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Have to fly... and I'm terrified!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In July, my boyfriend and I have to fly to Spokane, Washington for the wedding of a girl that my boyfriend met online. It's the biggest waste of $2,000 if you ask me, considering this is someone that we've never really met. But he insists on going so now I turn to my other issue... I've never flown before and I'm terrified.
I suffer from anxiety disorder and have panic attacks and an extreme fear of heights, I also get Vertigo. Traveling in a car is ok, but we have to stop every couple of hours so I can walk around, stretch my legs, use the bathroom and just relax for awhile before I can get back in the car. My anxiety and panic attacks surface in public places such as large stores (an airport terminal will kill me), and just the thought of having to sit in a plane with no way out for over 6 hours feels like pure torture to me. And that I'll have to do it again a couple days later to come back home just makes it worse.
I've been on several different medications from the doctor such as Xanax (sp?), and an anti-nausea medication that I can't remember the name of. Neither worked for longer than a week. I've also tried natural things such as Rescue Remedy and Suntheanine (sp?) from the health food store. The Rescue Remedy works a little bit, but not enough. And the Suntheanine makes me nauseous and dizzy. It sounds odd, but having one of my animals with me is really the only thing that keeps me relaxed and not having a panic attack... but that's not an option since I only have larger dogs that couldn't fly in the cabin and wouldn't want to stress the cats with an unnecessary trip.
My solution? DON'T FLY! But since that's not going to be an option, does anyone have any suggestions for me? Anything I can try to make this flight easier on me?
post #2 of 18
Ok first off,why does he feel as if he *has* to go to a wedding of a girl that hes never met?? That part confuses me~sorry.

Umm and I have never flown before either and in July Dh and I and his parents are flying to Vegas and I am terrified!! So I really dunno what to tell you to take, because this is new to me as well..

Best of luck!!!
post #3 of 18
IMO I'd also question the reason behind going to a wedding of someone he met online - sounds fishy to me. Now if this was a relative, it would be totally different.

You could ask your doctor for something to take, but I don't think I'd really go. Question is do you trust your boyfriend to go to this "wedding" alone if you really cannot go? If not, maybe its time to evaluate your relationship.

Have YOU ever spoken to the girl online? I'd find out a lot more about this girl and wedding before making any decisions.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by catloverin_ks View Post
Ok first off,why does he feel as if he *has* to go to a wedding of a girl that hes never met?? That part confuses me~sorry.
You're not alone... it confuses me too. They're "friends" (as much as you can be only talking online), and that's fine, but to me it seems ridiculous to waste $2,000 for an unnecessary trip when there are things that money would be better spent on. But, it's his money, and if he wants to waste it then whatever. I've got two months to try and talk him out of it though, lol. I might have to come up with some kind of deal to get him to give up on this idea.
post #5 of 18
Well, I know it doesn't help, but flying is one of the safest forms of travel. You would be safer flying there then driving. But if you are more comfortable in a care, find out if you can take some extra time off and make a vacation/road trip out of it.

Good luck.
post #6 of 18
No you don't have to come up with a deal or talk him out of it - you need to find out the truth of what is going on and why he HAS to go there. His money or not is not the issue, the issue is the entire story. Have you talked to this so called "friend"?
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Question is do you trust your boyfriend to go to this "wedding" alone if you really cannot go? If not, maybe its time to evaluate your relationship.

Have YOU ever spoken to the girl online? I'd find out a lot more about this girl and wedding before making any decisions.
I've sent her a few myspace messages before, but haven't talked to her much. He talks to her every day on email, IM, etc. and so I know a lot about her from what he's told me. I've considered just letting him go alone but he also has never flown before and he's afraid to go by himself.

There is a LOT more behind this story and this girl... our relationship has been re-evaluated MANY times because of her but things are getting much better now aside from the talk of going to her wedding.
post #8 of 18
I don't get why he feels he has to go either. I mean, I have plenty of on-line friends that I feel a great connection with but I would never expect any of them to travel so far for my wedding given we've never actually met in person.

Anyway, I have a few suggestions. First I want to tell you that it has been proven that your much safer flying than driving given the number of car accidents vs. plane accidents. If you suffer from vertigo try to avoid window seat but at the same time avoid center seats if you have people clausterphobia. Also, if you can swing flying business class or even first class do it. There it WAY more space even in business class compared to coach. Talk to your Dr. and see what meds you might be able to use for your flights to help keep you calm. If your hysterical (or drunk) they might not let you on the plane. Thats all I can think of for now. Once the plane is at cruising altitude it should be pretty smooth and you'll be able to get up and pace if it will help you. Really, with commercial flights in large planes it's not much different than a bus trip except for take off and landing. Oh, and be prepared for some stomach butterflies on take off. It take alot of force to get a plane off the ground and tummys tend to flip durring it.
post #9 of 18
It is a bit strange that he wants to go to the wedding of someone he's never met...but that's another story I guess!

Flying is very safe, and can be quite enjoyable. If you have the time and the extra cash...I would recommend going for a short introductory flight in a small airplane at your local airport (they usually run for $50 for half an hour) that way you will see what it's all about and sit in the cockpit. Most people's fear really stems from the feelings of no control you have when you are sitting in the back of a jet.

