERFUL Florida will be if you conquer this demon!
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:40 PM   #10
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If you're THAT windy, get the train.

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