|Phobias - Fear of flying|
|Allison worked with Sharron on TVAM's Fear of flying to help combat her fears and change her experience of flying. |
Please read the following letter received from Sharron's husband Pat which outlines a husband's point of view and also details Sharron's new perspective of flying.....
|Hi Allison |
I would like to thank you sincerely for the change in the general wellbeing of my wife Sharron. She has been attending your clinic for a while in relation to a fear of flying.
I first noticed the change in her earlier this year (July) when she had to fly to the UK as part of her degree programme. Being away from home for a week was pressure enough for her, but when you consider the fact that she had to take a flight, even a short flight to the UK, without a member of her family being with her for the entire journey, it should have been enough pressure to considerably amplify the symptoms that she would normally exhibit in the lead up to a flight. But strangely there were no noticeable symptoms this time.
I have travelled with her on numerous occasions and when there is a flight involved the symptoms are generally the same:
|Very little mention of the flight in the weeks leading up to the departure|
|About three days before the flight there is a significant change in mood from her normal happy go lucky approach to life to one that could be described as slightly more 'short fused'|
|Then there is a gradual complexion change in the lead up to the flight day from a nice healthy glow to one that looks like she is coming down with a flu or something|
|Then there is the discussion about what time we need to leave the house for the flight (we live about 25 minutes from the Airport) and her normal opening suggestion is that we should arrive at the airport the day before or at least five/six hours before the departure time to allow for traffic on the M50...parking at the long term car park...and checking in...and making sure we get the right seats....and the queues getting through security and so on|
|When we narrow that down to the two or three hours we drive to the airport in silence and as I glance over towards Sharron in the passenger seat I wonder (and have a fair idea) where her thoughts are at but I'm afraid to ask because I have a fair idea and also because she has that look about her that says I hope we get there soon or I'm going to be sick|
|And then we get there and check the departure details and do the check in bit when the gate eventually opens because we are way to early and once the bags are checked in the kids usually suggest the 'lets get something to eat' thing so we drift off to the restaurant|
|And then the frequent disappearing acts begin - to the toilet! And each of those visits are apparently what you might call productive. And they continue right up to boarding time and I'm sure if she was not rooted to her seat and sitting in a very rigid upright position the toilet visits would continue during the flight also. But for the duration of the flight its|
looks like her system shuts down from take-off to touchdown. I pray silently that we don't hit turbulence!
|Finally we get to our destination and its like she snaps out of whatever 'trance' she has been in for the last three or four days and life returns to normal for a while. But then of course we have to travel back home at some time so the process begins all over again sometime during the holiday|
|So the UK flight was extremely significant in that all of the symptoms in the lead up to flight day were just not there. I drove her out to the Airport and she was more like her usual relaxed, talkative self. And she didn't have that lovely grey complexion that she normally gets that even manages to glow through make-up. Was it possible that the therapy was|
For our main holiday just a few weeks ago we went to Italy. Did we go through the normal process in the lead up to the flight? No. Was there any sign of the symptoms? Nope. Grey complexion, touchy, short-fused? No - nothing? A visit to every toilet from the departure lounge to the boarding gate, sometimes more than one visit to each? No. The therapy was working - I couldn't believe it.
I would even go as far as to say that she looked like she enjoyed the flight, although what she was feeling inside could have been different. As I observed silently, in some disbelief, I witnessed her looking out the window at landmarks, mountains and the like and moving seamlessly between engaging with the kids and me, asking me would I like some tea, reading her magazine and just generally looking like it was a normal evening, relaxing at home.
So, with the proof of the pudding in the eating, she has been on one flight on her own, and one flight with us and it seems to be working. So unless something that you either switched on or off switches off or on again then I think you have cracked it. So a big well done to you. I can't thank you enough both for stopping the obvious discomfort that Sharron was feeling every time she had to fly, but also for removing our reluctance to even think about holidays and trips until the last minute because we didn't want to awaken the demon within that was 'the fear of flying'. And I'm sure Dublin Airport, and other Airports around the world would like to extend their thanks for easing the pressure on their toilet drainage system which seemed to show a spike on a couple of days a year that coincidentally lined
up with the days that Sharron was flying.