I hate flying. Hate it. Just thinking about being on an airplane makes my lungs tighten and my blood pressure rise. I’ve flown many times before (across the country, across the Atlantic, etc.), but it’s never been remotely pleasant for either me or the person stuck sitting next to me. I cry, I hyperventilate, I get diarrhea, I grip the arm of my poor seatmate. I actually once canceled a vacation to San Francisco and Los Angeles because I was too afraid to fly alone.
Yeah. It’s bad.
For me, my fear of flying isn’t so much about the fear of being in the sky, but about claustrophobia: the fear of being in a confined space in a long period of time with no way to leave. Although I realize it’s very different, for the past couple of years I’ve tried to train myself on stalled subway cars or trains to take calming breaths and not freak out. But even that challenge is difficult. Keep reading »