I’m frightened of flying. Well, I’m not actually frightened of FLYING. I’m frightened of being trapped inside anything. So a big metal cyclinder in the air is not ideal.
Back when we went Barcelona earlier this year, I spent two weeks hypnotising myself with the aid of Paul McKenna before I felt able to fly.
In the run-up to our trip to Amsterdam, I was feeling good. So good in fact that I decided to be brave and not do the hypnosis thing again. Because it’s actually really time-consuming – an extra half an hour on my day for two weeks – so I thought I didn’t really need the hassle.
I just took a small dose of diazepam to be on the safe side and take the edge off. I have no idea if it ACTUALLY works, but I certainly felt fine when I got on the plane.
I always think having the kids with me is a good distraction – chatting away to them and organising them takes my mind off my own fears. I wondered how I would manage without the kids there to distract me.
Remarkably well, as it happens. It’s possible that, although I think they relax me, it probably stresses me out just having them there. Because I have to worry about them as well as myself.
It was a misty day, so the plane took off and was in the clouds within about 15 seconds. Then it was above the clouds. And I realised just how close Amsterdam is to home – and how short the flight was. I was expecting an hour, but it was just 45 minutes.
The downside of that is that, no sooner are you up, then you’re going down. The descent takes half an hour. And that’s half an hour of ear pain for me. It affects my kids too, but my husband gets nothing. It comes in waves of pain and I can’t hear – sounds feel like they’re coming from somewhere deep inside my head. I was sucking on a lollipop to make it go away, but it didn’t seem to make a lot of difference.
The pain was still there when we landed. But the good news is I didn’t feel nervous at all either before or during the flight. I was feeling very happy and very proud of myself.
Could my claustrophobia actually be cured? I really hope so. It would be nice to be able to go on holiday abroad and not stress myself out beforehand.
And having flown twice this year – and very little since the kids were born – it looks like the key to overcoming my fear is flying a lot more! Now I just need to book another holiday…