Home > Family, Health > Soaring over anxiety

Soaring over anxiety

I’m not afraid of flying, but I do suffer anxiety that’s exacerbated by flying.

The higher my anxiety baseline, the more acutely I experience anxiety around flying.

I’m incredibly excited about my new job. And yet, the good stress of that coupled with other stressors–not to mention an overindulgence in celebratory sugar–means my anxiety levels are already sky-high … before I even begin to think about actually being sky-high, where I’ll be today en route to my brother’s graduation.

walking snuggliThis morning I found a little green jacket that helped ground me a little. “This is a sad and a happy thing for me,” I told my newly awakened six-year-old. “It’s sad because I bought this jacket to keep you warm while my mom was dying. It’s happy because it reminds me how much my mom loved being with you, and because, this trip, there’ll be a whole new person we didn’t even imagine then wearing the jacket.”

Um, okay, weirdo, my six-year-old said with his eyes.

I smiled as I breathed in the jacket’s familiar sweetness.

I set it over the back of a chair and took a seat at my computer. I searched my blog for “i love you amy,” and softened further reading the post that returned.

Then I searched for “vulnerability,” and breathed a long, thankful sigh of relief while reading the post I’d sought. It was just the medicine I needed.

I’m often amazed by how healing others’ words can be in the blogosphere. Much less often, I’m amazed to find was the source of exactly what I needed to read.

Holding all of this close to my heart, I won’t just be flying today.

I’ll be soaring.

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  1. December 11, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Good for you! And yes, the flight will be great, no problem and you’re actually incredibly safe up there–much more so than on the Interstate. So have a great time and congrats to your brother!

    • December 11, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Thank you! I can use how I feel about flying to gauge where my anxiety levels are at. Realizing I was feeling so anxious about flight helped me understand why I felt so skeeved out after watching Krampus last week: Instead of leaving having had a delightful adrenaline rush, I just felt anxious. (Maybe more of a cortisol rush, something I didn’t and don’t need more of!) I needed to see my flight panic levels to understand my reaction post-movie, but hey! Understanding in time is better than not at all. Feelin’ great so far, and workin’ to keep it that way. 🙂

  2. December 11, 2015 at 10:21 am

    It’s wonderful your own post could serve as your comfort. No doubt your words have done that for others many times.

  3. December 12, 2015 at 6:03 am

    I always wish you could be magically transported two weeks in to a new job where you’re already getting the hang of it/the new people/new office. I’m sure you’ll do brilliantly anyway. I hope you have a lovely time at your brother’s graduation. I’m not frightened of flying but I am frightened of being shut in a plane. We probably shouldn’t sit next to each other. Or maybe we should? Perhaps we would calm each other down 🙂

    • December 12, 2015 at 7:08 am

      Thank you! 🙂

      In this case, I’m lucky to already know and work with the team as a contractor. I’m in the fantastic position of walking into day one having already worked with my new team previously and also joined the last couple of weeks of team meetings. It would take me ages to explain why it’s such a perfect fit, but it is!

      What’s both discomfiting (and exciting!) is that I am stepping into a whole new role. I’ve spent the last decade growing one way, and this will be a significant pivot … but, happily, one that will still draw on all the experience I’ve amassed.

      The flight actually ended up being awesome on account of sitting next to someone else with flight anxiety! We ended up talking each other down, and she was so rockin’ with the boys that we chatted easily through the entire flight. We’ll be on the same return flight. I’m already looking forward to saying hello, and glad she’ll be there, wherever it is she sits on the plane!

  4. December 12, 2015 at 9:20 am

    may you soar
    close to the ground 🙂

  5. December 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I do have a fear of flying that gets worse when I’m already anxiety-ridden so I greatly admire your courage. Hope you had a great flight and that you’re still soaring. Not in the sky, of course, but in spirit. 🙂

  6. December 13, 2015 at 11:30 am

    And on a completely unrelated note, may I just say “Huzzah for baby wearing!” (in the pic)

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