Can you see this old man and imagine how he feels?

He is full of fear and anxiety with the thought of flying in the air.

Reasons:

  • Could be scared of death
  • Doesn’t Fly Often (Anxiety)
  • Has to pay for the extra ticket (I am just kidding)

I am writing here about my personal travel experience that I had, when I visited Bengaluru on a 3-day trip. I had to visit the Silicon Valley, for the ‘Train the Trainer’ program, with the Brahmakumaris, which was quite an enriching experience. The program was scheduled from 30th March to 1st April 2018.

As I had booked the tickets in advance, I was lucky to get a good deal just at Rs 7000, for the return fare despite it being a long weekend. I feel I got lucky with Good Friday.

So, here I am on the 30th of March up at three am, because I had a flight to catch at 6.15AM from Chatrapati Shivaji Termius International Airport, as I was flying by our very own “AIR INDIA”. My darling Dad, woke up especially at 3 am for me so that he could wake me up and get me going. He prepared a cup of hot tea to wake me up from slumber. As I woke up, I was filled with Anxiety about my Flight Travel.

I had travelled to Bengaluru last year for a trip with some of my fellow batch mates of the Meditation centre. This time it was different as it was my first solo trip and hence I was having jitters.

As I was sipping my tea, my breathing became shallow and thoughts of cancelling the trip were running through my mind like a tornado. There was a sudden rush of all those past unpleasant memories, when I felt weak in the legs. One such memory was when long ago, I had to travel to Lower Parel from Mulund for my blood test. I had fasted for 12 hrs; I had taken the train but had anxiety even then. I had fainted in the train, just before it reached Dadar as I was standing throughout the journey that too in the rush hour. People helped me out of the train and they made me sit on the railway station bench and offered me water to drink.

Once I regained consciousness, all the good Samaritans asked me to return home. Next day I decided to travel with dad for the blood test to avoid further mishaps. I was more comfortable and relaxed this time.

AN EPISODE OF PANIC ATTACK

 

I already know what giving up feels like,

I want to see what happens If I don’t 

– Neila Ray

 

I got a feeling of déjà vu as I was travelling alone and the very thought of flying high in the sky; together made my heart beat faster and faster.

However, the training was something I wanted to attend desperately as it would help me up-skill myself and acquire new perspectives. I faced this pull and push situation, on one end the training was pulling me towards it and on the other end the anxiety was pushing me away from my goals.

I decided to take a call once I was completely ready.

I was all set to go, but my anxiety decided not to leave me alone. I decided to put up a fight as I didn’t want to be a quitter. I also had read quite a few self-help books and watched videos which spoke about fighting and not giving up. I picked my mobile and did a quick Google search on “How to deal with Flight Anxiety”.

I could relate to only two things as my mind was blocked.

  • Accept that you have anxiety for flying
  • Hold your stomach while sitting in flight and take deep breath

As I accepted the first and said to myself that I have flight anxiety, half my anxiety was gone. It worked like magic. I picked my bag up and was ready to jet, set and go. My dad came along to make sure, that I could get an AutoRickshaw at 4am.

While 50% of anxiety had vanished due to my affirmations, 50% was still ruling my mind and body. I got talking to the Rickshaw driver to beat anxiety and tried doing some meditation but not too much effect.

I finally reached the airport on time, but as I was walking towards the entry gate, I felt very diminutive. Looking at the big airport entrance, I felt as if I was entering a big cobra’s mouth. I tried to put up a brave show on my face to the police who checked my ticket but inside I was all botched up. I coolly walked inside, up to the Check-IN counter, to take my ticket.

As I stood in the line, I was looking around everywhere and saw people smiling, laughing and talking but I could not utter a word as my throat was feeling choked and my legs were shaking little. As I was alone, I could not talk to anyone or share my Anxiety. I reached the counter and in shallow voice told the lady at the counter, my name and claimed the ticket.

I walked to the security check and finished the checking but by now my back was also aching a bit as I was carrying a laptop bag. This was not because the laptop was heavy but due to Mr. Anxiety who had taken over my mind and body.

I entered into the Aerobridge, which lead to the aeroplane entrance and got into the flight. I wished the air hostess a very good morning and her warm greetings and smile helped to lessen my anxiety. I took my seat and instantly fastened the seat belt as if I was going to fall.

Haha, I am laughing now but that time my mouth was shut tightly.

The flight door closed and the plane started going reverse. Then it gained speed to reach to the take off spot. Even though the flight was on the ground, I could feel my heart pump faster, my breath
becoming shallower by the minute and my ears closing.

My seat was near the wings but thankfully it was not a window seat so that provided some much needed relief. Then the flight engines roared in full speed and so did my mind. The tyres were rotating like that of a Ferrari and the plane took off.

My heart just soared and then as the plane adjusted its height by going down a little and my heart also adjusted its beat. I was up in the air, away from the ground and “OH MY GOD” I held my hands to my stomach so tightly and closed my eyes for some time.

I was sitting like a statue and looking at the kids enjoying and giggling away and moving around in the flight. I was like on a mission of fighting with my anxiety; I indulged in a little self-talk and even walked up to the restroom just to get rid of my anxiety.

I came back to my seat and sat, read a book, tried talking to a co-passenger and did everything to ensure that I get rid of my jitters.

Finally at around 7.45am, I heard the announcement that the plane was going to land and I looked out of the window; I could see the ground and felt extremely relieved. As the flight touched the ground, 90% of my anxiety had gone and the rest 10% went when I moved out of the flight.

Phew, though now I experienced relief, my entire battle of fighting with anxiety lasted for five long hours.

I  had a return flight in 3 days and that too a stop-over flight i.e. Bengaluru – Hyderabad (10pm to 11.10pm) and after 6 hours Hyderabad – Mumbai (5.45am to 7.00am) but while coming back I was feeling as if I was a frequent flier and felt much better.

I am now waiting to take my next flight soon J

I had a lot of faith in GOD that he would help me through this Fight of Flight Anxiety and he did.

Do let me know if you were able to experience what I was feeling.

Cheers Rohit!!