30 August 2012

and this is what happens when i can't sleep...

this photo is what happens when i can't sleep because i'm too nervous about flying on friday. have i ever told you how much i dislike HATE flying? 
i hate it so, so much. 
before we take off, i try to finagle my way into an aisle seat so i can go to the bathroom like, every 20 minutes or so. i take my dramamine. during take-off, i always cry & often vomit (sorry if that's TMI). i put my head down & hold onto walter (my teddy bear) -- if robbie is with me, i sob into his shirt sleeve. during the flight, i'm too fidgety/sweaty/shaky to read, so i flip through magazines with lots of pictures. i try to stay on one page as long as possible to make time go by faster. i wait as long as i can between checking the time (because it's SO disappointing to see a lot of time left on that clock). i watch the flight attendants like a hawk to make sure they look calm. almost always, someone says to me, "you really don't like flying, huh?" i drink ginger ale. i write lists. i get all giddy when the pilot says we're about to land. when i get off the plane, i swear that's the last time i'll ever fly. and i know that flying is safer than driving -- i get that, it's just the being thrown up into the air part, and the not being able to get off if i really want to part that get to me. 

if anyone else out there hates flying, what are your secrets to getting through a flight? and if you love flying, PLEASE tell me why so i can try to be as cool as you! 


  1. How strange, I absolutely HATE driving because I am so paranoid about there being danger at every turn... and I love flying because it is the only time I can be in the sky like a bird... I love the window seats, I love seeing our world get smaller and smaller until we're up into a sea of clouds. It's so exciting. :-) I am so sorry you get so nervous though, that sounds awful! :(

  2. there is almost no experience i love more than flying. well, airports are actually my favorite but flying is pretty great too.

    if i were you, i'd start out by taking advantage of everything wonderful about the airport before you even get to thinking about the flight itself. airports are the world's BEST people watching. they're also frequently filled with people who are alone (or with their significant other) and bored. ben and i have met and had conversations with some of the coolest people at airport bars. i'm not one to get drunk before a flight or anything, but sharing a brew with a wyoming rancher or new york city businesswoman on your way somewhere really gets your mind right. :)

    when i get on a plane, i always touch the outside for good luck. i don't have any anxiety about flying but i just think it's neat to touch something that's about to go up into the sky. then, i make friends with my neighbor. sometimes we don't talk much, but other times i spend those couple of hours getting to hear about someone's life as a road sign painter in california or how hardwood floors are really worth the investment or something. i get excited for my ginger ale. on southwest flights, the attendants usually make me laugh. on frontier, i'll pay to watch tv if i'm feeling spendy. it usually goes pretty fast for me!

    i am able to read on flights, but for you — maybe outputting creativity rather than attempting to take it in would be good. save some editing for a long flight so you can really get into it! i bet the time would fly (har har har). same with journaling or writing someone snail mail or something. just brainstorming here...

    i love watching people and i love talking with them. it makes the whole travel thing so much more enjoyable for me. maybe for you too.

    i know you and i are pretty much polar opposites on this (my sister and i once told my parents we wanted to get married in our local airport, for goodness sakes) but i hope some of my tactics help a little! hope some nice flight attendant pins wings on you and makes you feel like the whole thing is old hat. :) xo!

  3. aaaaaand that was a novel. favorite topic alert!
    (just save that comment for takeoff and by the time you're done reading, you'll be there!)

  4. I'm really scared of flying too, but I love to travel so I sort of just have to get over it. I generally ask my doctor for a Valium before a trip, or if I forget to do that I'll take a valerian root supplement about an hour before takeoff and sleep it off.

  5. I'm so sorry you're so scared to fly! I'm not at all, so I wish I could the ying to your yang , hold your hand and make bad jokes all throughout take off. I actually love take off... and landing. That might make things worse now that I think about it.

    also, love the bangs.

  6. I thought I hated flying but I think you have me beat!!
    I try to make time pass while we are taking off...like...reading a book so I can take my mind off of it..and I never sit by the window, cause if I look out, it freaks me out.
    Just think tho...it will end. You will land and get off the plane. My husband always reminds me of this when we are flying!
    Good luck!!


  7. i thik since have been flying since I was little it doesnt bother me. Just take a good book and indulge in it and you wont even know you have taken off!


  8. First off, you look so pretty when you're sleepy. Like, SO PRETTY. Gimme some of those pretty genes, lady! Also, I love flying. Or, I used to. Until I got stuck in an airport for literally 12 hours without ever knowing when I would get on another plane, feeling like I would be stuck in NC for.ev.er. Anyway, so I like flying, just not air traveling, if that makes sense.

    I like flying because for some reason, it calms me down. I've always loved road trips, and to me, flying is just like a big bus in the air. I don't look out the window often, so maybe that'll help. What if you somehow tricked yourself into thinking you were just driving along the road in a bus? Don't look out the window, ever? But tricking yourself into thinking you're on land MIGHT just be your best trick ever. And taking an excessive amount of Dramamine to knock you out so you just sleep the whole time? And drink alcohol. Honestly. That might help on the plane too.

