I know I’m not the only one out there that has travel anxiety. Some people are afraid of planes, some afraid of trains and some just afraid to travel anywhere in general. My anxiety is a day to day struggle. It’s something that I don’t always open up about but it’s something I am faced with daily so why not speak about it?
My anxiety started at a young age, I feared death. When I say young I mean about 5 years old. As I got older and could associated things with death I became afraid of those things as well which in turn left me with an anxiety disorder. Whether it would be being a passenger in a car with a driver going to fast or getting on a plane, I was afraid. Whether it be a rollercoaster at an amusement park or being on a speed boat. Whether it be climbing up a ladder or standing too close to the edge of the second story in the mall, I was afraid. Some of the fears I’ve conquered over time, most of them I will get through with just a little nervous clench. Flying on the other hand, I’ve never gotten use to.
It’s hard now, to travel with a toddler by any means of transportation. I’m always worrying about how she feels. This was our first time flying as a family and my first time on a plane since I lived in Miami in 2011.
The thoughts start going through my head about a week in advance. I was having anxiety that interrupted my train of though randomly and second guessing myself if the plane was the best option. But we went ahead and we did it. This year it wasn’t just the travel that bothered me but it was also now a new fear. I have claustrophobia but never anything that has stopped me from taking part in any activities; more like couldn’t lock myself in a closet or crawl through a tight space type of problem with the matter. This time, it was starting to bother me that I would be stuck on a form of transportation in the sky and not be able to just get off when I wanted to. I didn’t know how to face this issue like I normally do as it was brand new.
I read blogs by other people who had the phobia and articles by doctors.. the whole nine yards. I decided to stop reading up on those articles and posts and try to figure my own way to not overcome but to face and conquer this trip. I decided that my fear of flying has been there all of my life and no flight or amount of flights in the past has changed this. So I decided to face my fear and just “deal with it”. I know I’m going to have this fear but how can I take my mind off of it so that my child doesn’t see my fear and make it her own?
So what I did was what I do best. I made a list. I made a list of things I could do to keep my mind occupied, as if a two and a half year old wasn’t enough to occupy me.
I made a list of ways to keep myself calm and comfortable.
- Make a play list of songs you love
- Bring a magazine or book you haven’t read with articles that you’ve wanted to read but haven’t had time for.
- Bring gummy bears or gum to keep your ears comfortably un-popped.
- Bring an activity to do with your child (if not with a child that you can do with yourself or spouse)
- Keep your phone fully charged because although you may not have service you can play games and listen to music.
- Lastly, blog! Which is what I am currently doing!
As you seen my last bullet, I wrote this blog about my fear with flying while flying.
What do you know? I’m landing!!
So although I probably never will get excited to fly or get rid of my fear of flying along with the anxiety that goes hand and hand with it I am hoping to find relief.
The beginning of my flight started off rocky my heart was racing, my palms were sweating and I felt light headed. By the end I am happy to be home and although this landing is bumpy I know my car is waiting for me to bring us home.
If you have a fear of flying or if you have generalized anxiety, you always have an ear that will listen!