I broke down yesterday, and a couple days before, and another day before that...oh, and like the entire week before that.
I'd like to chalk it up to being afraid of something that's coming up, and it's something that I've been trying to avoid for as long as possible, to be truthful--flying on an airplane.
There's a concept that I'm all too familiar with. It's the Fight or Flight response, which was originally coined by Walter Bradford Cannon. It refers to how your body and your mind respond to a stressful, adrenaline-heightening situation. Either you can try to tackle it (fight) or you can try to escape it (flight). I used to be more notorious for fleeing the situation, but lately I'm really trying to fight my fears. Especially since that's what I've always been trying to encourage on this blog.
Something that I find really frustrating about my anxiety is that, as much as I understand that what I'm experiencing is anxiety, I still struggle to calm myself down and understand to trust that logically I am truly okay. So, I know I logically will be okay and safe, but my mind still insists that something it wrong. It's like the song "Anziety", where Logic says, "In this moment my mind was full of clarity, but my body insisted it was in danger. I looked around and I told myself I was safe, I was fine, but I was convinced that something was wrong. Before I knew it I felt as though I was going to fall and fade away." And this is exactly what it is like to experience a panic attack.
So maybe I should mention when I'm actually facing my fear.
I'm going on vacation with my boyfriend's family in early August to South Carolina. And I'm terrified. I know I'm allowed to be nervous, but it's sort of been taking a toll on my sleep and my every day life (for example, I had my first ever panic attack at work). I've been experiencing extremely high anxiety about this, considering I've simply never done it. Number one, I'm afraid of heights. I'm actually hoping I can't fathom how high I'll be when it actually comes time to conquer it. Number two, I'm worried I'll ruin everyone's time with my anxiety. I might panic like crazy on the way there (it's an hour flight, but I'm still nervous as all-get-out). I'm hoping I can cope with it, but if my anxiety gets bad enough, I dry heave. So I'm just trying to maintain composure. And number three, I have the very specific fear of not being able to escape something. I guess it's more of a strong discomfort, but I get very nervous knowing I can't flee a situation.
So with these worries, plus some more, I decided to write out a solution.
So my boyfriend has this life-improving project that he's been working on for months now. It's called Wellness Manifesto. Basically he records any hardships he goes through and discusses techniques he's used that have helped him pull through. This benefits him in the future, if he goes through similar issues, because he has a written plan for how to mentally push through it.
So this morning when I woke up, I randomly decided to write out a list. Although anxiety basically blocks out all logical thinking, I figured something similar to his Wellness Manifesto could only benefit me in my situation. So I wrote down some of my main concerns, then some corresponding affirmations to help me along the way. And if this strategy works, I might just have found a solution to help me cope with any pre-fight-or-flight worries. Here are some notes I decided to record, which I can certainly add to later:
So, yes, although I've been trying to avoid flying for years, I'm finally planning on fighting this instead of just giving up. Because I don't want my anxiety to keep me trapped in Ohio. This is something I want to prove to myself and to all of you.
So instead of having a flight response, I'd rather fight for myflight.
Thank you all for reading. Please leave a comment below giving your flight experiences, and how you cope with any potential nervousness! Your words would instill even more confidence in me and help me push through even stronger.