Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New York City Part 2 - Kind of

In order to get to New York City from Florida quickly one must fly on an airplane.  I can tell you I am a terrible flyer so though I was very excited by visiting NYC and going to the Door & Hardware Institute Convention flying there had me shaking in my boots.  Really.

I have never been a good flyer and only when I was flying every two weeks to visit a long ago boyfriend did I become decent at it.  Not comfortable mind you but not gripping the armrests with white knuckles either.

With the economy the way it is I haven't flown in several years but I really wanted to go to New York so I knew I had to suck it up.  My flight was at 7:00 am which didn't give me a lot of the day to worry.  It did however leave the night before.  I think I actually slept a total of 2 hours.  I haven't had to use the little white bag in the pocket in front of the seat yet so I kept the meal before the flight simple.  Just a few sips of coffee and a few bites of dry toast.  Then the tears started along with shaking and all I wanted to do was cancel the trip.

I know this is a mental issue and I feel like a failure that I can't get my nerves under control.  That control word is the issue.  I don't like not having any.  Logically I know I am safer in a plane than driving to work.  Logically I know all the flight staff really want to get home to their families.  Logical doesn't somehow penetrate my fear.

The car I had scheduled showed up at 5:30 am thankfully.  I thought, excellent I will be at the airport on time!  Then the driver ran the stop sign at the end of my block and though we didn't hit the car driving on the cross street we came close.  The shaking started again.  In my head I just kept repeating in 4 hours this will be over and I will be in NYC, just 4 hours.  I arrived at the airport without further incident - breathing again.  Airport security at TIA was much simpler than I expected.  Everyone was very kind and helpful.  No long lines either.

Finally at the gate and everything was on time.  Breathing a little easier but still a large knot was tightly wound in my chest.  Board the airplane and was seated next to a guy with his head in his Kindle.  Perfect because I am not a chatter.  I am too busy flying the plane in my head to say hello unfortunately.  I am sure I miss meeting a lot of great people.

Let me also say that on the few occasions I have chatted with fellow passengers as soon as they find out I am afraid to fly I am told the most horrendous stories about planes crashing and emergency landings.  That doesn't help at all. If  you find yourself talking to someone who is afraid to fly tell them lighthearted stories about life please.

The plane started to taxi and the tears roll down my cheeks.  Thankfully it was the quiet tears and not the break out the ugly cry tears.  I gripped the armrests very very tight and held my breath pretty much for the entire 3 hours of the flight.  The flight was very smooth and we actually landed almost 30 minutes early.  I just wanted to kiss the ground but I didn't cause it must be really dirty.  I did send a silent thank you up to the universe.

I was meeting my BFF at the airport and had made a car reservation to pick us up.  My BFF had found another passenger on her plane also traveling to the DHI Convention and the same hotel so the three of us piled into the car and the driver did  a great non crazy drive to midtown Manhattan.

Before heading to the convention I desperately needed about an hour to just sit and work on unraveling the knot in my chest.  After checking into the hotel and storing our bags my BFF suggested lunch.  Oh thank goodness I thought!  It was only 11:00 but her flight was earlier than mine so she was hungry and now that I was safely on the ground I was ravenous.   It also gave me a chance to mentally talk myself down from a ridiculous set of nerves.

The return flight was basically the same except I was working hard to get an earlier flight out due to the incoming Nor'easter.

I would love to visit London, Rome & Edinburgh someday but I have no idea how the heck I would fly across the ocean but I know I can not let fear of flying ruin my love of exploring new places.

Next the DHI Convention.  


  1. You should be proud that you faced your fears! Good job, Ginny! I'm sure it was worth it.

  2. I agree - you should be proud of yourself! I used to be a white-knuckler...then I got a prescription!

  3. Lacy - Thank you, it was worth it :D Even to the point I want to go back soon.

    Lori - Thanks Lori:D I thought about going to a Dr. and asking what could be done. I think it is the only way I will ever fly overseas.

  4. Thank you Sandy! I also greatly appreciate all the encouragement and support :)

  5. Ginny - I'm glad to hear you still took the flight even when it was difficult. I know how scary anxiety can be, and if you're interested, you might want to check out 'panic away'. It is an anxiety relief 'program' of sorts that helps overcome it completely. (Not just coping mechanisms). I ended up buying the reading materials, and though I haven't finished all of it, just a few chapters made a huge difference for me. I highly recommend giving it a read. If you want more info on that or some other methods I use for anxiety relief, feel free to email me anytime :)