I too have read a few "Flying Without Fear" type books and found that they helped greatly with the turbulence fear, but did nothing for take off and first 20 minutes of flight (my worst part!). Drinking never helped me (and boy did I try it!)
I have to say that good ole' tranquilizers have made 100% difference for me. If you don't have a problem with "medicating" as a solution, and have a semi-regular doctor, and only request enough for flying, you shouldn't have a problem getting them. I ONLY use them for flying, and I won't fly without them. The point is that I'm flying again, and not having nightmares the whole month before because I KNOW it's not going to be so very bad! Another thing that helps in conjuction for me is flying the newer planes/airlines. I'm sure they are not safer than good old AA or Delta, but their interior decor is newer and my brain doesn't associate it with the usual "Airport '76" look which panics me. (I love Jet Blue! Flew it from NY to CA in Nov.) It's all about faking out your head long enough anyway as your chances of actually crashing are abysmal. I also listen for the "bells" on the intercom. Three or less at a time and I know we're okay. Probably. ::grin:: I think I read that in Flying Without Fear and it's one of the things that actually helps me.
Note, tranqs do NOT completely remove the fear. They take the "edge" off though, and make it much more tolerable then anything else I have found. (No more white knuckles for me!)
Of course, don't OVER tranq. Yes, it helps more, but you will be too drugged up to enjoy your first night on the ship and it could be dangerous. I'm a 5'3" 32 year old woman 115 pounds and 1 of valium, ativan, or the like at regular to full strength taken when they announce boarding does the trick. Sometimes I take half at boarding and the other half when they turn on the engines. It might not actually kick in that fast, but my "mind" feels better doing it like that sometimes. I am not groggy when we land, and sometimes I can actually SLEEP on the plane! The doctor will tell you try a tranq at home first to see what happens. I tried this, and it told me zip. I didn't even feel it at home. However, if you've never taken them before I guess it would be a good idea to see if it knocks you out.
I am flying to Miami from New York in 6 weeks for my cruise, and although it doesn't thrill me, I know I can live with it and can't WAIT to get on my ship!!
Good luck, and NEVER let your fear keep you from your love of travel! I try to remember that I'd rather die now going someplace great than sitting in my house in 50 years wishing I'd gone someplace great.
I fly all the time, so I can't really help with the fear of flying issue. For me, it's between flying or being unemployed ... and if I was unemployed I couldn't afford to take as many vacations!
Seriously, cruises are leaving from more ports than ever. I don't know where you live, but in addition to the typical Florida ports, regular or occasional cruises are leaving out of numerous cities on the east coast (Baltimore, Philly, Charleston), west coast (LA, Ensenada, Seattle), and Gulf coast (New Orleans, Houston). I guess that's no help if you live in Chicago or St. Louis, but at least there are more options now.
I agree - Ativan all the way. I get claustrophobic on a plane - I don't actually fear flying itself - just not having any air to breath :o). But the Ativan is very relaxing - you mellow out. I managed to get from Vancouver to Orlando with no problems. Now my dh is trying to convince me that I can make a 13 hour flight to Scotland - not quite there yet but you never know. Hope it all works out for you - ttfn Jennifer
Mary Jean, your fear is all in your head and based on nothing else.
Question, are you happy being a car passenger or would you rather drive,. Thats a control issue. And most people I know who do not like flying, thats their problem "no control of the situation"..
Thirty years ago I missed so much because I had the same fear, but being a fact person and feeling I was missing out, I looked at the chances of anything actually happening to me on a flight compared to normal life. Flights won, big time.
Now to be honest I'm still not totally happy doing it either, but I just focus on how much I'm going to get out of what awaits me. Life is short, kick that fear into touch I did and I have experienced some fantastic places since.
Jen, do those 13 hours you could have me at the other side !!! <g>
You got that right David Dahling! We will do it one day - it's on my list. We went up the Space Needle in Seattle on Wednesday. It's been there since 1962 - and we get to Seattle every now and then - but I was determined to go all the way up this time - what a view - well worth the 520 feet elavator ride. Almost as good as the Stratosphere in Vegas. TTFN Jennifer
One more time, do yourselves a favor and find the paperback book, "White Knuckles" by Layne Ridley (try e-bay or amazon). For less than $10.00 you will change your life.
No amount of logic can cure a phobia - been there - but some solid facts, learning more about "The Beast", and practicing the exercizes in this book changed me from a weeping mass of kicking and screaming adult human being, into a calm, relaxed and optimistic flyer.
To add some extra fun in your trip & if the port isn't outside the United States - take Amtrak. You will never, EVER see more beautiful scenery changes without taking a truck out & going 4-wheeling.
From NY to Reno, NV is approx. 3 1/2 days. Get a sleeper car (includes all your meals, free showers & such) and have a good time!
I've flown to Florida dozens of times from NY. It's boring, blue skies, lots of clouds & nothing to see. Taking Amtrak which is only 21 hour trip, included all my meals (gee, do you remember the old days when you GOT free meals on planes?), very modern and clean showers (they provide everything, soap, towels, etc) and bedding. You have lights, electrical outlets for your cell phones, a sink and more.