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Friday, September 22, 2006

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Mile High

I don't know how the rest of you will be keeping the Sabbath holy, but I plan to come home straight after Sunday school, hang up my dress, peel off my pantyhose and GET HIGH. And maybe cook a pot roast.

I wrote last month about my fear of flying. I also wrote how I am taking eight airplanes in a 72 hour period in order to attend my cousin Erika's upcoming wedding. Then I noticed how these two situations cancel each other out, thus disproving my existence.

I mentioned the precariousness of my situation to Georgia, who is from Australia and, if you ask me, pushes her luck by flying back there from time to time.

"Ativan," she said. "It's the only way."

Apparently Ativan is the new Valium. Who knew? I guess I was so deep into contract negotiations with God about keeping the planes up, I hadn't considered there might be a more unilateral, pharmaceutical course of action. This was helpful information, as opposed to what my husband gave me, when I acknowledged aloud that my phobia is without a logical basis, and he pointed out that really, it is well-founded, because although planes don't often fall from the sky, when they do, it must be a hell of way to die, what with the terror, confusion and loss of bowel control.

Thank you for that, my knight in shining armour. You get none of my Ativan.

Yes, I went to the doctor yesterday and asked for DRUGS. I was certain it would involve a background check and possible deportation. I had a prescription in five minutes. "Wait!," I said as he was leaving the examining room, in which I had not been examined. "How much of this will it take to keep me calm yet functional through multiple connections?"

"We don't know," he said, "Better do a dry run first."

Mom, are you reading this? MEDICAL PERMISSION to experiment with mood-altering drugs. DOCTOR'S ORDERS.

Good Canadian that I am, I asked, "I assume I should not operate a motor vehicle or other heavy equipment while taking these?"

"Oh," said the good doctor, like this was my idea. "Probably not. No."

I consulted my daytimer. When would be a good time for me to get all fucked up? Friday: parent-teacher conferences. Saturday: soccer game and dinner guests. Sunday: church, with lector duty. Afternoon looks good, though.

I penciled it in. G.F.U.

I have a confession. I don't do drugs recreationally. I hardly do them medicinally. It's not a moral stance. If you are in the safety of a private residence without minor dependents, open flames or a chemical dependency issue to consider, and you aren't even remotely connected with the aviation industry, you go right ahead.

They just don't do really do anything for me and, as with being airborne, I don't like the loss of control. See, I'm the person who doesn't finish the second glass of wine because I'm "starting to feel it". This drives my husband, whose drug of choice is "more", crazy.

"That's exactly when you're supposed to drink five more!" he says, sputtering.

So even though I have a note from my doctor that says it's alright, even medically prescribed, for me to have a little something to take the edge off, I am still feeling hesitant about it. Like it's wimping out, and I should just white-knuckle it all the way to St. John's because there is some lesson for my soul to get about this fear that will win me karmic points. The problem is, I think my brain has become kind of addicted to the fear. Whatever chemical is firing off when those awful what-if scenarios start rolling has got my neuro-receptors all jacked up. Once the show starts, I can't seem to switch the channel. I think this may be one of those instances where it takes a physical jumpstart to get the psychology back on the right circuit.

The deal I have struck with myself is this: I will fill the prescription and try a pill on Sunday afternoon to see how it feels and how fast the effects kick in and whether I will still be able to get through customs and read a poem at the wedding without drooling. Then I will play it by ear. Maybe just knowing I have them on hand will make me feel less panicked. As for the psychological part, I am doing this free online course that is supposed to deconstruct your fear of flying, and maybe after I play it enough times, I will be able to turn off the Eeyore voice in my head that manages to turn the amazing aviation safety statistics into proof positive my plane crash is long overdue.

I hope. Because if not, I now have all the fatality statistics from driving, cycling, boating and common household accidents to be concerned about, and the refill line on my presciption says, "suck it up."

Filed under:fearloathing
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4 Comments:

Blogger Erika said...

There's a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn see http://www.umassmed.edu/behavmed/faculty/kabat-zinn.cfm

that I read to help me get through anxiety. My anxiety has no name. No reason. It just arrives whether I am airborne, at the mall, or doing dishes. Kabat Zinn's advice is "wherever you go there you are." Stay in the moment. All anxiety, or almost all anxiety, is worrying and speculating about things that have yet to, and most likely never will happen. So sit in the moment. Don't wory until you have something to worry about.

And don't watch any episodes of Lost.

12:44 PM  
Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

i am reading.........

mom

8:46 PM  
Blogger El Charolastra said...

what in feck is Sabbath? you mean Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer?

7:22 PM  
Blogger littlepurplecow said...

Very funny... although I hope you avoided the kitchen and pot roast bit. Technically the stove could qualify as "heavy equipment" in this scenario.

10:57 PM  

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