Labor Day: An After Action Review

I started being phobic about flying in 1972. I was on my way back from the US to Germany. I was newly married—1 year to be exact. This was in the very olden days when airplanes flew early empty. I am guessing that there might have been twenty people, if that many, on the entire airplane? It was a night flight, dark, and spooky. I had my first of 1,000,000 anxiety attacks. Damned memorable. I was certain that plane was going to crash and burn and take a long time doing it. This was also the beginning of my macabre interest in air crashes. I worked right next to an airfield on Fliegerhorst Kaserne and from my window I had the perfect view of helicopters coming and going. These flying machines really were not supposed to be safe. Basically, I reinforced my anxiety every day. I am like that. Over thinking negative stuff. It is like a computer loop.   

I went to see a psychologist at Scott and White in the early 1980s to see if I could be cured of my fear of flying. He said no. He could cure me of fearing elevators since they were easily accessible but I wasn’t afraid of those. I enjoyed my chat with him so much I stayed on. We became great friends.

Later Susan Lawson found a book at a used book store written by a TWA pilot….this was years ago…maybe in the 80s. I can’t remember the title but it was really cognitive therapy. That book turned my life around—and with drugs I was basically cured. No more anxiety attacks either. Or at least, I say none in years. I am never one to rule out reoccurance. But, yikes, I hope not.

Sooo, for nearly 30 years now, I have been flying all over…drugged but happy to fly….all except in a helicopter.

In the early 2000s, I was a part of the Killeen Leadership Academy. It was pretty cool and unlike many city Leadership Academies, Killeen in conjunction with the Killeen Police Department and Fort Hood let us fire automatic weapons and ride in a Blackhawk helicopter. I jumped at the chance to fire the weapons but couldn’t make myself get in that helicopter. I was so ashamed of myself but there it was…I was still crippled and immobilized with an irrational fear.

I don’t know what made me decide it was time to face the music….I just hate fear baggage and have said too often that the two emotions I detest are guilt and fear. Soooooo, I was driving by the Bell County CARNIVAL and saw that they had helicopter rides were available and I guess I was moved by the SPIRIT!!! I came home and talked Len into coming to take photos.
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I will say, I liked it kinda. I held on pretty tight but I never once screamed, cried, or vomited. The scenery was amazing and I plan an additional trip. I would like to fly and land in our pasture. It was pretty cool. Just thinkin’, all though helicopter flying isn’t something I would encounter regularly…it is just the principle of the thing. I let it get bigger and bigger in my head because I fed that fear. Well, now that it is done it seems silly. Very silly. Oh, and no drugs! Yep, I am pretty brave.

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One Response to “Labor Day: An After Action Review”

  1. onelibrarian Says:

    Good for you, girlfriend.  It’s a big day when you face a fear and stare it down.  Good on ya!!

    From: More or Less a Journal! To: marshamcguire@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2016 4:56 PM Subject: [New post] Labor Day: An After Action Review #yiv8280991176 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8280991176 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8280991176 a.yiv8280991176primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8280991176 a.yiv8280991176primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8280991176 a.yiv8280991176primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8280991176 a.yiv8280991176primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8280991176 WordPress.com | drycreekherbs posted: “I started being phobic about flying in 1972. I was on my way back from the US to Germany. I was newly married—1 year to be exact. This was in the very olden days when airplanes flew early empty. I am guessing that there might have been twenty people, if t” | |

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