I can’t pinpoint exactly when I developed a fear of flying. I don’t remember the first time I became paralyzed with fear at the very thought of boarding a plane. All I know is that the fear came on suddenly and developed sometime after 9/11. I do, however, remember quite clearly the first time that I realized that I had a huge problem.
About eight years ago, my husband had to take a short trip to Las Vegas from LAX and invited me to join him. I didn’t think much about it. I simply bought a ticket and prepared myself for a few days of relaxation and fun. I packed my bags and jumped in the car to head to the airport. Suddenly, on the way there, a sick feeling came over me. I tried to keep it together and managed through airport security and check in. I started to believe that everything seemed fine and dismissed my uneasiness to normal post 9/11 airport nervousness- that is until I boarded the plane and had a full blown panic attack. It was absolutely embarrassing and dramatic. I’m surprised I wasn’t escorted off the plain by an air marshal- it was that bad!
I wasn’t always afraid to fly. In fact, I used to love to fly. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was seven years old, sitting by a window and actually enjoying the turbulence on what was to become an annual vacation to Mexico. I flew for years without a problem. My travels took me to Europe, Latin and South America. I can clearly remember the last flight I took without a problem. It was in August of 2001 and my husband and I took a memorable vacation to Disney World. Unfortunately, it was to be the last enjoyable trip for us that involved an airplane.
Now, I am a mother of two and I’m worried that my fears are not only limiting our vacation options, they are setting a bad example to my children. My daughter is almost six years old and pays attention to everything I say and do, including my phobias. I recently overheard her tell her cousin that she would love to return to Hawaii but is scared that if she boards a plane, it will crash. It’s one of a mother’s worst fears- passing on her own insecurities and fears to her children.
I’m determined to nip this phobia in the bud. I recently made the first step on my journey to overcoming my fear of flying by taking a free online course offered through fearofflyinghelp.com. The course is a set of videos that guide you through different scenarios and situations. I can’t say that it completely cured me or it is a miracle by any means, but taking it did help ease some of my fears. It’s my first step. I think the next step will be taking a short trip, perhaps to San Francisco or Las Vegas, and see how I handle things. That next step will definitely be a big one.
I know I’m not alone and I would love to hear from people who are in or have been in a similar situation. Are any of you afraid to fly? Have you overcome your fear of flying? If so, what did you do to overcome it?
Aracely Worley is a mother of two and has called Orange County home for over a decade. She loves the outdoors and discovering beautiful Southern California. As a self proclaimed Disney Geek, you will find her with children in tow on the Disney tram at least twice a week. She is passionate about her love for the Southland is obsessed with exploring new places and sharing her knowledge of the area with others. If she could be anyone for the day, it would definitely be Huell Howser. You can read about her adventures at Daytripping Mom and Kids and Mice.