I’ve mentioned my fear of flying in the past. Earlier today, Steven Frank wrote about his battle with the same phobia — and from the sound of it, he was hit by it far harder than I was. If you’re phobic or know someone who is, this is well worth reading.
This part, in particular, sounded very familiar, describing perfectly what I’ve gone through every time I’ve gotten on an airplane in the past few years:
With no apparent rhyme or reason, my own brain conspired to make me absolutely terrified of flying. Not like those fakers who say they need a glass or two of wine to unwind before boarding. No, I’m talking clenched to the armrests, heart pounding, stomach doing pirouettes, and jumping in unconditional horror at any sudden noise or movement, with no rest or respite until back on solid ground.
I was also immune to statistics and facts. You could explain to me until blue in the face that I was 23,000 times more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the airport, or that there are better odds of being struck by lightning than being a fatality on a commercial airline. It wouldn’t make any difference. They call them irrational phobias for a very good reason.
Steven was eventually unable to fly for about five years, and has only now just made his first flight since the phobia hit its strongest point. As another person battling this same fear (as I mentioned briefly in the last paragraphs of this post), I can identify with his situation all too well — forcing yourself into confronting a phobia head-on is not an easy thing to do. Congratulations, Steven…and best of luck for the future.