Just remember...loud noises are normal and so is turbulence. Aircraft are designed to withstand more turbulence than they will ever encounter...so while it's uncomfortable it won't hurt the airplane.
post #10 of 18
I have to say that I would be suspisious too although I think a good honest chat would reassure you a little. Be honest with him about how you feel and try to understand each other in order to work out the 'real' importance of this trip. I wonder how he would feel if the situation were the other way round
I really feel for you with your worries. I too suffer from an anxiety disorder that at times is completely overwhelming and I understand your fears. I have panic attacks too and it is hard for people who don't suffer to understand and empathise with the difficulties that these impose. My sister is scared stiff of flying and has panic attacks too! I am in therapy at the mo as I have issues that I need to overcome so coming from that side of things, do you think that you could try to tackle some of these with this situation? I would suggest going to your G.P. I am not advising this but my doctor gave me beta blockers for the physical affect of my anxiety. I don't have to take them all the time but when I need them they really work. They are used quite commonly for this issue. I just want to wish you all the best as I do understand and feel for you. Good luck with it and you never know, you may well surprise yourself!! Some doors open quickly, some open slowly, either way, the door opens!!
post #11 of 18
I too suffer from fear of flying and after 4 uneventful flights in the past few years... I'm taking the bus to Oklahoma next week, that's how bad I am

However, I'm going to pm you the link to a site that helped me a lot last year when I had to fly for my son's graduation. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to go and I had no choice but to fly since I could only get a couple days off work.

Regarding fear of heights, it sounds silly, but you really don't notice the "height" when you're "up there". I guess because you're so far up you don't have the same visual cues that trigger the fears.
post #12 of 18
I was just thinking....have you tried hypnotherapy to help with the panic. My aunt is a registered hypnotherapist and she has helped people with severe fear of flying control the fear. It is something you may want to investigate.
post #13 of 18
I have the same problem....Im terrified of heights. Put me within like 50ft of a ferris wheel Im crying and freaking out ready to throw up. And thats not even the worst of it. I havent been on a plane since I was an infant and I have NO intentions of getting on one. Id rather work towards my impossible ambition of being the first person to build a bridge to Hawaii cuz thats the only way my butt is going to get to see Pearl Harbor. The only thing I can do for things that make me uncomfortable is take the initiative and throw up before you get on the plane and get a book that you can handle reading and just pace yourself and keep your mind occupied on everything except the fact that you are on a plane and going to be really high up in the air.

**I would def talk to your bf about this trip. I know that I wouldnt be letting my bf plan a trip to a wedding of a girl that he met online. Especially when its costing 2000 bucks. I flipped when he wanted to spend 400 on a dog!**
post #14 of 18
Another voice for flying from me. Miss Mew and I are both in the aviation industry, so we see a whole different side of flying that you might be exposed to. The introduction ride is a great idea!
post #15 of 18
I suffer from anxiety disorder, but I've flown a lot, and actually love it. See if you can get some Xanax or Valiums for the trip, from your doctor. At least they'll relax you from suffering from anxiety disorder in the Airport terminal. The flight is usually much smother than a car ride, unless there is trubulance. If you need to walk around you can get up and go to the bathroom, and walk around like that.
post #16 of 18
I take a sinus pill 30 minutes before the flight and if it is over another before we land. I also take a zantac for my stomach before the flight. I used to love flying but since September 11th I freak out. I never was afraid of the take off and dips of landing until my adults years. My doctor is the one who suggest what to take b/c of my ears. It's not bad at all. Don't get seats by the engines. It's soooooo loud. I get dizzy looking out the window but it's worst when I am away from the window. Weird huh!
post #17 of 18
In defence of the boyfriend, I've met my two best friends, and several other good friends, online. I don't think she'd be inviting him (and his girlfriend) to her wedding if there was something going on.

Anyway, as someone who is afraid of heights, I don't think flying in a plane is nearly as bad as say, standing on a rooftop or riding on a ferris wheel. I also second the hypnotherapy recommendation.
post #18 of 18
Flying isn't a big deal

More people die in car accidents everyday than in air plane crashes. I too am afraid of heights. I can't even stand on a step ladder to change a ceiling light bulb. But flying is sooooo different.

Here is what you can expect when you fly:

1. Arrive at airport

2. Check in at desk and check in your luggage. You are allowed to have 1 carry-on bag with you. Make sure you check with the airline prior to packing for a list of things you can't take with you at all, and what things you can take but have to be in the checked baggage.

At this point you can ask for a window or ailse seat. And you can specify where in the plane you wish to sit. As a first time flyer I recommend an aisle seat, and some place in front of the wing, not on it.

3. Because of high security measures now, you have to wait in the area where you board the plane.

4. When the plane boards you present your ticket to the flight attendants and then go to your seat. Place your bag in the compartment above and take your seat. There are seatbelts like in cars. Buckle up.

5. You will hear the plane engine power up.

6. Eventually the plane will start to move slowly towards whatever runway it is assigned to. It's pretty cool. It's like driving in a huge bus

7. Soon the plane starts to go a bit faster...you don't even notice it. Then it will lift off.

You will feel the plane tilting upwards for a short time (few minutes) and then it levels off. And voila! You're flying!

At this point you can undo your seat belt, get up and walk around (not really any place to go other than the cramped toilet).

You can make arrangements ahead of time to see the cockpit. Sometimes they will allow you to so long as prior arrangements have been made. Just explain it's your first time flying and you would like to see it if possible.

The altitude will cause pressure changes and your ears may plug up like they are filled with water or something. Yawning, chewing gum or swallowing can help.

If you get courage to look out the window you don't even feel like you are moving. It's actually a very surreal experience.

Landing is just a reverse. This is usually when ears tend to plug up, but not always.

If you are really nervous, ask your doctor for "Lorazepam", it's a mild sedative that will help you relax.

You are probably flying American Airlines. They have really comfy seats and TV's that you can watch.

The anticipation of it is the worse because of the fear of the unknown. I went to Detroit about 6 months after 9/11 and my biggest fear was that my luggage was going to get lost. I had to change planes in Chicago and my luggage went straight to Detroit. Crashing didn't even enter my mind.

You will be just fine
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