Prior to departing to Turkey and Greece last year, I was sitting alone in my living room drinking a cup of coffee and gagging nonstop. In fact, I had to move my solo party outside out of fear that I’d actually produce something and have to clean it up (my husband cleans up the kids’ barf, the dog’s barf, and the cat’s barf — I do not).
My coffee tasted fine, it was the anxiety of flying that was getting to me. Ironically, on a recent flight from Houston to San Diego, The Mindy Project came on with the main actress, Mindy Kaling, gagging in response to stress. Until I saw this video, I assumed I was the only one dealing with this kind of extreme reaction.
My sister loaned me a program last year to combat my fear of flying, and it can be found on The Fear of Flying website. I wrote about my fear of flying last year but feel this year’s trip was the real test. Sure, I gagged like mad last year despite watching the videos and attempting the visualizations, but I still got on the planes, and successfully made it to my destinations. Each boarded plane resulted in less anxiety.
This year was a real testament to the power of Captain Tom Bunn’s program. All I had to do this year was visit his site and watch the Jello video one day prior to departure to have all the anti-anxiety stuff kick in. I did not gag this year at all despite the universe’s devious attempts at making me.
How the Universe Tried to Make Me Gag
The Scene: Plane #1 is boarding. We are heading to Newark, NJ despite a destination of Costa Rica (we live in San Diego so Newark is way out of the way, or so it seems from a non-pilot). I find my seat and it’s a wee bit claustrophobic (wee actually means highly). I am starting to panic just a tad, but my daughter offers me the aisle seat. Phew. Crisis averted. But then there’s the TV on in front of me with the weather in New York. Mind you, I cannot hear anything that is being said on the program because I don’t have my headset on, but all I see displayed across the top of the screen is “Storm Watch 2013.” What that means to me is a very bumpy landing in Newark because Newark is close to New York (or at least I think it is…should look that up).
Reality: We landed perfectly and on a gorgeous sunny day in Newark.
Fast forward to boarding the plane from Newark to Costa Rica, and it’s another TV screen on the back of the seat in front of me. Why do I look? I have no idea, but what I saw was heart stopping–some plane had crashed and the picture was of the fiery remains strewn across water. I still can’t hear what the reporter is talking about but my mind and body go numb. What a thing to see while one is sitting on an airplane getting ready to head to its final destination.
My seatmate alerted me to the lightning at night as we got closer to Costa Rica. He was a first time flyer and went on and on how planes crash nonstop when landing. Because he was a 9th grade boy who had never flown before, I ignored his nervous chatter.
Reality: The plane was not hit by lightning and we landed perfectly.
And the Universe Did Not Let Up on the Trip Back
The return trip to San Diego was not too bad except for our little stop in Houston. Everybody was getting on the plane. I had found my seat and buckled myself in. There were no TVs on the back of the seats, but who needs a TV when you have a flight attendant?
My friend, Katie, asked if she could use the restroom prior to departure. The United Airlines flight attendant said, “Sure, we’re going to be sitting here for a while, so go ahead.”
I asked the flight attendant, “Why will we be sitting here for a while?”
Next time I ask this, you have my permission to hit me.
He said, and I quote, “There’s mechanical failure that has to be dealt with before we can leave.”
I could feel all the blood draining from my face and I began the task of figuring out how I could get off the plane and drive back home.
I squeaked, “Mechanical failure??”
To which he chirped, “Yep; the restroom is broken. We cannot fly all the way to San Diego with only one restroom available.”
Note to any flight attendants reading this out there: some people are afraid to fly and calling a broken toilet ‘a mechanical failure’ causes mental anguish and extreme anxiety!
Even though the mechanical failure turned out to be a broken toilet, I was on high alert but I did not get off the plane. Prior to finding the Fear of Flying program and website, I would have been the first person off the plane and in line at a Budget Rent-a-Car franchise muy pronto.
The landing in San Diego was probably the best one I have ever experienced. Another successful trip completed with 90% less anxiety than before the program.
For next year, I am already planning a family vacation in France, and the last I heard, I still can’t drive there!