So I flew into the UK a couple of days ago, and I have to tell you I was nervous about the flight. I've had trouble with anxiety in the past and the combination of being away from my husband + a long flight had me scared... of being scared. This may seem a silly thing, but the fear of fear is very real.
After all, that is Franklin D. Roosevelt said... "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
Instead of admitting that, though, I just called it being afraid of flying. After I boarded the plane, I got myself settled and I waited for the impending doom. And then a funny thing happened: nothing happened. I didn't get nervous, and in fact I recalled how much I enjoyed flying. Maybe the free drinks and personal TV screens provided by British Airways had something to do with it.
Either way, I was well on my way to the UK and I wasn't afraid.
Fast forward about six hours and we have arrived in London. I had heard that London's Heathrow airport was the proverbial gauntlet of airports, but I didn't feel as tired as I should have considering I spent the better part of my red eye flight watching movies rather than sleeping. We made it through the maze of Heathrow, went through the passport deal, went through the security deal (where my girlfriend got busted for having contact lens solution over the limit) and finally we made it to our terminal to wait for our next flight.
It was six o'clock in the morning, local [London] time. All these people were decked out in their pinstripes and business attire. That, coupled with the fact that we learned that UK Starbucks don't do green tea lattes, was enough to set me over the edge. We boarded our flight and just after the safety cartoon on the overhead monitors, there it happened: panic attack.
The funny thing was, it wasn't an "in my head" panic attack. It was more like my body telling me it was ready to go into sleep mode. My legs started shaking, my body became cold, and the smell of breakfast making its rounds after take out made me want to hurl. I pulled the hood of my jacket over my face and I went into a dream-like state. Though I was in the middle of a total body betrayal, I still didn't feel afraid, which was nice.
By the time we landed, I was merely exhausted. Still, through that exhaustion we had to get to a cab, go to my sister-in-law's office, grab the key from a very nice woman named Annette, and then we finally found our way to my sister-in-law's flat, where, incidentally, the elevator was being serviced. We walked all our bags up six flights of stairs. By the time we reached the top, all logic had flown and I laughed like a madwoman.
So, in the end, was I--am I--afraid of flying? I am not entirely sure, but I don't think so. I would say I get a little anxious with the anticipation of the flight, but that could be a touch of excitement as well. Whatever it was, when I was afraid of being afraid I told myself it didn't matter because I was going to do it anyway. By the time I had a panic attack I told myself, "Eh, it's not THAT bad." And in the tradition of the UK, I kept calm and carried on.
So tell me, do you have a fear of flying or of something else? Share in the comment section below!