Fear of flying

Funny thing about fears: I can have them, but I will judge others for having the same ones.

Here’s an example: I am afraid of flying, or, more specifically dying horribly in a plane crash as my life flashes before my eyes and my last thoughts other than of burning pain are wishing I could go back in time and book a different flight.  That’s my fear.  I know statistically that my chances of dying in a plane crash are infinitesimal, and my chances of dying in a car crash are much higher.  I understand that on an intellectual level, but on a visceral level my body and mind tell me I am risking my life even considering getting near a plane, much less on one.

But when someone else says they’re afraid of flying? Ha. I roll my eyes at their stupidity.  Technology is amazing, there are so many ways that flying is made safe.  So many checks of the plane itself, so many pilot regulations.  So many ways to ensure that a plane makes it from Point A to Point B with no casualties.  Why would you be afraid of that?  My sister-in-law is afraid to fly, so she doesn’t do it.  I think that’s dumb.  I complain about it to others.  Yet I come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid flying myself.

This isn’t to say I’ve never flown.  I have, lots of times.  I’ve traveled all over the world.  But I’ve also mentally written my own obituary lots of times, too.  Every time I fly, I write it in my head.  I also obsessively wonder about the other planes going to my destination: Will a later flight crash? What about an earlier one? Did I narrowly avoid death by choosing the 3:15 flight instead of the 6:15?  Once, Will and I were bumped from a flight and had to stay an extra day on a trip.  I spent the four hours after we were bumped wondering if the flight we should have been on would crash, and if I would be interviewed in articles about the crash as ‘the woman who was supposed to have been on that plane.’  Then, when it didn’t crash, I spent the night before our replacement flight wondering if my obituary would mention that I ‘wasn’t even supposed to be on that plane.’



3 thoughts on “Fear of flying

  1. I can see what you mean about abrupt endings. I am the opposite, I tend to usually wrap it up at the end (you may want to read some of my assignments, would be interesting to see what you think of my endings). But after all we are all different and everyone has their own style, so I wouldn’t worry. 🙂

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