Friday, 25 April 2008

look into my eyes; not around my eyes

I really don't like flying. I like travelling and I like going to new and exciting places (especially if it involves outlet malls), but I hate having to take an airplane to get there. Actually, I'm not afraid of flying - I don't mind take off and landing, or being up in the air - I'm afraid of crashing. It's the turbulence and the anticipation of turbulence that makes me want to run away screaming. Plummeting 30,000 feet to our deaths. That sort of thing. It's not like Lost, you know.

So as my kids get older and Jack is much more aware of everything around him, I don't want them to learn to be afraid of flying from me. Plus, I'm fed up of feeling like a nutcase when I fly, particularly considering that I used to love it when I was a kid. I want to look forward to our flights and enjoy having 8-10 hours of nothing to do but reading, watching films, and spending time with the kids.

I decided to see a hypnotherapist to help me get over this fear, encouraged by the positive experience I had with hypnotherapy antenatal CDs when I was pregnant with Mia. "What a bucket of caca!", I hear you say. Well, maybe. But if it helps me overcome my fear of flying, why not? Phobias are all in the mind, so "reprogramming" your brain to respond appropriately to the situation seems a sensible solution. The hypnotherapy didn't involve a middle-aged guy with a pocket watch going "You're getting sleeeeeepyyyyy" or getting me to cluck like a chicken. I think. Hmmm. No, pretty sure that didn't happen. It involved going into a state of deep relaxation, mentally going through the process of taking a flight, and getting suggestions and coping techniques from the hypnotherapist during the times I felt anxious. It was strange and interesting; I felt incredibly relaxed but extremely aware of what was going on. It was very much like when you close your eyes to go to sleep and your brain goes through a list of things you need to do, replays scenes from the day, etc. I "woke" feeling very relaxed and energetic, and slept very well the nights after I had my sessions.

We fly to Toronto in two weeks, so we shall see if any of it worked. At the moment, thinking about flying doesn't bother me at all and I'm very much looking forward to our trip home. Whether or not this is still the case when we're above the clouds and that goddamn little seat belt light comes on is to be determined. Fingers crossed.


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