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.

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?
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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