04 March 2010


I've never been on a plane. People who know me know this already, and people who don't know me very well and find this out are always shocked. I'm afraid of flying. I don't know if this is a result of some actual psychological phobia/fear or just a result of me having never done it. Probably a mixture of the two. (I know I'm afraid of heights, which I was reminded of a few months ago when I got in my boss' boom lift, which is a little crane thing on wheels; it went 120 feet in the air. At about 100 feet, I lost the ability to speak.) I'll be 30 later this year, and I don't want to turn 30 having never flown. Also, there are places I'd like to go that will require flying (and possibly I'll have to fly for work, which gives me little choice in the matter). So I've started the process of getting myself ready for the experience. Which may happen as soon as next month.

I always told people that when I'm about to finally fly, I'm just going to be very medicated. That option is still on the table (and I recommended a particular medication to one of my good friends who is also afraid of flying, and he confirmed its effectiveness), but I am a bit wary of taking drugs to help me; for one thing, I don't like the precedent that it might set - I don't want to basically circumvent getting over my fear simply by using medication, unless I find I simply must - and having some experience with those types of medication, I'm not thrilled at the idea of taking them again. So I'm trying to feel my way around. So far, I've started really reading about flying and flying phobias, coping mechanisms, etc. I will admit that it has made me very anxious; I had a dream earlier in the week about flying that woke me up slightly anxious, which turned into a very brief anxiety attack. Reading about flying, at first, made me very anxious. It seems to be subsiding, though. At least to an extent. And my feelings of excitement about flying are starting to cut through a bit. At the moment, I'm pretty adamant about being able to do it without any aides besides coping tips and techniques. (Like walking around barefoot and making fists with my toes; thanks, Die Hard!) My plan is, within the next few weeks, to make some actual plans and purchase a ticket (and once I throw down my money, I've pretty much passed the point of no return). So this is going to be a mini saga for me. On one side, I'm still admittedly a bit terrified and I'm even meta-terrified - I'm anxious and afraid of the fact that I will probably feel anxious and afraid. On another side, I feel somewhat like a little kid about to do something neat. I'm not sure the more positive side is going to get very close to winning - at least not on my first time - but I'm hoping to at least keep it well on the scale.

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