Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is Me, Not Flipping Out.

It's no secret, I HATE to fly.
No, hate is not strong enough. In fact I don't think there is a word out there that fully encompasses how I feel about flying. My heart drops into the pit of my stomach faster than a hooker in the front seat of a rich man's car at the mere thought of it, and a general haze of nausea descends and refuses to lift until the trip is over, and I'm safely back on Terra Firma.

Normally I spend the weeks before a flight compulsively scanning safety records for each airline, running crash scenarios trough my head as I try to fall asleep, playing each one out so that I somehow survive. As the day of departure nears I contemplate the Amtrak schedules,weighing the extra cost of the ticket (almost double), the extra two or three days of travel I will have to add to my time off request, and ultimately decide flying is cheaper(how twisted is that?). I turn desperately to my 8 year old Toyota with 110K miles under her belt and know she would probably not take kindly to the 13 hour drive; add up the cost of a car rental, gas, and additional time off for travel time, and even driving is not as economical as flying. Dammit!

I have two, count em, two flights to Boston coming up between now and Christmas. The first one is Thursday. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't fighting a constant hum of just below the surface panic, but this time I'm not giving in to it. I have given up my daily "I hate to fly, why do I have to fly, I fucking don't want to fly" mantra. I haven't looked up any safety records, or watched any plane crash footage. I haven't even once logged onto the Amtrak website. Each night I compose grocery lists, blog ideas, and alternate endings to movies just to keep my mind clear of anything plane related. See? See how together I am? Trust me, this is together.

When I do start to panic I mentally pack my bottle of xanax,and try to focus on the destination rather than the trip. Thursday I'm going to visit my brother and sister-in-law in their new house in Rhode Island. It's also my nephew's second birthday, and I will get to be there to watch him open his present from his Auntie Shawnee. The second trip, coming up in December, is also to my brother's house in RI. Christmas with the entire family, three generations worth. Oh, to be sure there will be all manner of drama going on within the rooms of that very full house, but there will also be a lot of celebrating, and I will be armed with mighty wine glass. These trips are ultimately worth all the stupid phobic bull shit that comes before, these trips allow me to reconnect with my family, and to reconnect with who I am at a basic level.

So yeah, this is me, not flipping out. But just to be on the safe side, this Thursday, say around 1:20 EST, send buoyant thoughts my way. I'll be the white knuckled girl in seat 15C.

16 comments:

thailandchani said...

Ugh! Yeah. Can't say I like to fly either. My last major flight was from Thailand to Los Angeles at the beginning of the year and it was rather nerve-wracking. But.. like most of the things we get into a spin about, it all works out in the end.

I'll be thinking good thoughts for you. :)


~*

Vodka Mom said...

Can I send vodka in the mail? I'll go check........

Kacey said...

I think you could accept Vodka mom's present...Might be the wisest course of action.

Heather said...

Just chant Greyhound of the Sky. It is much less scary.

flutter said...

hey-ey there nice work on the not freakin out...

Hanlie said...

I'll think of you! You may want to consider buying a book called "The Easy Way to Enjoy Flying" by Allen Carr from Amazon. I haven't read the book myself, but have heard of people who have conquered their fear of flying by using Allen Carr's method. His easy way to stop smoking is the most effective and painless method out there, so he's my hero!

FairiesNest said...

I'm sending safe trip vibes your way!! Just keep thinking about that sweet baby...

we_be_toys said...

"Quantus never crashed"
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...!"

I think you're doing a fab job of not pressing the panic button - I've seen what you look like with "20 claws in the ceiling" so yeah, this IS calm, people.

You have to come home - otherwise I'm going to have 11 damn cats!

PS - it's going to be a great trip - just wait.

Ben and Bennie said...

Me and the wife both HATE flying. She is much worse off than me. Just keep in mind that flying is really one of the safest forms of transportation. That and a bunch of us will be thinking buoyantly on Thursday.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Good for you, breaking the mold! Make that tapdancing friend of yours sit on your hands, too, so you don't go sifting through the possibilities. You will be safe and your trip will be wonderful and I'll think extra thoughts about you Thursday just for good measure.

Cammy said...

I'm so with you on this one. I have GOT to work on it this year.

Yes, I will think of you on Thursday and wish for you calm thoughts!

Gwen said...

Hmm .. but isn't that hooker's stomach clenching with *excitement* at the thought of all that dough? (no mouth kissing, though).

I used to hate the flying, too. But then, somehow, I grew out of it. I can't explain why.

And Rhode Island! It's going to be so beautiful! Have fun!

Gypsy said...

Sending you happy flying thoughts. Think of the people-watching opportunities. ;)

Vodka Mom said...

pssst. Come on over, I got a little something for you.

Marinka said...

I hate to fly too. But my husband has flown so much, that his calmness sort of rubs off on me. Of course, we all know that it's safer to fly than drive, which I never found particularly helpful since we all have to drive to the airport. Have a great trip!

Being Brazen said...

I am exactly the same - i become a crazy freak before flying. I have flown so many times, but i cant get over the anxiety. Im sure your flight will be awesome though....all the bad stuff is just in your mind.

Check out my post:
http://beingbrazen.blogspot.com/2008/07/almost-time-to-fly_15.html

Btw - great blog!