Let’s talk about one of my biggest fears that I first had 2 years ago…
Mom and I were having a beautiful holiday in France, visiting my good friends, eating good food and basking in the beautiful ambience that was surrounding us. It was more than I could ever asked for!
However, it ended with something I referred and still refer to as DISASTROUS.
You see, I’ve never had problems with flying. In fact, I was always excited to get on plane, eating plane meals and looking out to beautiful skies and clouds.
Whenever we had turbulence, I remembered my mom telling, “The plane usually shakes like this especially when it goes through clouds,” and I looked out of the window to see that it was true! The window was icy cold as I touched it.
But everything changed during the night we were on the way home from France.
We took AirFrance back and it was a night flight. I thought to myself, that will be amazing since we can sleep in the plane.
We were just about to finish our dinner, when the plane started to shake.
It shook horribly, went up and down, causing my Coke to be spilled over the seat beside me.
On my far right, I saw a poor lady holding out her rosary as she prayed so hard for her life, on my left, the drunk passenger nervously laughed as the cabin crew had to sit at the empty seats, holding tightly for their dear lives… and me? I saw what a mess the turbulence had made, and I checked the map to see where we were located.
Okay, Romania. We are not above the ocean, at least if this plane crashes, they will be able to find the plane easily. Yes. Okay. It’s okay. It won’t be as drastic as crashing down the ocean and disappear. Okay. I have no regrets… France was beautiful. If it’s the last place I had to see before I die, so be it.
Those were exactly my horrid thoughts.
I checked the map to make sure we weren’t above the ocean. It’s okay if we died as long as they can find the plane, you know?
Yes, that’s how horrible the turbulence was!
And no, I wasn’t the only one thinking about that.
My mom had the time to check too! She thought the exact same thing.
But I respected her for trying to calm myself down while everything was happening. I was having a panic attack, I was holding onto my seats so tight till my knuckles turned white and I tried to make sure my feet were planted on the ground.
What made my anxiety worse was the voice of the pilot… I can still hear his voice as I’m typing right now.
His worried and scared voice, but still, trying to calm us down due to the bad weather (maybe it’s due to winter).
It took ages until everything was fine. I was still shaking, even when I exhaled, my teeth were chattering so bad, they hurt. After that, I didn’t unbuckle throughout my journey.
I didn’t expect something so unexpected could take a huge toll on me. I once informed my therapist about this (when I was still seeing her), and she asked if I was feeling better.
Back then, I said everything was fine, BUT, I realised I wasn’t when I had to fly again. And again. And again. And again.
Before any plane flew off, I always tried to do breathing exercises while trying to look out of the window, or even forced myself to sleep… which I couldn’t.
However, on my recent fly back to Singapore from Hong Kong, I sat beside a young man around my age.
And seeing him clenching his fists, doing breathing exercise, being obviously anxious, had managed to calm myself down (is it bad of me for feeling this way?).
Oh I’m not alone! Don’t worry you’re not alone!
-My thoughts when I saw him.
Flying is one of my biggest fear now. The turbulence had pretty much given me PTSD and I don’t know how to face the music whenever it’s time to fly.
What are your tips and tricks when you experience turbulence?
And if you have fear of flying, what do you do to calm yourself down throughout the journey?
I would love to hear your inputs!