I do not fly. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I told my husband that for our honeymoon I didn’t care where we went, so long as we could drive there. If he didn’t want to drive there, we couldn’t go – plain and simple.
But, like most things I loudly proclaim that seem outrageous to my husband, that notion was changed when we were given the opportunity to go to Idaho for a few days at the beginning of September. Don’t ask me why Idaho seemed like the perfect time to change my views on flying, but I felt like I had too. I didn’t want to be grounded by my fears anymore.
What’s interesting is that I actually flew a lot from my ninth grade year of high school and younger. I don’t ever remember being so afraid of flying that I couldn’t get on a plane. But after ninth grade I stopped flying, my emetophobia got worse, and in turn I couldn’t handle the thought of being 35,000 feet in the air, in a metal tube, where I am completely out of control of my situation.
So, I got on a plane. On my on will. And survived…sort of.
The moment I had the most panic was on take-off. I literally wanted to be anywhere but there. I was crying, I was shaking, I couldn’t feel my arms because I was hyperventilating, I was questioning the effectiveness of seat belts if we were actually going to plummet to our death, and I grew to dislike every child on that flight handling life better than me at that moment. And there were a lot of them.
But once I got in to the air, we leveled out and we were free to walk about the cabin I took out my secret weapon: Friends. If Friends couldn’t cure me of my anxiety, I was at a loss but like magic it distracted me. It allowed me to focus my mind else where and start to relax. By the time I boarded my second flight I was comfortable. I don’t know if that was adrenaline or confidence, but I did it. I actually looked out the window, took stereotypical pictures of the cloudy sky from high altitudes, and didn’t think about crashing all that much. I think it helped that the turbulence was basically non-existent.
The last two flights I took on that trip were much more bumpy and there were some businessmen that kept saying things didn’t seem right. As you can imagine, my anxiety was very high from that point on. Once I landed I was so happy to be on the ground that I declared myself flight free for the rest of my life – even though I don’t think that’s likely to happen.
So, the big question is: do you have both emetophobia and a fear of flying? Or do you just prefer to be on the ground but muddle through with white knuckles and a good TV show?
Until next time, Internet!
If you would like to email me, you can send any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to respond to you within 48 hours, but if for some reason I cannot get back to you in that time frame, I promise I will always respond as soon as possible. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!
Lastly, I run an Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of throwing up, and it is one struggle I am passionately engaged in. The group is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.