Growing up, I was never a nervous flyer. I never thought about it too much, I just held my Dad’s hand, sucked some hard sweets and focused on keeping my ears from popping. It wasn’t until I went on my first flight without my family, at 17 years old, that the anxiety came upon me at full force.
I guess it occurred to me in that moment that if something were to go wrong, instead of squeezing my father’s hand and telling him, my mother and my brother that I loved them, I would be sitting alone, and worse than that, my mother, my father and my brother would hear about it from a guard knocking on the door. That lack of closure and leaving my family to disarray terrified, no, terrifies me.
Today I am sitting on an airplane on the longest flight I have ever been on; from Ireland to New York City. It’s around 7 hours, and that is absolute madness. I stayed up all night thinking about the wonderful panic attacks I would experience, wondering was there a way to sedate me or simply cancel the whole ordeal. I was excited for America, I just was not at all excited to fly. Funny that, if myself as an 8 year old heard that she’d slap me across the face…
Yet the second we started to move, my heart did fumble a little, but finally, a sense of excitement overcame me. It’s an adventure, and I could finally see that. Honestly, I was probably just delighted about the fact that the movies available weren’t decades old and they had just announced that dinner would be chicken with pepper sauce (a personal favourite of mine). But hey, we have to find comfort somewhere. Currently watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, giving how appropriate it is!
- Dress comfortably– wear lose clothes, you don’t want to feel like you’re choking or can’t breathe, who cares if you look like an absolute bag? Embrace it.
- Buy some lovely hard sweets– they’re more satisfying than chewing gum and as well as preventing your ears from popping, they’re a good distraction.
- Bring a comfort– whether it’s the book you read when you feel poorly, a soothing voice in your headphones or a friend! Don’t go on stressed, practise self care.
- Anxiety comes from within, it’s not something that happens to you. Whether you feel anxious or not, that plane is gonna go up and you’ll be sitting there for God knows how long. Mentally prepare yourself, convince yourself you will be safe, because even on the slim chance that you’re not (and I mean slim), feeling anxious won’t make it any better. I know thats not as easy as it sounds, it’s all a learning curve!
- Keep your sense of humour, in whatever ways you can. I strongly believe that our sense of humours are the strongest tool we have in facing the dark and scary world we live in. Just don’t make any jokes going through customs, can’t imagine they’d agree with me there…
Wish me luck on my travels… more posts to come.
*UPDATE* we’re nearly 4 hours in, and this is just getting ridiculous. How can we be just half way? Isn’t this a bit excessive? Bit of turbulence here and there. Delightful. Also, I haven’t been to the bathroom yet. I was eager to get the window seat but unfortunately I’m too polite and awkward to ask the man on the isle to get up to let me pee. I’ve also noticed some pin prick cracks on the window. Pray this won’t become any more dramatic and eventful than it must.
*UPDATE 2* just under an hour to go, watching The Other Woman, which is actually nice because I don’t put enough time aside to watch silly American Rom Coms, plus I got a snack as well as my dinner. Feel absolutely spoiled! But I’m adding in another tip
+. Bring moisturiser, or a face mask, or SOMETHING. My skin is fighting for moisture, send help.