I'm leaving on a jet plane...

I do not fly well.  I have flown all of the world and have logged many miles, but I do not fly well.  

It all began in Hawaii.  We had flown over one summer for a family vacation.  On the flight there, I was fine.  All was good, I slept, watched a movie.  

As a surprise for the kids, I had scheduled a helicopter ride for the four of us on Kauai.  As the day drew near, I began to get a bit well, lets say nervous.  As we piled into the chopper with the pilot who had to be just over fifteen, I began to realize just how out of control I really was.  I sat in the front next to the teenager who was flying the death trap.  As I looked at the instrument panel, tears began slowly rolling down my check.  Not the sobbing, uncontrollable crying, but the "oh shit, I am really scarred" type of tears.  I was completely and totally out of control.  I clung to the young pilots pant leg until we were safety on the ground.  I hadn't seen a thing, had taken photos, I had essentially missed the whole gorgeous experience.

The rest of the trip was wonderful.  And then, it happened.  We were on the flight home, somewhere over the Pacific when it began.  The turbulence started with a simple drop, then a shake.  I looked around, everyone was sleeping soundly.  It continued and I got worse.  The adrenaline started in my toes, and slowly moved up my legs…I had to get off of this plane.  It was a straight up panic attack.  As you can see, the plane landed safety, and I kissed the ground when it did.  

I thought that the problem was over, but it wasn't…it went on for a good 2 1/2 years.  It got so bad at one point that I actually took something twenty minutes before each flight, sometimes with a glass of wine~that all stopped once Whitney Houston died in her bathtub!  

At some point I realized that I had to get control of the problem if I was going to live overseas and travel on a regular basis.  So, slowly I began other things to calm me down on flights.  Rubbing a smooth rock, keeping my finger and thumb together in a yogaesque stance, and simply just handing it over, what will be, will be.

As I write this I am on a flight to Dubai and then off to Australia.  Twenty-three hours on a plane.  Nope, I haven't had my meds or a drink and I am~knock on wood~doing great, short of wanting to strangle the annoying kids beside me and wanting to "German glare" the loud mouth man behind me, again I am agitated because I am out of control…maybe that pill and glass of wine wasn't such a bad idea?

How do you let the control go?

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