Flying Anxiety

November 05, 2013

Now, why anyone would be anxious about riding in a big metal log, that's hurling through the air, 12,500 feet above the ground, in total control of a random pilot stranger whom you can't even see?
One of my biggest fears is flying. I have had these random anxiety-ridden nightmares about my plane crashing and let me tell you-- they all seem so real. Weird, I know. I can't help but think that the dreams are trying to tell me something!! UGHH!

I think this fear started after a realllllly rough flight to Nashville (or maybe after watching every episode of LOST). On our way to Nashville, I really thought I saw my life flash before my eyes. The plane was shaking and I didn't have my seat-belt on and I was freaking out. This old woman next to me couldn't breathe and we had to call the stewardess to come help because we thought the woman was having a heart attack. It was intense. I felt so out of control. Now I squeeze Hunter's arm as hard as I can with every jerk and jostle of the plane. He just smiles at me and shakes his head and tells me that we are more likely to get in a car accident than a plane crash. These words usually calm me. I then recognize that my fears are a little unreasonable. As a therapist who works with people who have extreme anxiety disorders, I should know this better than a lot of people.

I have always been a little bit scared of flying, but my fear has increased 100-fold because of this new parenting role of mine. I think becoming a parent plays a big role because now you are charge of a little human being. One whose ears will pop and his stomach will drop and he won't understand what turbulence is. This little babe fully relies on me to come through in case of an emergency. Scares the crap out of me because I can't even take care of myself half the time. The steward came to me before take off and said to make sure I put on my oxygen mask first and then put Riggy's on him. Uggh. That made me even more nervous. 
I must admit that my first airplane ride as a mom turned out to be OK. I had sooo much anxiety about the whole experience, but it ended up being pretty close to perfect. I have a really good baby. He doesn't cry much and he usually sleeps on command. I think most of the anxiety came from hearing the horror stories of babies screaming the whole way through the flight. 
ears popping. blowouts. spitting up everywhere. 
These things don't normally bug me but when I'm 2 centimeters away from a person on my left and a person on my right, I get a little nervous. Especially when they are mean business people who just want to get some shut-eye or watch a movie in peace. Or cat people who don't like children. I didn't want to be that mom who everyone complained about to their friends and family when they asked, "How was your flight, dear?" I think we have all done it. We have all complained about something or other from a flight. I'm super guilty of this.
-too much turbulence
-the man next to me had a foul body odor
-this woman wouldn't stop talking to me the whole flight and I was trying to read
-the stewardess kept yelling at me that my bag wasn't under the seat
-some little turd kept kicking the back of my seat
I know people complain and some don't like children so it scared me just a little. It happened to be OK. Hunter was with me on the flight there and that was wonderful having him there to help. I was alone on the way there and Riggy didn't make a peep. My prayers were answered:)

See you again at Christmas, airplane.


  1. I am glad that your flight went so smoothly. I too am dreadfully afraid of flying, so the title of your post definitely caught my attention. I try not to let my fear of flying get in the way of going on trips, visiting family, etc. Like you, I jump at every bump or swoop of the plane. I only fly once every two years or up...flying to Boston in April to cheer my husband on in the marathon. Hopefully by then, I will have my courage up! :)

    1. I'm with you girl! I really don't know how to get over it. It might be irrational, but it's not really a feeling I will be getting rid of anytime soon! Good luck in April:)

  2. I think everyone gets a little anxious when flying, i just try not to think of everything that can go wrong. Your baby is adorable btw


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