How many times have I been through this? I book my flight, I pack my bags, I clean my house, I tie up loose ends, I pop a diazapam and I hop on a plane heading somewhere. No big deal, right?
The more I fly the more I seem addled with worry and anxiety. It’s like I’m a victim of the law of averages; the more I fly, the more I’ve increased the probability that I will, in fact, die by means of death by plane crash. And I can’t seem to get over this faulty thinking. Nor can I even play it cool in front of others when it comes to exposing my emotions. What is it about me that simply cannot enjoy travel, movement, adventure without it having some element of doom?
Oh, right, of course. Remnants of a childhood of chaos and instability.
But, come on. I need to get over this. I need to just be done with my fear of death once and for all. So what if the plane crashes. So what if we all die. It was bound to happen anyway, right? I’m more apt to die in a car crash, right? Not as far as my brain is concerned.
A little over a year ago, when I was single and feeling abruptly alive I took a flight to Nassau to spend the day with my brother so as to do some work on our house. And while there was anxiety building up to the trip, there was an eerie sense of calm once I hopped on the plane alone- no hand to hold. I was fearless. Remember that one? If not, it’s here. And re-reading it almost leads me to believe that it’s D’s fault. When there’s no one in my life, I’m FINE. I don’t fear flying. But when I am dating, I am overblown with gut-wrenching fear.
OK….I don’t really believe it’s D’s fault. It’s my own. And just as some people have to get over their fear of waking up every morning, or applying for a job, or being a good mother, I have to get over my fear of flying.
But you see, it’s this script that plays and has played for many years, and it reads like this:
Beautiful, upper-middle class woman with two children, had it all, finally got her life together, the envy of friends and acquaintances (OK, I’m flattering myself) suddenly, by some stroke of predestined irony, a la every depressing French film you’ve ever seen, died today during a routine flight with her boyfriend and their kids to a cutesy little condo in Naples, Florida. What was meant to be a fun little family vacation, turned into a nightmare. Services will be held at blah, blah, blah to mourn her death and celebrate her life– cut so tragically short.
This is the script I must abandon. Otherwise, I forfeit my happiness and the happiness of others.
So…is there a moral to this story? Will she end it on a good note? How about this– The nurse practitioner just called and approved two diazapams for me. Two. So I firmly responded by saying, “That’ll get me to the airport. I actually need to get on the plane.”