Friday, March 14, 2014

Sober Day #136- Alcohol and Fear of Flying

Apparently this is another myth about alcohol I constructed for myself:  I am a nervous flier who MUST have at least 2 glasses of wine prior to boarding a plane.  Since October, I have been NOT drinking before flying.  I guess this must be, oh, about 2 dozen flights since then.

Amazingly, it's OK.  I have my magazines or work to do, and read or work.  I still hope for nobody in the middle seat.  I still get impatient with how slow people are disembarking.  But even the turbulence that used to send me into a frenzy of What-Ifs is no longer bothersome.  I really think this is a myth I made to justify drinking, rather than a genuine deeply-embedded anxiety.

I also had the convenient back-story of "Everybody gets nervous flying so almost everyone drinks on a plane".  Actual observation:  Few people drink alcoholic beverages on a plane.  Who knew?  (not me, apparently!).

It feels so freeing to populate my world with stories based on actual observations, rather than 'observations' through that contorting lens of the bottom of a wine bottle!!

10 comments:

  1. Carrie, I just had the same experience. Isn't it amazing? When I flew last week, I was completely calm. I knit and read, and sipped some water, and was not nervous at all. Even when the plane hit turbulence, and I started to get a little pang of, "I don't like this part," right away I thought,"It's just like a few bumps in the road, no problem," and I didn't fall into it. I don't think in my case it was a myth--I remember real terror. For me, not drinking has helped me be calm as a basic way of being, so I don't lose it as easily. Lovely to hear you've got that nailed, too! xo

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    1. I guess I might say: "welcome to the real world" to both of us. The world that is not so scary, after all, not so scary that we need to systematically escape via alcohol. What a revelation!

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  2. Hhhhmmm .. flying is an interesting one for me. I've gotten way more nervous about it since I've had kids. And since our country is small most flights don't take long (1/2 hour to 1 1/2 hours max).. so not much time to drink anyway (and they don't serve it usually)..but what you say about noticing others not drinking half as much as we thought everyone did is spot on.. isn't it amazing to discover not everyone drinks like a fish??!! I thought we all did that! No longer.. yippee…xxx

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    1. Amazing how taking off that 'bottom of the wine bottle' lens seems to be changing almost everything for us!

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  3. I fly but I've never liked take off, probably never will. I never drank prior to a flight but I have found that I'm much less anxious about most everything these days. I still have sore arms after landing however, it takes a lot of strength to hold that plane in the air. LOL

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    1. So that's why I've always been safe flying so far, lol! Thanks for all your hard work in assisting the pilots!!

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  4. As both an airline captain and licensed therapist, I can offer some practical and effective help with a free app at http://www.fearofflying.com/app

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    1. Thanks, Tom! This looks very interesting!

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  5. I have never flown because I am too afraid. Perhaps Tom Bunn's link will help me with that.
    Anyway, I know what you mean. I cannot tell you strange it was to get into the drivers seat in a car without immediately firing up a cigarette.
    You don't need to repeat the same behavior that many times before it takes on importance.

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  6. Glad you're still doing well, my sober friend :)

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I'd love to hear about your journey, and hear your take on my journey. Comments are very welcome!!