Fear of being sucked out of the plane...
Client Background Summary:
Client Review Summary:
For all of my adult life, I have been terrified of flying. I forced myself to do it in order to visit ailing parents, spend time with our children, or go on vacations, but is was always torture. Days in advance, I would start worrying. I couldn't sleep the few nights preceding a trip. My heart rate would increase and I'd start perspiring at the thought of flying.
For many years I took a tranquilizer like Valium or Xanax. That barely took the edge off things for me. I had to sit by the window so I could look outside. I had a white-knuckle grip on the arm rests the entire way. The slightest turbulence was torture, and when the turbulence was anything more than slight, I was a wreck. I arrived at the destination completely exhausted.
My poor husband would try to distract me with mindless chatter. I could never get up to go to the restroom. I had a ridiculous fear of being sucked out of the plane through the toilet during the flush. On a conscious level, I knew that was impossible, but there was nothing rational about my fear of flying.
For many, many years, my fear limited our choice of vacation destinations. Really long flights to Europe, for example, were simply out of the question. There were many times when I felt sorry for my husband, knowing he really wanted to go, but I couldn't help myself. Last summer, he and our son went to Germany without me. I felt terrible about not going, but I just couldn't get on a plane for that long.
A few months ago, friends gave us plane tickets to New Zealand. We are both fly fishers, and I knew my husband really wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. I hated to say no but the old fear kicked in. He made a lot of phone calls and inquiries about possible help for me and discovered SOAR. Bless him and SOAR.
I watched all the DVD's, read the materials and practiced the strengthening exercise. I have to admit that I really didn't have a lot of confidence that it would work because it all seemed too simple. I was so wrong. For me, the combination of all the information about plane safety systems, construction, turbulence and other topics, in addition to the strengthening exercise really worked.
Since taking the course, I've flown several times and followed Tom's suggestions about boarding early, meeting the captain and taking no anti-anxiety drugs. I wasn't afraid in advance. I actually got up and went to the bathroom on the flights, and was even able to nap, both firsts for me. Admittedly, we didn't experience severe turbulence, but I was comfortable with the bumps we did have. I can't say that I am looking forward to the 12-hour flight to New Zealand, but I am not dreading it either.
I would and have recommended SOAR to others. It's made a huge difference in the experience of flying for me (and my husband). It's such a small price to pay for the peace of mind, and to be able to travel and enjoy life while we have it.
A SOAR Graduate