Terrified but Saying Yes

photo by anxietygirl.net

One of my AG’s (Anxiety Girls) texted the other day and asked how things were going. I told her that my family was planning a vacation and we just booked flights! A connecting flight on the way out and one non-stop on the way home. My text read:

“Terrified but saying yes and will figure it out.”

And that’s how it often goes with anxiety. We can let fear rule all our decision making or we can say yes – knowing things always work out – and figure out coping mechanisms along the way.

Every time I prepare to fly I feel sick to my stomach in anticipation. I imagine fantastic excuses for why I won’t be able to go at the last minute:

“Oh man, we all have lice!”

“Too bad, it’s the stomach flu!”

But, I get on that plane anyways – legs shaking, heart racing – and let the adventure begin.

What am I doing in preparation for these flights?

*Checking out this blog about traveling the world with anxiety – especially this post and this one, too.

*Watching in flight videos of take off, cruising and landing – these tend to help desensitize all the sights and sounds.

*Picking up Dave’s new workbook about flying.

What are you saying yes to these days in spite of fear?

Get out your social calendars!

If you have Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, OCD or a fear of flying check your calendars! There are a few great opportunities coming up!

*Reid Wilson is holding a weekend treatment group for folks with Panic Disorder & Social Anxiety Disorder the weekend of May 2-3, 2009 & again August 29-30, 2009. His offices are in Durham, North Carolina & pretty accessible from the highway. He only takes 8 people, so give him a ring & see if the group is a good fit for you.

Dr. Wilson’s weekend treatment group for OCD is going to be held May 16-17, 2009 & again September 12-13, 2009.

*Dave Carbonell is “preparing to start another class for people with a fear of flying this spring. The class, which includes a group flight, will meet weekly in Rolling Meadows for five weeks, so it’s suitable only for people who live in the Chicago area.” For information, send a blank e-mail to: flying@anxietycoach.com

Know of more great resources like these? Share them!

Learning to fly

I’m preparing for a trip & am choosing to fly after not flying for almost 3 years. Here I am a few months out & I’m starting to feel the anticipatory fear already. You know, some images here & there of the plane going down in a fiery ball & me thinking – Oh no, if I knew this was going to happen I wouldn’t have come – it’s not worth my kids being raised without their parents! Yikes!

Luckily, it’s not consuming, but it is somewhere in the background of my mental landscape & comes up when I start to think about the trip. Rationally, I know that it will alright once we’re off the ground and the flight is underway. I am really looking forward to getting away with my handsome man. And, I know that air travel is much safer than driving a car. But anticipatory anxiety & an active imagination team up to get me into trouble sometimes. So, I’ll be writing about this current anxiety & how I’m preparing. I’d love to hear your feedback about what works for you when it comes to anticipatory fears or flying.

Here’s my prep plan so far:

*Write down affirmations
*Take time to listen to my fear of flying CD
*Plan as much as I can to be comfortable on the flight
*Talk to my doctor about an Rx to relax (I don’t love taking meds, but flying is an exception!)
*Begin sitting with the anxiety – not spiraling into the what if thoughts, but sitting with & inviting the anxious symptoms that accompany the thoughts.
*Use my imagination to call up images of having fun & thoroughly enjoying the adventure.