Sorry that it has taken me to so long to get in touch following my Fear of Flying course with you in January.
I returned from our 3 week trip to Hong Kong and Thailand late yesterday and wanted to wait until I had completed all 3 flights before I reported back to you as to how I got on. This is a long email but I feel I should tell you the whole story as I am sure it will help you when you deal with other clients as “difficult” as me in the future !!
Well you probably remember that on the day I had such a deep seated dread of Flying that you even suggested seeing the Doctor to get some medication to help ease my anxiety. I left the centre feeling very disappointed that I had not had the ‘Eureka’ moment I had hoped for to turn my fears around and was ready to book an appointment to get something prescribed.
The 3 weeks leading up to the flight were terrible, probably my worst ever with such a feeling of doom and dread about what was coming and I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the DVD you gave me. I didn’t get around to going to the doctors but stocked up on some over the counter sleeping tablets to help me on the long flights and some Kalms tablets to ease the anxiety in the run up.
Anyway the night before I left for Heathrow I decided to watch the DVD and was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t make my anxiety worse and also read through the notes and packed them just in case.
I was horrendous at the airport, but as soon as I boarded the A380 I felt remarkably better ! It helped that the BA cabin crew were very lovely and chatty and I was just pleased to be getting it over and done with. The take off was amazing – so smooth and I was able to talk to my daughter about the different noises and heights we were levelling off at. I was the calmest I have ever been !!!! Again I was lucky in that the flight was remarkably smooth for the first 9 hrs, and the crew and passengers were very relaxed. I ate a meal for the first time in many, many years, played games on my I Pad and actually enjoyed the flight ! We had light to moderate turbulence for the last 2-3 hours on our approach to HK but this was bearable and I certainly didn’t get agitated – I seemed much more able to reason with myself and put it into perspective.
My husband and daughter both commented on the change in me and I think were quite surprised as I had warned them that I felt no massive change in my feelings about flying following my course with you.
I was able to enjoy our time in HK without worrying about the 3 hr flight to Bangkok, only getting nervous on the day. This time we flew in an A330 which worried me – because it was smaller and also I didn’t have my usual window seat but again I dealt with the flight really well. I can’t say I enjoyed it as much but it was a very busy, noisy flight not relaxing at all and also a bit bumpy – but I was fine and it didn’t put me off.
Finally we returned home yesterday on a 777 with my usual window seat and some anxiety on the day as the flight got closer but nothing terrible. This flight was quite bumpy for the first 9 hrs with the seat belt sign going on and off regularly but it didn’t really bother me and I was able to make the experience seem normal. Again I ate 2 hot meals, played games etc. and even though the 13 hr flight seemed interminably long – I was not frightened !!!!!!
The whole point of this long saga is to say Thank You ! I have no idea what it was that you said on the day, it certainly didn’t register at the time but something worked ! I feel so much more rational about flying now. I still need to do some work on the build up to flying, as this is now the worst bit for me but I guess I have many years of dread to undo.
What’s more interesting still – and I do believe it is related – is that I was far braver on this holiday than I have ever been. I took 2 x 30 minute cable car rides on Lantau Island, which I would never have done before. Usually the sheer sight of one makes me feel ill, but I loved it which delighted my family. We took many, many boat rides whilst away – usually these upset me as much as flying and whilst I can’t say I enjoyed them all I certainly handled them quite differently to normal.
You said to me that my fear had got blown out of all proportion and you were right. I think I will always be apprehensive about flying but I now have the ability to rationalise the situation and be more logical and sensible about what’s happening. I don’t honestly think this would have happened if I hadn’t taken the course, so I am very grateful to you, hopefully I will go on to improve yet further !
Many thanks for all your help Andy – I hope you take encouragement from this as I do believe you found me a bit of a challenge as I had such a strong mindset about flying ! This hopefully will prove to you that what you say helps even the most obstinate of clients ! You’ll be pleased to hear we are taking a trip to California in August and if I need a top up in the meantime I will be in touch !