Today I crushed one of my biggest fears—FLYING!!
I know to some, this may seem silly or like nothing to celebrate... but for me this is a huge WIN!! I used to fly just “fine”. We’ve flown to Ireland, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Florida... all with much longer flight times than CA to WA. After Caleb was born, however, I developed an absolutely CRIPPLING fear of flying. I mean f’ing awful. Story time!
When Caleb was just over one, we decided to vacation in WA! I had convinced my brother + his now fiancé to come along with us! I had planned everything out for us, down to rental cars + hotel arrangements. We had a connecting flight from Oakland to Seattle. One stop, not bad, right? Wrong. I wanted to die the entire time we were in flight. I mean the sweats, floaty head, dizzy, heart pounding, stomach cramps + skewed vision. I literally felt like I was on the verge of my own body failing me. I knew I couldn’t go on.
The passengers who weren’t connecting to Seattle started to exit the plane in order to make way for the new passengers who would. This is where I broke the fudge down. I was sobbing telling my husband, brother, + sister in law that I needed to get off the plane... + NOW!! They lovingly tried to talk me out of it, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of taking off + landing again... I physically couldn’t. The plane had emptied + was starting to fill with new passengers; I had to act fast. Stay, or get off????
The uncontrollable sobbing + screaming out that I couldn’t stay on the plane kept getting louder + louder. I was causing mass panic + the pilots had to stop the passengers from loading, causing a line to form down the passenger airway. Flight attendants rushed to my side asking what was going on. They legitimately thought someone close to me had died, reassuring me they could get me on the next flight home! I yelled that I didn’t want to fly... THAT was my problem! They were insanely sweet + tried explaining how safe flying was... but I couldn’t speak I was so upset. I just wanted to go home & crawl under the biggest possible rock.
The pilot had come on the loud speaker, annoyed + asking, “is the passenger staying on or getting off???”. Never have I felt such shame. Such hatred towards myself. I looked at my husband, shook my head + told my big bro I couldn’t go to Seattle with them. I stood up, having to take the walk of shame past ALL the passengers I had held up in the airway as I was walking by + ugly crying. THIS WAS A NEW LOW :( My feet hit the terminal + I barely made it to the bathroom before vomiting my brains out; never had I been so upset. So scared. So embarrassed. So ashamed. I FAILED.
We have a one year old.
Luggage that was on its way to Seattle without us.
No car seat.
Stranded in Oakland.
Rent a car w/ car seat.
Find a store to stock up on snacks for the baby.
Email my big bro the hotel + rental car arrangements (since they continued on).
Drive back home to San Diego.
It took us 13 hours of driving, but we made it home! Anxiety is real. Anxiety is crippling. Anxiety can feel like you’ll never shake it. BUT YOU CAN.
FFW: It’s been 2.5 years since that attempt at “flying”. We have since moved to WA!
My husband’s brother is getting married back home in Cali... which means we’re flying. Dear God, help me! Please.
Time to fly Katrina!!
Long story short, I DID IT. I FLEW + I DIDN’T DIE. I’m not saying it was easy, but I am pretty damn proud of myself! I don’t know how the return flight home will be, but I’m just focusing on my big victory TODAY! I’m happy to back in the land of the best chips, salsa + margaritas! I fuckin’ deserve this big ass rita today!!
Anxiety is real.
Don’t EVER be ashamed.
I feel you.
I am you <3
Oh my stars, I just love your tenacious honesty here! Thank you for spilling your guts. I have had some anxiety while flying, but not to this level. I am so sorry. It’s so real. That’s just terrifying! I just want to give you a big hug! Hey, you flew again! That’s amazing!
Thank you so much for saying so, Cristy :) This means a lot! I just love being able to connect with everyone who has felt & been through the same thing. I am hoping to bring more honesty & realness to social media <3 Big hugs back!! Thank you so much for the comment!
This was so comforting to read! I have always had anxiety when riding on a plane. It use to be really bad, but I’ve too learned how to control it!! It’s not easy but I’m proud of myself too!!
Jennifer, I soo feel you. It is SUCH a real fear, & I know I'm not alone :) THAT part is comforting! I am over here smiling & VERY proud of you for conquering your fear as well. WE ROCK <3 !!!!!!