I Have a Secret…

 



I have a secret.

(It’s not a secret if you’ve checked out my 30 before 30).
I am totally and desperately afraid of flying.
Like panic attack, sobbing, thinking I’ll never see my family again.
Afraid.



I don’t really remember when it started because I used to fly all the time as a kid.
(Back and forth between parents and coasts).


Past therapists have mused that it’s emotional issues from this back and forth.
I don’t know if that’s true or not.
But I do know that during take off I feel an aching that I will never touch the ground.
Ever again.
And there is really nothing more terrifying for me.


My favorite is when people say:
You know it’s way safer then cars right?
Duh.
Double duh.
That fact doesn’t lessen my fear.



I’ve never let it stop me.
I want to see the world.
I studied abroad in college and flew to Paris.
Then Amsterdam.
Then Prague.
(Thank God for the chunnel. Hello London!)


 
I’m doing my best to manage this fear.
I take Ativan (prescription anti-anxiety) before every flight.
I’m so grateful that this drug exists.
I know it can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
But it’s allowed me to see the world, to visit my family, and to have adventures.


Still, I have my moments.
For instance, the last time I flew to Maine to visit my family.
It was Naveed’s first flight with me.
Right after take-off, as I sobbed, I said just a little too loudly:
 “We’re all gonna die”.
Fail Nadine. Just a fail.


Poor Nav had to assure the people around us,
“She’s just not a fan of flying.”
Calm me and get me to stop crying.
While being reminded of what it’s like to be a young Middle Eastern guy on an airplane.
Sorry, Nav.



My hope is to no longer be afraid by the time I’m 30.
I know it’s irrational.
I’m doing my best.
And I’ll never ever let it stop me.


Do you have any irrational fears?
Maybe flying isn’t your thing either?
Leave a comment below and help me feel a little less silly.
Have a lovely day!


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  • I flew a few times when I was younger and I never really thought about it. Now that I’m older, it’s all mind games with me and I find myself feeling a little nervous about it.

    • For me, I’m always afraid it’s just going to blow up. I’m never afraid of the people around me or concerned about the pilots. I never should have watched Final Destination. Worst plane crash scene ever! Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  • I hear ya girl. My best way of dealing with it is to say the following:
    1) How many people fly every single day and travel for work and so on and end up just fine.
    2) I mean, what are the odds? Slim to none.
    I don’t know why but when I think of all the people in airports flying from here to there every single day it helps.

    • I do think about that sometimes. I think of it in terms of celebrities. Every time I see Beyonce (or any celebrity) in a magazine she’s in New York, then London, then LA. I’m like, if Beyonce flies all over and is fine, I will be too. It sounds silly but it calms me down a little bit. Thanks, Callie!

  • And when you flew w/ me you cut my circulation off !!!
    You can do it 🙂

  • Just started following and was scrolling through your blog when I came across this post. Girl, you and I BOTH have an extreme fear of flying and I’m also prescribed Ativan (and we’re both frugal girls)! I completely understand how you feel and agree that despite what anyone says about how it’s safer than riding in a car, blah blah, it never helps!

    Last summer, myself and two of my co-workers flew from Pittsburgh to Ft. Lauderdale and I was seriously contemplating not going because I was so scared. Our flight there was perfectly fine and I got through it. On the way home, I was drifting off to sleep (thanks to Ativan), when all of the sudden people started running up towards the front of the plane screaming IS THERE A DOCTOR ON BOARD?! holy crap to say I freaked out is the biggest understatement of the year. I felt like my anxiety meds immediately stopped working. Luckily, things calmed down a little and the situation was resolved — a woman had just fainted or something along those lines. Whew.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share with you that I have the same exact feelings and you’re not alone! It’s so nice to hear that you won’t let your fear stop you from seeing the world! Love your blog and can’t wait to read more!! Have a great holiday 🙂

    Elizabeth
    http://fearlessandfrugal.blogspot.com/

    • Thank you! Sometimes (especially when I’m on planes and everyone looks all calm), the fear makes me feel a little crazy. The ativan helps but it also really knocks me out and makes me not super coherent. Basically every time I flew from the west coast to the east coast to visit family our reunion was a little goofy cause of my meds. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. Hope you had a lovely weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

  • I am the same exact way!! I HATE flying and I am shaking/sweating the entire time. UGHHH so annoying.

  • DJ

    I hate flying too – although I’ve never sobbed or screamed on a plane, that made me giggle (sorry!). I do cry tears of happiness every time the wheels touch the ground, though!

    We just moved to a house that’s really close to a major airport, and planes take off and land CONSTANTLY. If I sit in my backyard on a Saturday afternoon, I probably see 20 planes in an hour. I thought this would ease my fear (look how many planes successfully do their job every day!) but instead, it’s more like THIS IS GOING TO BE THE ONE THAT CRASHES, I JUST KNOW IT.

    Have you ever done yoga? I started going to classes a few years ago, and an unexpected benefit (besides arm muscles!) was that I found something to help me during turbulence. Yoga is all about breathing to your movements, bla bla bla. So whenever I’m in turbulence, I close my eyes and pretend I’m doing sun salutations, complete with the really deep breathing. Somehow the breathing blocks out the noise of the plane, and when I pretend I’m doing yoga, my mind blocks out the plane shaking and actually makes me feel like I’m doing sun salutations. I bet I look like an idiot, but I don’t care. I bet that’s totally what Beyonce does on a flight!

    • I’m literally sitting in the airport waiting to get on the plane. This helped me so much. I’m going to try it. I’ve taken yoga before and maybe I need to utilize it on planes to settle my self down. Thank you!

  • I absolutely hate flying too. And I have flown countless times! It started randomly a few years ago and then got a bit better and now it’s sort of back. For me, it’s the turbulence. I literally spend the entire flight thinking “it’s gonna start…oh s*it the fasten your seat belt sign is on, this means terrible turbulence..OHMYGOD THE PLANE IS GONNA FALL OUT OF THE SKY”. Awful. Shameful, I know.

    I try to focus on the destination, the nice things I’ll see and the people I’ll be reunited with 🙂 Hope it’s getting better for you.

    Sx

    sabaandthecity.blogspot.com

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