I think I'm finally past my fear of turbulence
This past weekend I flew for maybe the fourth time since an absolutely horrible flight from IAH to DCA back in 2008. I've described that flight in great detail before. To make a long story short, I was sitting all the way in the back of the plane against the bulkhead. We hit some wicked windshear over Tennessee. Drinks went flying, the flight attendants both fell down. For about 3 or 4 minutes, the shaking was so bad that the flight attendant in the rear galley was squatting down between the bathrooms with her hands braced on the bathroom doors. The Plane bucked regularly for the next 30 minutes or so, not as bad as the initial 3 or 4 minutes, but by that time my nerves were shot.
The flights this past weekend had their share of turbulence, but I think I've finally come to the conclusion that turbulence isn't going to make the plane fall out of the sky any more than a bumpy road will make my car fly off the road. Turbulence isn't going to make the plane break apart any more than a pothole is going to make my car break apart. I've been able to fly the last 3 or 4 times without much anxiety at all other than the stress caused by travel in general (more to do with it being a pain than being terrifying). If it helps anyone else, what helped me on the first couple of flights after the awful one was closing my eyes and imagining I was on a bus. Most bus rides where I live are just as bumpy as moderate turbulence, yet I'm not scared. This seemed to work, and I was able to fly through turbulence this past weekend without trying to trick my brain with the thoughts of a bus.
Here's the thing. I still do not enjoy flying, but it's a fact of life for me that I'll have to fly at least once a year. I moved to Mexico from Virginia 4 years ago, so unless I want to drive for 3 days 12 hours a day, flying is my only option. Right now, driving to the border area of Mexico is certainly more dangerous than flying. At least now, I'm at a point that I can actually get on the plane without being terrified by every little bump.
Thanks for everything on this site. It really has helped me get over my fear of flying. I hope you realize that you really are providing a useful tool to those that are afraid of flying due to turbulence.
That's great that you're once again able to tolerate flying without feeling terror. I'm glad you shared this, and it will hopefully help others to realize there are ways to overcome a fear of flying and turbulence. I think sometimes we're so "in our heads" we don't move out of our fixation on the irrational. I always get a little sad when I hear that someone tolerates flying, but doesn't really enjoy it. I just love flying so much...the entire experience (well...not the airport/TSA experience). Hopefully one day you, too can get to that point. Until then...travel safely!
Flying again from Mexico City to Charlotte to Richmond. Not looking forward to it, not because of the turbulence, but just the stress of travel. I look forward to flying for 4 or 5 hours as much as I look forward to driving for 4 or 5 hours. I'm definitely looking forward to being home for the holidays, but taking a 2 hour bus ride to the Mexico City airport, going through the security screening (incredibly light in Mexico City which is a little troubling), going through immigration, going through customs, rechecking bags, going through security again, then waiting for luggage in Richmond is not my idea of a good time. This site has definitely helped me though. Knowing what's coming has made me much more comfortable when we actually fly through bumpy air as Delta has coined it recently. Most times the flight isn't nearly as bad as the maps would indicate. Good thing is that once we get to Charlotte, the flight to Richmond is only like an hour.