Published: February 21st 2012February 21st 2012
The plane races across the tarmac, swaying from side to side, my heart beat racing just as quickly, my eyes are wide and full of fright, wanting desperately to be shut firmly. My hands clutch my book which I had been enjoying moments before, now my knuckles turn white from the tension.
The plane begins to lift and my stomach falls, a soft moan escapes my lips and I feel my body shudder. There are too many people on this plane, too many bags, too much weight. I am certain the plane will struggle to reach altitude and will plummet to the earth, a sickening scream as metal, fiberglass and fuel slices through the sky.
The tears are silently falling down my face and I am able to force me eyes shut, though with every shudder they spring open again so I can assess the conditions, is the nose higher than the tail? Are we leaning too far to the right? Are the attendants sharing a look that surely means that noise I hear is not normal?
My chest hurts with each painful breath, I attempt to control my breathing and concentrate on the short hot burst of air which escapes my throat. My hands are clammy and I am aware of a slight sheen of sweat developing across my chest.
The plane continues to climb and I feel a tissue being pushed into my hand, I begin to laugh, a laugh full of nervousness and fear, the laugh fools nobody, however I begin to calm myself. I shake my head from side to side and suck in deep gulps of air, still laughing.
Each take off is worse than the last, the fear and terror increase rapidly with each journey. Anxiety builds earlier before each departure. Enjoying the last day of a holiday is becoming distracting with the impending flight.
This fear is no a result of a prior flight, there is no reason whatsoever. I have not been traumatised, yet flying is now dreaded and dealing with a fear of death is a terrifying ordeal. One it seems I will have to relive, again, and again, and again…