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Here we go again ...

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  • Here we go again ...

    I hate the fact that I am even having to post here. Why? Because I am a long time advocate of Capt. Tom and SOAR and did the abbreviated course back almost 15 years ago. Since then I have flown probably a dozen times with the most recent being three summers ago. I bought Tom's book three years ago to provide me with some reminders on the techniques to use for success and it helped. So I know SOAR works but I find myself with building anticipatory anxiety about a flight in 10 days. I really thought I was "over it" and having these feelings again is frustrating and very disappointing.

    Perhaps I need to fly more often than every three years ... I don't know. I do plan on reading the Strengthening Exercise sections of the book again and practicing those between now and July 28 (day my flight leaves). If anyone has similar experiences or helpful insights, please opine. Thanks!

  • #2
    Having good flights can backfire. Good flights desensitize the amygdala. Then, due to it being desensitized, it stops bothering you. That sounds good, and if you continue flying frequently, it's OK. You stay desensitized, But, if you first desensitize via several flights and then don't fly for a while, the desensitization wears off. Then the amygdala starts bothering you when you start thinking of taking a flight. You think something is wrong. But what we do in the SOAR program is cause calming through links to an oxytocin-producing memory and links to a memory that activates the calming parasympathetic nervous system ON THE PLANE. So, though the links take care of you fine on the plane, they don't help with anticipatory anxiety. For a while, desensitization prevented anticipatory anxiety; now it doesn't. So you are back to being protected they way you originally were . . . on the plane.


    • #3
      Thanks Capt Tom for the explanation and reply. That makes perfect sense to me. I'll work on dumping my self loathing and focus on preparation for my flights next week with the skills you've taught me. I'll also post a report on the trip as I always try to do and hopefully can be an encourager for others.


      • #4
        Self-loathing? Yes, well, it isn't your fault. We - IF we are lucky - have caregivers who sort of "download" the arousal/alarm-regulating "software" we need, plus a sense of being secure when with reliable and trustworthy other people, and how to sense who is and who isn't reliable and trustworthy. About 40% of us don't get that software, so we have to be in control, able to escape, or fall for B.S. from politicians who promise to protect us from threats (some of which they cook up) and preachers who tell us they will get us to heaven (while trying to make life hell for "non-believers."

        If we are fortunate enough to get good software, we feel secure, have good relationships, and don't fall for the B.S. artists that so many are deceived by.