Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shh...I'm mentally flying this plane!

Amongst my many fears is flying. This is a bridge to cross once I know how my 12 week scan is (8 days to go and counting down every 6 hourly progesterone suppository to get me there). People often ask me what I'm afraid of? Take-off, landing, turbulence? It's the moment it starts down the run way, the engine gets louder and you feel yourself pinned a little tighter to your seat. From this moment on...I am out of control.

I imagine jumping out of my seat and walking uphill towards the airhostess who might be duty bound to restrain me, or perhaps at this stage I would be ordered to sit down and she would call the Captain (locked in his cabin) to warn him a passenger is on the loose. The fact is...I can't get off. On a coach or train I can demand that we stop. A boat? Dunno...launch a life boat? At least I can walk on deck and breath the oxygen at a normal altitude.  Short flights over land are not so worrying either. My first ever flight was London to Belfast and a passenger had a heart attack half way and we landed so fast it was incredible, there was the ambulance, ready and waiting. But long haul....over the desert/mountains/ocean...makes my head spin.

I finally got to grips with this when I flew alone, London to Bangkok. Fresh from the last page of Allen Carr's 'The Easy Way to Enjoy Flying' I felt reassured by each chapter, tackling the many 'what ifs'. My favourite...'what if a wing falls off? Well, then you crash but this has not happened in the history of commercial flights' (or similar). Once on board the air hostess announced a delay and asked if anyone would like to meet the Captain. Well, according to Allen Carr this can be v useful in overcoming one's fears. I jumped up and was led through the cabin by a smirking air hostess. I found myself standing behind a small child was showing the pilot his teddy and explaining he was called Joshua and he was 5. I turned on my heal to find a queue of parents and kids so I had to walk in and say 'I'm **, I'm 27 and I'm a very nervous flyer'. It did help. I was still terrified mid air but considered if I could keep mentally flying this plane all the way, I managed 2 hours then my feet relaxed to the ground, I sank back in the chair, I stopped sensing every movement. What if...? What if indeed. What could I do? I gave in, I let go, I slept.

I am getting these moments of giving in now, there are so many what ifs that I can't control. I try to follow advice. I take my medication every 6 hours. I appreciate that I'm not spotting right now. I try to let myself fall asleep, enjoy a film or book, enjoy a fantasy that this may actually work out. Let go of the things I can't control in the world.

1 comment:

  1. I love the image of you in the queue with all the kids to see the Captain! But definitely worth doing if it helps ease your fears. Glad that you're able to 'give in' a little at the moment and relax.. I'm also a control freak and I think the lack of control is one of the hardest parts of this journey xx