In Which I Sound a Little like a Helpless Princess: I Fly Horribly – Suggestions?

As you may have read in my last post, I am off to Tuscon, Ariz., this weekend for the Society of Southwestern Authors conference, Wrangling with Writing. And, while I’m excited to be going to another writing conference as well as traveling as far west as I’ve ever been (unless you count the five seconds I was at LAX or the fact that my husband and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon), I’m pretty nervous.  About the flying, I mean.

I am just a horrible flyer.  I had flown once in my entire life before I met my husband, and then he moved to Georgia four months after I met him (not because of me—because of grad school!).  The year we did the long distance thing, one of us flew to see the other one about every three weeks, so I got a lot of practice in, but still—I wasn’t a fan.

Being afraid of heights—and of dying in a plane crash—will do that to you.

It’s mostly the taking off and the landing the does it to me.  And any kind of turbulence. If my stomach drops even just for a second, I have to stop my doing my sudoku puzzle, editing a manuscript, or reading a book and grip the armrests for dear life.  I feel like *the biggest idiot*, but it’s not something I can really control.

This is me.

Since actually moving to the same state as my hubs, the plane travel hasn’t stopped.  We tend to go on a lot of trips (Greece last summer—hello!), and I have been going to and/or speaking at a bunch of conferences.  And I still suck at flying.

I try not to be noticeable about it, and for the most part, I don’t think I am (unless you happen to be looking at me—like the flight attendant on our British Airways flight back to the States from our Greece trip, who asked me if I was okay during a bout of turbulence.  Apparently, I looked like I was going to die or something—and that was *with* my husband to grab on to.  I feel much more helpless—and silly—when I’m alone).  But my heart still races and I still feel like I’m on the brink of a panic attack every time . . . until I feel the wheels hit solid ground. 🙂

The whole experience makes me anxious: getting there on time for your flight, opening up all your crap for security and getting it packed back up quickly, actually flying, and then making sure your bags got there. (Mine didn’t at first on my honeymoon, and neither of our bags made it to Greece until three days into the trip. You can read about that here.)

I usually take short flights—two hours, tops.  And I almost never have to connect.  This trip, however, requires a little more air time and a connection to boot.  Ugh.

Anyway, does anyone else suck at flying like I do?  It sure doesn’t seem like it, when I’m actually on these flights.  (Except for, on my way to Orlando, the two sisters sitting next to me who were being so obnoxious about being “scared” that everyone was looking over at us, so I *really* had to try and curb my own reactions. I mean, I never make *noises*, but since they were being so freaking loud and annoying, everyone looking probably saw me clutching at my armrests.  Ugh again.)

So . . . any advice on how to overcome this? Because sometimes I seriously want to cry.  I’m anxious thinking about it right now, and it’s overshadowing my excitement for the trip!

I mean, I guess there’s always alcohol . . . but still.  I *do* still have to make my connection, and I won’t have the hubs to help this trip either!