In one week I will be taking a business trip to Columbia, Maryland and although I am excited as anything to be in my old stomping grounds and to see close friends from college, I am scared. A week away and already the anxiety is beginning to boil deep within me. I am panicking about everything.
Why did I make the flight so early? How the heck am I going to get myself awake enough to leave the house at 6am for the airport?! Should I make coffee before for the drive?
And then, the worst of it all… I hate to fly. I mean HATE. I do it otherwise I would never go anywhere but I hate it. Flying never bothered me. In fact in college I looked forward to taking the 1 hour flight home every vacation. Then our honeymoon happened. A rather enjoyable vacation that was flanked by hurricanes. Very common for September in Florida. The flight down consisted of turbulence I never experienced before as we flew through the remnants of Ivan. The flight attendants turned it into a joke calling the flight, “the best ride we’ll go on this whole Disney vacation.” To make matters worse, it seemed as if Hurricane Jeanne hung out long enough to cause us to have to leave our honeymoon a day early. Flying since then has been unbearable in my head even though the flights are normal.
All of the flying I have done since then, 11 long years, have been with my husband. Next week, I fly alone. There will be no one there for me to squeeze their hand or dig my nails into. And although proven to not interfere with take off, I still need to keep electronics off. Lastly, they took away the Sky Mall magazine. What am I going to do?
Word searches calm me. I can try that. I have plenty of antianxiety meds but I am leery at consuming them as I need to meet someone a couple hours after I land and should be coherent.
Panic has hit. Sleep has been hindered. Nerves are unsettled. Heart beginning to beat fast.
“Take deep breaths,” people will tell me. “Just forget about it.”
Or, “Calm down, everything will be okay.”
Although trying to be helpful, an Anxious person can’t just “Calm Down.” It is so much easier said than done.
7 days… 7 more days of panic and worry. 7 more days of fast heartbeats. 7 more days of waves of nausea. 7 more days…
… oh, and then there is the flight home! (8 more days…)