I posted a few days ago on my fear of flying. Well, reader friends, here I sit in the Atlanta airport getting ready to board the plane to Michigan. So far a little jittery, but otherwise okay. It could be the half a Xanax that is keeping me calmer, but I also wonder if it is because this go round flying I have asked for help with my problem.
Normally when I am nervous about flying, I just try to fake that I am okay until I am not okay anymore. I can just hear Dr Phil ask me how that has worked out for me (not great). There is a certain shame that comes with not being able to handle life in a cool, calm, in control manner. It is hard for me (and maybe you?) to let go of that facade and admit that I need help.
But this time around I have taken a different approach. I blogged about my fear. I asked friends and family to pray for me. And do you know what happened as a result of admitting I had a struggle and asking for help? People offered me support and encouragement. Many people have reassured me and kept me in their prayers. A former airline pilot who now counsels fearful flyers like myself left his info in a comment on my blog. And though I did not have the time or money to complete Captain Tom’s full course, his free tips have been helpful.
I followed his advice on asking to board early with those that need special assistance so that I could inform the stewardesses that I am an anxious flyer. They were very kind and even introduced me to the co-pilot who gave me a big smile.
So here I sit at 10,000 feet with my little cup of water on my tray top so that I can see that turbulence is not that bad (the water barely shakes). I have done my breathing, said my breath prayers and tried to keep the tension out of my body. I did negotiate with God a little on take-off, but hey, we all need a come to Jesus meeting every now and again.
As we near the end of the flight, a couple of things occur to me.
Sometimes courage looks like admitting we are scared.
Sometimes we are strongest when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to ask for help.
So, dear reader, whatever scary things await you this week, know that it is okay to ask for help. Nice even.
For when we open up to others, we form connections that we would have never made trying to tough it out on our own.
Almost time to land now. Thanks for those who lifted up prayers and gave words of encouragement.
And if there is any way I (we) can pray for you in regards to your struggles, feel free to leave a request in the comments below.