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I’d had a 25 year fear of flying

Dear Keith and Viv.

Thank you both so much for the excellent ground course I attended in September.

It has helped bring me to a much more relaxed state of mind regarding flying.
I’ll remind you of my situation….

I’d had a 25 year fear of flying which had caused me a huge amount of mental suffering and anxiety making any holiday a major undertaking. I would start getting anxious about the flight some three weeks in advance and this would gradually increase upto the departure. By the time I arrived at the airport to board the aircraft, I was already at a very high level of anxiety. From that point on, anything I deemed as scary or abnormal tipped me closer to the brink of panic.

In the last couple of years, I’d resorted to Valium but this had a limited effect as it only worked for a short time on the flight but not the weeks before. My main fear was that of turbulence and when it would happen but always (unrealisticly) hoping it wouldn’t happen. I knew I had to start taking control of this and started off having some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from the NHS, which started me off along the right path – challenging my negative thoughts, learning to trust the industry and learning some excellent relaxtion techniques. My therapist discovered your courses and associated materials and I got in touch.

The course with three other fearful flyers and partners/supporters was held in the fuselage of a retired aircraft and each of our fears were discussed and challenged. You normalised the whole arena of flying which inspired huge confidence as well as equipping us with the same sort of relaxation techniques that my CBT had equipped me with. Feeling distinctly enthused by the day and with a flight to Barcelona booked a few weeks later, I then reinforced the positive thoughts by reading some of the great literature and listening to the CDs over again on my daily commute in the car.
I’d always thought that my fear was so ingrained that I’d never be able to shift it, but I was so surprised that all my work through CBT and this fantastic course had started to pay dividends when I arrived at the airport as calm as could be. Even at the point of no return (!) at the end of the runway, my heartbeat seemed normal and my breathing relaxed. Is this really me? Oh yes – the new me!
The flight was fine and some turbulence was encountered but I was on top it with my positive thinking, breathing techniques and repetition of some of the course’s key messages.

So in summary, this was a hugely successful flight for me and I now know that I can fly without fear. I will continue to listen to the CDs and refer to appropriate literature when the need arises to keep the confidence high and deter any old habits but I’m on the right flightpath…..

As your Jumbo takeoff caption stated “Let’s go to America” – oh yes, next May perhaps!

COMMENTS

1 Comment to "I'd had a 25 year fear of flying" add comment
Pam October 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Can’t find a place to post my comments other than as a reply here, so here goes…:) Captain Keith helped me through a short trip in January (to TX and back from VT, USA), a trip I had to take for work related training. I travelled to Washington State from Vermont this past week with great success and I really do believe I owe that success to Captain Keith’s program, website, newsletter, and podcasts (I have not taken the course where you actually go on the plane .. I’ve been a nervous flyer my whole life and have been around the world pretty much). Speaking with airline personnel, I apparently know much more about flying than many of my fellow nervous travellers do (I’m sure I learned this all from Capt Keith!), and I believe this gave me the confidence to book my own travel to WA, nervous or not. We hit some bumpy patches along the way (JFK to Seattle is a 5 hour flight) but as we all know, turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous. And I used this mantra when things got bumpy. I will say a word about JetBlue, the carrier I flew on. What a professional operation!!! The biggest comfort to me was the captain communicating with the passengers when we did hit some bumps, explaining what was going on and putting the seat belt sign on. At one point he even said we going to descend a little bit to find some smooth air. For a nervous flyer like me, and being such a small thing to do, I cannot tell you how much ‘comfort’ this brings to me. And I told them so as I deplaned. They seemed increduluous that someone was complimenting and thanking them for a good flight and safe arrival. The flight crew were so professional and courteous. It was a quite a different experience from what I have been used to over the last, say, 10 years, in flying. And I would recommend them without reservation.
Captain Keith, you HAVE changed my life and even though I don’t plan on travelling by air in the immediate future, I will stay posted to this site for your fantastic support and advice. xoxoxoxoxo Be well and happy flying!

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