  9. Yikes, that sounds so awful :( I love flying, but for no other reason that it's an experience I don't get to do very often. It's not like it's particularly exciting (Real talk, all you do is either watch the movie or read a book) or comfortable. But there's something neat about leaving the ground. I can get why people get so scared- just like you said, you can't get out when you want to and it's intimidating being so up high. But I think the main reason I'm not even a tiny bit worried (I once went through insane turbulence and was the only one still flipping through my Glamour) is because I have no control over it. I can't stop the wind, I can't help steer the plane, I can't do anything. So worrying is a waste of time. What happens happens. And I know it's probably a hard thing to wrap your mind around, but it keeps me mega calm and collected.

  10. oh bridget! This is terrible! I don't love or hate flying. My husband is a pilot and he obviously loves flying. I just take dramamine so that I sleep through the flight and I always have a routine. A starbucks at the airport to make me feel cozy and warm socks and maybe a magazine if I want.

    Good luck!

  11. I hate flying as well. I get so so nervous. I hope your flight goes well!

  12. I'm sorry you have such a terrible physical and emotional reaction to flying...as someone with anxieties about other things in life, I can sympathize (though flying is not anxiety-producing for me! Nothing makes sense). First, kudos for going through with it even with the difficulties! Some people would just never go anywhere and give into their fears! So clearly you're stronger than you may think. I definitely don't hate flying, but I really don't understand people who love it - it's so uncomfortable and airports are terrible and I always get a really bad headache. My secret is to plan a project for myself (like someone else said, editing photos would be great if you make sure your laptop is fully charged before take-off. Some sort of pain killer might help you - they relax the muscles and make it nearly impossible to have the physical effects of anxiety, which in turn helps the mental state. I also look at magazines...comforting things that aren't too stressful.
    Good luck! You can make it! It's not such a long flight, and it will be worth it in the end!

  13. I don't love flying but I don't hate it either. I'm not sure if you're someone artsy, but maybe taking a craft along (or a sketchpad) to do something creative because usually once you get into it, it'll make it zoom by. I've found (and with someone who has lots of anxiety pre-flight) that it's great to have an airport routine. Go through security, pee, get a hot drink-tea, get something to eat on the plane, read before the flight, pee again before getting on board. Get the gum ready in the seatpocket in front of you, have a water bottle in that pocket too. Just haven't a routine like this helps me enormously. I also take drammamine and a benadryll for terrible ear problems so that usually knocks me out pretty quickly

  14. oh bridge...flying used to terrify me until i realized just how amazingly magical it all is. a giant metal tube with wings hurtling through the air?! come on! that's rad!!! sending you extra doses of love while you fly through the air!

  15. try downloading some meditation podcasts. dharmapunx and yogadownload.com have some good ones! failing that, you could explain your anxieties to your doc and see if s/he can write you a prescription for a single diazepam or lorazepam.

  16. aww hun! I love flying, I can't really explain why but I think it's just because I'm always so excited to get to my destination and planning in my head what I'll be doing when I get there.

    I know how you feel about the not sleeping bit though becuase I'm like that at the moment and it's not fun



  17. i love to fly! someone once told me that so many more people die drive a car then being on a plane. Flying on a plane is probably the safest way you can travel. I also know the pilots are very trained and so i don't know...i guess it just doesn't bug me.

  18. Oh you poor thing.. Try to relax! Relax your body.. Sleep as much as possible on the plane!!

  19. I agree with Elisha. Take a comfy pillow and try to sleep. Maybe stay awake for 24 hrs, that way you'll be too tired to be afraid. haha ;)

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  21. I like to listen to books on tape! Harry Potter, Narnia, and The Count of Monte Cristo have gotten me through many a flight.

  22. i am so sorry that you hate flying so much. i quite enjoy it as it normally means you are going somewhere amazing.

    and i read, listen to music and write ideas down. you have probably tried all of those.

    all i would say is try and relax and sleep--nothing passes time quicker than sleeping.

  23. i love flying! i can understand why people hate it though. i just find it so fascinating to be up in the air, being able to travel that far and fast and see the world from a bird's eye view. it's the only time i'll ever truly be able to "fly."

    i love watching the world get bigger and the people and houses and towns get smaller. i do a lot of contemplating about life on planes, it's really weird. like i'll sit and watch the towns pass and think, "there are millions of people down there i don't know, and all of them want to be cared for and loved. they're all going about their day and have no idea i'm up in the air thinking of them." i don't know if you're religious, but i usually say a prayer for every single person on the plane ride, even the annoying people that drive you nuts--i look at each and every person i can in the plane before liftoff and pray that God keeps them safe :)

    i don't know why, but that always helps me relax!


  24. I hope you had a safe flight!
    Unfortunately I have no advice to offer...

  25. I'm afraid this is a rather long story, but it has helped me a lot, so:

    I've always been really afraid of flying. Like you minus the vomiting :-) I once got the chance to go up in the air in a small military jet plane with a fighter pilot, and I just said to myself: I can't let my fears stand in the way for this!

    So, up we went, and as soon as I had calmed down a bit we started to talk about flying and my fears. I asked him if he never was scared up there.

    He told me about a really bumpy flight from Sweden to the US that he had made a couple of years back (as a passenger). There was a LOT of turbulence. The serving trolleys were sliding back and forth in the aircraft, and the air hostesses were... well, he could tell that they were as scared as he was. People were screaming and, yeah, you can imagine.

    But everything was fine. They landed safely, despite all the turbulence and drama. And that made me think that that was what was needed to make him (the tough fighter pilot!) afraid, and EVEN THEN nothing happened.

    That story always comes back to me, and somehow it makes me more calm.