Fear of Flying

Once again, it is time for my palms to get sweaty… and my anxiety to go through the roof.  Today I fly to Chicago, well Midway, but it’s still Chicago.  Just a quick out and back for a wedding.  So what is the big deal?

I am afraid of flying… Even as a kid I was afraid of flying.  There is a video of me when I was in about 4th grade in an airport talking about how the plane was going to crash.  It was a “death ship” and it was going to take us to our doom.  This was just before my first international flight.  Desert Storm was underway, security was high.  It was a scary time for the little bit that I remember.  Flashing forward in time many years, I flew shortly after September 11.  I was freaked out.  I knew it was something I had to do.  On my flight out security was high… and flying home it was even scarier.  The men with the guns in the airport, scary!

My fear isn’t so much about terrorists, or crashing really.  My fear is about what most bigger folks fear.  Those little tiny seats on the plane.  What if I am too fat to fly.  I have been downsizing over the last few years.  In fact I really shouldn’t have much fear over being too fat to fly anymore.  I am fairly average-fat sized now.  I don’t think that I would take up two seats anymore.  There was a time when I willingly bought two seats just so I wouldn’t have to have that awkward conversation.  Also so that I could just relax a bit more on the flight.

The last time I flew I didn’t need a seatbelt extension, but was that a fluke?  I am not much smaller than I was then.  In fact only a few pounds have left my body since I last flew.  I had been feeling okay about the flying up until it was time to check in.  Now as things get closer I get more anxiety ridden.

I don’t quite understand what is so different now.  Luckily this time flying is a bit smoother, no CPAP to deal with at security.  No checked bags, just a carry on.  It should just be smooth sailing.

So deep breathing is what I should be focusing on.  One breath at a time.  I can do this.  I am not the 400+ pound person I was before.  I am not as large as I see myself.  I will survive this flight.

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